Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember I was a stay-at-home mom with five children and someone once told me I had a business mind well that started it !! One business after the other, for years and years, while the children were growing up. My friend and I started a private school for homeschoolers because I homeschool my kids back then …I also owned an antique/consignment shop… I used to go around to garage sales and or scout through garbage and find things to fix up /paint Etc and resell !! I even wrote a little book about it I think it was called Trash to Treasures or something along those lines! …I’ve had several work from home jobs basically being My Own Boss ..but my friends always told me that I could sell a dead horse to a cowboy so sales were always my niche…
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
I actually have all the responsibilities! In the mornings my schedule, in a perfect world, I go in my office and package up all of my sales from the day before I usually pride myself on one business day shipping for my customers. Then I have to work on my accounts themselves, so I juggle around with my keywords.. fool around with my title my descriptions see what’s selling what’s not selling what keywords are doing well which ones are not so basically just sort of going through and see what’s working and what’s not working basically it’s something you should do on a daily basis maybe just take one item per day and work on that item. I check out my competition see what they’re doing I also check out what new items are coming out on Etsy… I like to stay on top of the latest trends
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
My best selling product that is my bling mask it’s made from two layers of cotton it’s also engineered with a pocket for a filter although it does not come with one but people can buy their own filters and put in if they like …some people including myself can barely breathe without the filter so I don’t include one. It also is covered with black rhinestones it’s very nice quality and I have tons of five-star reviews from that product. I carry many different types of masks but that is by far my biggest seller I design many of my mask I have one that I created from a lovely picture that I have hanging and my living room it’s vintage I love vintage Victorian and the mask is very Victorian that I created from the picture I also use and offshore manufacturer overseas that mass produces the masks for me… I have several production partners, including India the Middle East, and others
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What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I have been truly blessed as I stated before I was a stay-at-home mom with 5 children. So my business ventures did not have to pay the mortgage or the utilities or the insurances or anything basically whatever money I made with my entrepreneurial ship or didn’t make it was basically mine to do with what I wanted so for me it’s basically been a fun Journey if it didn’t work why didn’t like it I just simply went on to something else I think also I’m an adult suffering of ADHD so my whole life I’ve gone from one business to the next one thing to the next but I must say the last 4 months have been the best of my business life the last four months that I’ve been selling on Etsy have definitely been the best financial wise and it’s so fun I loved every minute of it it is hard work yes I’m working for me and I’m actually making money so I love love love it!!
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
I use a really cool website that helps me in my Etsy business I’m going to become an affiliate for this website because it is awesome and I want to share it but again my entrepreneur mind is kicking in and thinking I could get a little money from sharing this website if I signed up to be an affiliate so I think I will and the next interview I will tell you guys the site it’s awesome!! I can see what my competitors are doing I can see how many sales they get per day and compare them to how many I get per day and compare what they’re doing that I’m not it’s awesome I also Market with Etsy which is a little expensive but it’s worth it when I get sales.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Try try and try again don’t give up! This is the winning formula!! Keep at it don’t get discouraged never stop looking for a business opportunity I tell my kids never stop looking for jobs always look for jobs doesn’t matter if you have a good job look for a better one so to me it’s a lifelong journey you never give up.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
SALES are always the biggest challenge.. it sorta likes a little squirrel his biggest challenge is the food he spends his whole life always looking for food because he knows that he cannot sustain life without it…Same with your business without sales (food) you cannot sustain the life of your business…You have to stick with it as long as you can, her help from others read all you can, see what others have done and try to copy that..and if that business does not work maybe move on to the next idea..there does have to be a stopping point if you are continuing to pour money into something that just is not working…
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
Again I like to have my finger on the pulse of what’s trending and sort of go from there I also offer a lovely Journal that’s doing okay right now but I do need to work on my SEO for that one.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
Yes! I ship my products all over and it makes me feel so good to think wow one of my products is in Argentina or France or Italy it’s such a cool feeling Etsy does all of my postage handling prices I usually do a dollar or so handling fee my little granddaughter who’s 4 and adorable and super super super smart helps me with my packaging I have a brand called designed by me and I have stickers that I put on my products she does the putting on of stickers for me and she does an awesome job so I have to pay her a little something!
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Marketing is the key element it doesn’t matter how great your product is it could be the best invention the world has ever seen in 2020 but if the world never sees it, it will sit dormant! Marketing is everything and in today’s society you can do a lot of free marketing on all of the social media Outlets from Twitter to LinkedIn Facebook Instagram… however I’m just a little old grandmother and I don’t even have most of those accounts …so for me I use Etsy and they do a pretty decent job.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Again stick with it don’t give up just keep trying I started an Etsy account about 6 years ago I never sold a single thing.. but I started a new account about 5 months ago back in June and I have sold over 700 items in that short time since June so that’s pretty awesome!!
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Money freedom pride in your accomplishments and being in a position to help others.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I think I answered this question in a previous question but basically, you should have time that you work on your business be at your Etsy shop or whatever it can consume you so you have to be careful my poor husband has been eating Chipotle and Cracker Barrel for dinner of late..got to do better.
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How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I’m always looking for more items that I can put in my shop.. as I stated early right now my black bling mask is my top seller but the mask won’t be around forever so I’m looking at other things that I can incorporate.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Good photos are definitely a positive thing that you need to set your shop up for success but I will grant you they are hard to come by, lighting and background are very important for success ..Allowing Etsy to give me all my money at once was kind of a bad thing because it through my shop in the negative and I don’t even like to see red numbers on my financial statement online!!