Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
We designed Magidome geodesic dome connectors to help people build amazing versatile geodesic domes affordably! Originally designed to upgrade the living situations of those experiencing homelessness, Magidomes are great for building mini yurts, greenhouses, and amazing spaces!
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
We spend a lot of time making sure the customers feel cared for and respected. We strive to provide affordable quick shipping and timely response to any of our customers! We mostly rely on Etsy as it is such a great platform and there’s next to no head games or hassles involved.
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?
We sell one product! Our Magidome connectors that allow you to build a versatile dome that fits your needs. We designed it on a cad program and have them inject molded for durability affordability. Magidome connectors don’t need fancy angles or carpentry skills. We try to make our product as simple and accessible as possible! Want a larger dome, simply use longer lumber! Simply cut to size, predrill and screw together!
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
Meeting amazing people and helping them achieve creative goals in their lives. Magidomes have been a part of weddings, gardens, hospitals, housing projects, and art installations! The hardest part is navigating paperwork and expenses. Small business can be taxing and exhausting at times.
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?
We advertise on all the major platforms and work to expand our brand awareness. Etsy however has been simple and rewarding from a small business standpoint. We don’t enjoy navigating e-commerce, but rather corresponding with cool people from around the world interested in building awesome things!
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Be kind, patient, and understanding with yourself and others. If there are profits to be made, they should be done so in a sustainable and humble fashion. Many people see e-commerce as a passive income dream. From my experience, our business is work, love, and growth, and anything but passive! The fulfillment however keeps the process worthwhile!
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
When everything business-wise was a cool plate and we were operational there was a bit of a low. It had consumed so much of our lives that there was a void to be filled. Now we manage our energy and expectation and balance with self-care practices to ensure longevity and passion in our work: life balance.
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?
I am inspired by helping people solve problems affordably. I feel more empowered helping someone complete a project than I do with the monetary gain. It’s the connection with others that makes life richer, money is useful but is not the same as the wealth of feeling useful and serving others. For our creative work, we make sure to leave space between our expectations and goals and let everything breathe. Yes, our growth is perhaps delayed, however, when it comes it will be managed in a grounded happy manner!
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?
Shipping is often the most expensive part of e-commerce. There are sometimes we make little in a transaction due to the high cost. For branding purposes, it’s always worth it and feels great to share our design with others. We always opt for fast air delivery with tracking when applicable. It takes from our profit but builds consumer trust and makes for less stress down the road!
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Being patient and humble are the key elements of running a business. One must be doing it for the right reasons. Otherwise, the customer experience and the service will lack. This compounds and eventually the brand has no heart and soul. I must also say that grassroots branding is more powerful than many suggest. In a world where advertisements and commercials now seamlessly blend in with the content on most platforms, being a genuine voice for a product and company goes a long way. Of course, there will always be trolls and those who try to knock you down. That’s a given in this online world. I am someone who wanted to make some magic in the world and share it. Luckily my partner has been along my side the whole time through all the hurdles! We live simply and strive for little more in life than to enjoy every day to its full. If Magidomes can help others do so as well in some small way then I would say it’s a success.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Stay balanced. Be kind to yourself and those you meet along the way. Try to keep a sense of humor whenever possible!
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Success for me changes as I age. Money is currency but does not equate to wealth. Wealth for me is the feeling you get when you have community, health, purpose, and fun exploration. If I can bring that richness into my life and have Magidome help sustain and increase those factors then I am successful. When it becomes a task, a ladder to climb, or too serious is when I would say the business is failing.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
After work, we check our sales, pack our boxes, answer emails, and head to the post office.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
At this point, we are letting the business stay on autopilot. The energy it took to create Magidomes was intense and took 6 months of 80 hour work weeks. We are happy to make any sale, and if more come then great!
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
We made our profile and images clear to understand and attractive. We are grassroots through and through. Conveying that you are a human and care about your customers is key.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Take care of yourself. No business is worth it if it brings you stress or steals your personal time. They can always print more money but they can’t print time. So use it wisely and remember what’s important to you on a personal level.