[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Sirenablu
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Sirenablu-doo-1418859221667447[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I deal with making costumes for children and adults which are intended for occasional events for example Halloween, Christmas, Birthday party, stage performance and etc. I live in city Rijeka (Croatia) which sticks to traditional commemoration internationally carnival and here I was started with the making carnival costumes for carnival processions. That thrilled me because that was the time to enter the world of imagination and in this way, world imagination was pretended in reality and each person could one day be what it wants ie. Some characters from favorite stories, film or become some animals or its pet. My basic motive for making costumes was that I was making something with which people will be happy and relaxed. I am making costumes for 20 years. I was started in my home area of Croatia and after that, I wanted to expand my job on a foreign market and I was started selling my products on webshop Etsy.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
I was created each costume complete from idea to elaboration model according to the operations of making, making a cut and tailoring, selections of material, making a prototype, and making a cute in all confection sizes. Since we are a small company I participate as needed in all stages of productions, packing, and shipping products. When I was making a prototype with which I am satisfied and I am wanting present it on market I take photos than on the doll and it publishes on my Etsy profile company Sirenablu d.o.o. and add a detailed description of the product. On inquiries of the buyer, I am answering in the time period the longest 12 hours (because of time differences), If the buyer wants I open custom order for its according to its desire and I am shipping my products in 1-3 days.
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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 sellers’ products vary from year to year. My first best sellers product was costume Oompa Loompa, then Mushroom costume with dots and costumes of family Flintstone. The type of material depends on the model by costume which I am making. I always chose quality materials that allow the costumes to use for a long time. Most costumes were making by material microfiber and sponge but I use too material; cotton, viscose, satin, jersey, fur, etc. The products I design on the way that they will be visually appealing with a lot of details and what more reality. Most costumes are padded with a sponge that costume can get a volume and 3d dimension. Costume Oompa Loompa has a blouse, pants, and shoes which cover your shoe. The lower part of the pants, collar, and cuff of the blouse was made of brown-white patchwork in the form of strips made of material microfiber. Shoes were padded with a sponge that gives them a volume and they are covering your shoes and they are decorated with white wooden pompoms. Pants were made by white material microfiber with suspenders and big side pockets which give the volume of pants. The blouse was made of brown material microfiber and it is decorated with brown-white patchwork on the collar and cuff. Costume Oompa Loompa I was started making after one inquiry American buyer which send me the original photo character of the story and asked me do I can make this costume and I was making a costume as convincing a picture as possible.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
It makes me happiest when my buyers are satisfied with the made costumes and when they send me a photo in which they are masked in our costume with a big smile on their faces. The hardest part of my job is that all costumes must be made in the shortest time interval how would buyers get its item as soon as possible and their situations are stressful for me. I am working on big strategy and organizations and I minimalize things which aren’t of essential.
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 am selling costumes for children and adults and I get buyers via promotion on Etsy. I tend to increase my sale with promotion on social media networks on other media. I am satisfied with my results which I was achieved in work on Etsy.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Yes, I believe that online business is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur because you can have buyers from the whole world and you can always find a buyer who was interested in my costumes. My formula for success is that in each moment I adjust to the maximum my buyer and his desire and needs. And that I made a costume as attractive as possible.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
In many years of practice of making costumes, my hardest moment is the situation when I can’t on my job loss due to external conditions that I cannot influence. In their moments I am changing the offer of products and turned to new products which were adapted to the new situation or I have launched a new way of advertising or selling my products and I aspire to new things always. At this moment my biggest challenge which I must confront is how to stay in the job market despite all changes.
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?
When I design new costumes I usually get ideas from daily life events or I am inspired sometimes with some films or story form books. My creativity comes from connecting with nature and by looking at nature and stay relax in my mind and body. When I am wanting to make some, I am thinking about, and in daily life activity, I get some situations in which I get an idea when I can design a new costume.
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 am selling my products internationally on Etsy. The price of shipping is expensive but I can’t something change in that case. The average time of shipping my items for Europa is 3-5 business days and for America 8-10 business days. Yes, I use free shipping for my items because buyers rather buy products with free shipping than products with additional costs of shipping. I am packing my items in a nylon bag and I am squeezing out air from the bag and then I thermally welded it because it is the safest packing that products aren’t be damaged.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Key element online business to make you think product which is needed your buyers and that this product is making quality. The product must be original and its shipping must be fast and effective. Pictures that present a product must be an authentic product that the customer will receive after ordering. Communication between buyer and seller should be fast and fair.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
My advice to other entrepreneurs which just entering in online business is that they make sense product in which they firmly believe that it is good and that they explore which is their target group of buyers to whom just that product needed and that they find the way how they can be connected with their future buyers and that they will be very corrected in their job.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
My personal definition of business success is creativity, innovation, and the ability to adapt to a new situation in the shortest possible time interval. For me, success is when I am satisfied with what I do and when I can fully express myself creatively and be what I am, and enjoy the freedom of my creativity.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
My daily work is completely different every day. There is not much routine here because I am working on what is needed that day. I firstly writing orders of buyers which arrive and I am sorting it in groups for making then I am working a plan for that working day. The first phase of making a costume is tailoring, then sewing, hand finishing products and decorating, ironing, packing and making documents for shipping items, and of course communication with my buyers in the inbox on Etsy if you it is needed and deliver items courier office for shipping. I balance business and family life according to needs and I divide the day on business and family part of the day and I am trying that no part is neglected.
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How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
Grow my business on Etsy I expanded with new and various costumes and with making other products with manual finishing which will be intended for widespread use. The biggest impact on my profitability is that I am making as many different products as possible in the shortest possible time interval.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
To achieve the greatest possible success in their business on Etsy I am expanded my offer in the category of cheaper or simpler costumes and more demanding costumes at a higher price. Through long-term work, I am learning in a harder way that I should always be at the service of buyers regardless of the effort invested. My negative and at the same time positive experience was when buyers search of me some specific costume that I had never heard of before, so I didn’t even know how to make it, but I embarked on this project and I was making costume according to her picture. For making a costume I should a lot of time and effort, but in the end, this costume was sold well on my webshop to my great enthusiasm.