Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
I grew up in a household where most of my family members owned some form of their own business. My dad was a contractor and my mom did Mary Kay most of my childhood. I always knew eventually I would want to own my own business – but never really thought too far down that road. Fast forward to me at 24, working the front desk of a high-traffic Keller Williams office. I started noticing that there just wasn’t a whole lot in the way of graphic design for people who are just starting out. I started making the Facebook graphics for my office, which turned into some agents asking me to do that for their materials, which eventually turned into me working from home doing graphics and marketing. While I may have pulled back from the marketing aspect – I am still just as in love with creating things as I was when I started. I have branched out, my Etsy shop covers more than just graphics for businesses. However, the core values are still the same. A+ graphic and design without breaking your bank!
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
As a business owner, I thrive on organization and schedules. After a while of being in the working world, I started to take note of what my clients needed. Starting with a logo, working my way through client presentations, and ending with things like welcome and thank you gifts. When I work on designs, I really like to schedule out my days. For a new product, I typically pull from the surveys that former customers do. I find a product that has been requested frequently, I do market research on that product, and then I start designing. Sometimes I take a long way around, but it always pays off because by the time I’m ready to launch – I have covered all my bases!
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
For me, the biggest challenge always comes down to confidence. I can listen to all the talks in the world but at the end of the day – confidence is one of the only things that I can’t gain from numbers or sales. It’s an internal thing that needs to be worked on. So, I always try to remind customers and clients that if they are feeling self-conscious or lacking in confidence – it’s normal! You just need to be able to work through them. Personally, what really helps me is to have everything in order. Before I sit down to work, I do a few things that help me start off my day right! Simple things like making my bed, taking 30 minutes to drink coffee without interruptions, etc. Find what puts you in your “power mode” and dedicate some time to do those things!
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
When it comes to my business, I will never stop getting heart butterflies every time a customer reaches out about how much they love what I’ve helped them with. At the end of the day, my customers are the heart of my business and they will always remain the priority. Sure, sometimes that can also be the hardest thing about my business. There have been days where making my customers happy has buried my ability to sense when I need a break or even something simple like a snack. It’s not all the time, but I do my best to keep in touch with how I’m doing. I can’t help my clients if I can’t help myself!
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I’m a firm believer that if you fail – fail forward. The absolutely worst thing that you can do for your business is to let your failures dictate your success. I wish I had known that from the beginning. I often stumbled a lot harder than I needed to when I made small basic mistakes. I took it all to heart and that made it difficult for me to see through the fog in the beginning.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
I am notorious for my zig zag brainstorms! When I start one project, it’s very likely that 40 other projects are coming in right behind it. So, I started to compare my brainstorms with feedback from customers and clients. If something seems to jump out more than the others, then that is usually my next go-to!
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I learned 90% of what I know through experience. I just got out there and did it. I’m pretty good at being self-taught so it wasn’t a huge learning curve for me. After I started honing in on what I really wanted to do – I started signing up for lessons, online seminars, conventions, etc. The most important thing to remember – never stops learning! Most niches will belong to a field where new information is constantly becoming available. Don’t get stuck in a rut. If you notice a downslope in business, there is a good chance you need to update some stuff! Make sure you are offering newer trends, updated colors, up to date information, etc.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
With my Etsy shop – I’m lucky that my marketing gets to be pretty straightforward. Since I’m in the graphics niche – visual branding is highly important for me. Instagram and Pinterest are my best referral social media platforms, and it’s easy to guess why. They match up with my needs, visually. Then, I also use Etsy ads. There are many shops that do fine without ads, but in my experience- investing a little upfront really can help! Etsy Ads Tip: Wait to use ads until your listings are SEO ready. Using Etsy ads for a listing that isn’t SEO friendly is a quick way to lose your money before you’ve even really started making any.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
When it comes to running my online business, I have found that my need for organization and consistency is key to my success. I stick to a schedule, I stay organized, and I put in some extra work upfront to ensure a smooth operation down the line.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
My definition of success is like a revolving door. It’s meant different things at different times of my life. In my teens, success meant that I had this great outlet to express myself. In my early 20’s, I was successful when I was able to really go for the business – full out. In my early 20’s, I had this magic moment where it all clicked. My niche no longer felt contrived or against the grain. I didn’t struggle to find the energy to work, I didn’t over extend my brain by overthinking everything. Now, success means sanctuary in a chaotic world. My business serves as an emotional outlet, an income source, a way to bond with my community, a way to give back, a way to teach my daughter that if you don’t see something you won’t – create it.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
My day is managed with one word: routine. I LOVE a good routine, a repeatable routine. Routine to me doesn’t mean that my day is packed to the rim with the scheduled time. To me, a routine is something that I can commit to daily. And yes, that included making time for breaks and walks and meals.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I am lucky to be able to say I’ve seen amazing growth with my business. Coming from a marketing background, I jumped into Etsy fully understanding what it took to make it. I focused on SEO, I made sales goals, and I committed to being a resource for my community. The growth is just a bonus side effect.
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Thanks so much! These were very insightful questions.