Starting my own business has always been in my blood (at least I think so anyway). My maternal grandfather owned his own carpentry company and did rather well- well enough to support a wife and three daughters. My dad is always coming up with interesting ideas on how we can make money doing something interesting and fun. My aunt (Dad’s sister) is a successful “E-Bayer”.
Beside’s being born with this gene to do your own thing, I was an only child. I played by myself a lot, and grew up doing my own thing my own way on my own time. The longest job I’ve held was 2.5 years, with a 6 month break to stay home with my youngest son. Since my first job at McDonalds, I’ve found each job working for ‘the man’ monotonous, and pretty rediculous. Every shift I worked I felt like a robot doing something totally useless and mindless. I’ve always had this feeling that I wasn’t doing anything to better the world, yet have always had the desire to do so.
Now, I’m not saying that making jewelry, and other unique crafty items is world altering, but I believe in my heart that you do what you can to make the world a better place. With such a horrible economy these days (all over the world), and banks going under (or taking total advantage of the ‘goodness’ of our government’s help), it seems that some people are starting to grasp the BIGGER picture. Well, the small bigger picture. Buy handcrafted American made goods from your small and local businesses instead of these big box stores so that when you want to buy those ‘things’ you’re getting quality goods AND you’re supporting your neighbors. This is what America was built on.
Since I’ve become an adult, started my own family, and am paying my own bills, I can see how expensive it can be to eat healthy, buy American made, and purchase from small businesses. However, I’ve also seen how much more quality and value there is in paying MORE for the healthy foods, the American made products, and the handcrafted items from small businesses. Maybe this is because I now own my own small business, or maybe this is because I want the best possible for my three young children and their future.
Before I started my own business in the middle of 2010, I rarely bought local. I thought WalMart was just about the only place to get ANYTHING. My husband was even worse than I! He’s still in the habit of heading over to Walmart first instead of the local grocery store, even though Wegmans is closer than Walmart. Weird, huh? Lord knows Wegmans is a successful running (and growing) grocery store company. How do you think it became so successful? GREAT customer service, and people who ‘got it’; the people who believed in supporting their local small businesses. Even though Wegmans has over 40 stores from Maine to Virginia, they still have GREAT customer service, and they still buy local fruits and veggies. Love it!
When you own a small business (like yours truly) you HAVE to have welcoming, and warm hearted customer service. Otherwise your business will not be a success. I gurantee that. However, I do owe some of these excellent customer service skills to all of the jobs I had prior to owning my own business. Without all of the customer service experience I’ve had in my working life I bet you I would not have a successful and/0r growing business.
Some days are harder than others, and I do get discouraged, but I really want to keep up the pace. My hopes for 2012 are as follows, but certainly aren’t limited to:
-Start a fabulously unique beaded womans watch collection, and a mens leather cuff watch collection;
-Double my sales from 2011;
-Do one big art festival;
-Expand my customer following;
-spend more of my making paper goods.
Thanks for reading!