Business Women’s Day

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The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) was founded on September 22, 1949 “to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership; education, networking support and national recognition.”

Here at Etsy Christmas in July we want to know what advice,resources and knowledge you would give to women starting out in the business world?

Savannah Griffith from RareRusticCrafts says:

First and foremost, my advice would be to manage your time well. I see too many fellow lady entrepreneurs get totally overwhelmed by the amount of work and fizzle out before they get to the good stuff. There are a lot of great self-help books and blogs to help you manage your time well. I’m particularly fond of Laura Vanderkam. She provides some great insight and it’s very easy to take the information and mold it so that it fits your own life.

The second would be to buy The Small Business Bible by Steven Strauss. It’s structured perfectly so that you can go through the book and write down everything that you need to get done to get your business up and running. He covers everything from licensing to taxes. This book really helped me get my jumble of thoughts organized so that I could move forward productively. I read the entire book before I made any moves, and it made the whole process of getting started so much easier.

Lastly, make time for yourself and your family always. It is so easy to get caught up in your business and forget about the important things. There was a time in my life where all I focused on was my business, and weeks would go by without any quality time spent with my loved ones. We go into business so that we can have freedom to live the lives we want. Never forget the bigger picture, and that there is always time to check one more thing off your to-do list tomorrow, but your loved ones can disappear from your life without a seconds notice.

 

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop states:

Before you start, ask yourself if this is what you REALLY want to do. If the honest, heartfelt answer is “Yes!” then go ahead.

Later on, when you get the bad times, the obstacles, the negative people, none of that will matter because deep inside you is the memory of that “Yes!” to keep you going.

Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads discusses:

I so agree with both postings!! I have fallen into the trap of forgetting the bigger picture too many times. I never want to forget what is the most important in life – and though I love my store, that is not where it is at – family is always more important. TAKE THE TIME – while you’ve got the time.

I wish I had started with more of a plan, but I did not – and that is why reading the advice of others who either had a great plan that worked helps, and also those that have failed – sometimes more than once – but picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and started again! It is all in the outlook and attitude! You cannot expect others to support your dream – you have to support your own dream and just be happy if someone else also does.

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#EtsyCIJBusinessExpo – RareRusticCrafts

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#EtsyCIJBusinessExpo – RareRusticCrafts

 

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1. What item in your shop drives your Etsy business and what makes it special?

Coconut Sea Salt Hair Spritz

Our best seller on Etsy is our Coconut Sea Salt Hair Spritz. There are lots of different sea salt sprays on the market, and certainly plenty variations in grocery stores and drug stores. We really wanted ours to be stellar, and not just because we make it ourselves. I had worked with a hairstylist and makeup artist in the Buffalo area (Elizabeth Dugan) on other projects, and I decided to get in touch with her and see if she could test out the products and offer her feedback. She’s well-known in our area and has a great reputation with customers in our market (this is so helpful when I’m selling locally). I designed the formula and sent it to her, and she was able to use it on some of her clients and give me a lot of great feedback so that I could really perfect the formula. It’s important to me that our products are perfect, and I really think we achieved that with the Sea Salt Spray, and it shows in the sales for it.

2. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I really want to work on boosting our online sales in 2016. I’ve been in business for 3 years; the first year our sales came from in home parties, the second year came from Etsy sales, and this year our sales are coming from big local markets. As we move into 2016, I want to manage my schedule better so that I can boost sales in all three avenues at the same time. I think part of my uptick in online sales last year was due to my participation in Etsy teams, so I’ve worked Team participation back into my schedule. I’m trying to get a head start on my goals for next year.

3.How have your peers influenced your work?

I work as a freelance Graphic Designer, so between that career and my soap business, I’ve met a lot of other women locally who are also entrepreneurs. I have two friends that are photographers and graphic designers at Onion Studio in Buffalo. We’ve been friends for a long time, and they started their business in 2007. They were really the driving force that gave me the confidence to go out on my own and start my business. I’m inspired by the other Buffalo women who work to make their businesses thrive while managing second jobs or families (or both!). We have a great network in Buffalo and it really helps me stay motivated, even when I’m feeling worn down.

4. What business class(es) have you taken that have impacted your business?

I’m mostly self-taught. My degree is in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. We learned a lot about the freelance world which helped me get a baseline for myself. I worked in Customer Service for a while and got myself into a small manufacturer where I picked up the other skills I needed like Purchasing and Accounting. Those jobs really helped me to structure my business model and become a better contact for my customers. I follow a lot of newsletters and blogs like Handmade Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc, Freelancers Union, Fast Company and Marie Forleo to help me fine tune skills like time management, balancing home and work life, setting up a home office, and more hands on skills like taxes. I also spend a lot of time doing research on subjects I struggle in. I spend a lot of time on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website, as well as at the library researching skin care and the ingredients I want to use in my products. I use Lynda.com to fill in the gaps on any software training I might need.

5. Have you achieved Brand Awareness?

In my community in Buffalo, I am finally starting to generate some repeat business and a solid brand identity. I’d like to broaden this reach online and get a niche following. For now, we have that kind of relationship with our customers in Buffalo.

6. What is one unique idea you came up with to market your business?

I can honestly say that I don’t feel like any of my marketing techniques are totally unique to me. We do most of our local marketing at the markets and through our community on Facebook. Our website does a lot of legwork for us too.

7. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RareRusticCrafts

Instagram: instagram.com/rarerusticcrafts/

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/RareRusticCrafts?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/RareRusticCraft/

or on our website at www.RareRusticCrafts.com. Our blog is managed directly on our website.