After over three years of blogging, I’m finally taking a week off. I’ll still have posts going up this week, but I am going as “unplugged” as possible. I decided to bring in a few of my business-savvy friends to share some words of wisdom with all of my entrepreneurial readers out there. I know many of you enjoyed the business series I posted a while ago and add to here and there, so I thought it would be nice to add some stories and advice from other successful creative business owners.
Of course I had to ask Karen, aka The Graphics Fairy to share her knowledge. She is super savvy, super successful and she’s been mentioned in dozens of crafting/decor magazines and hundreds (maybe thousands) of blogs. She’s the kind of girl who knows what to do with a good idea! Karen is also so generous with her knowledge and she’s been such an encouragement to me through the growth of my business. Her words have been so valuable to me and I know they will be to you as well.
Hi everyone my name is Karen and I blog at The Graphics Fairy. Marian
asked me to guest post here today and share my business story, while
she’s on a much needed vacation!
antique/home furnishings dealer for 20 years and I was at Lucketts Store for
the last 10 years. I’ve also been blogging for about six years. At one time I
also had a bath and body business, and for a while I had a website where
I sold supplies for shabby furniture projects. I’ve sold things just
about every way possible over the years… I sold through mail order via trade
publications, through eBay (I was a power seller), through Etsy, I sold in antique malls and through shows and barn sales. I’ve sold
wholesale to shops too. Phew, it’s making me tired just thinking about it I’ll
few tips to share with you that I hope will help you out with your own
businesses or for those of you that aspire to be in business for
sounds cliché and you probably heard it plenty of times before, but it
really is so important to love what you do. You need to love it so much
that you would do it whether you got paid for it or not because it might
be well before you make any money at it. And you going to need that
passion to sustain you and keep you motivated. Running a business
requires a huge amount of time but if you love what you’re doing it
won’t feel like work.
business not a hobby. That means you want to set things up legally as a
business. And you want to treat your business as a business. It’s
tempting to go to auction and buy some gorgeous
pieces and then want to keep the best things for yourself. If you want a
thriving business you need to sell your best pieces. There’s a lot of
competition out there and you’ll want to stand out. Also, keep your business money separate from your personal money, it’s a slippery slope when you start buying personal items with the money in your business checking account. You business funds are for your business, don’t deplete them on that adorable pair of shoes that you saw at the mall! When you business grows, you’ll be able to pay yourself more, then you can get those shoes and it will feel great!!
change as your business grows. You’ll need to keep changing in order
to keep up. That’s just the nature of business. When I first started
selling antiques and vintage things, Golden Oak furniture was all the rage,
and if you wanted to sell via mail order you did it through trade
magazines and newspapers. We’ve come a long way since those days! And remember
when MySpace was hot? And just over a year ago most of us hadn’t heard
of Pinterest. See what I mean? Things change rapidly, and you’ll need to
keep up or you business will get left behind!
in yourself. Sometimes the people you think will be the most supportive
aren’t, Friends and family members will often try to talk you out of
going into business for yourself, but if you think you can… then you
probably can… and that’s what’s most important!
your tribe. Find some like-minded people that you can bounce ideas off
of, go to for support, or ask for constructive criticism. Motivational
speaker Jim Ron says “you are the average of the five people you spend
the most time with ” so surround yourself with people that will support
you and keep you motivated.
business is growing. Take some classes either online or locally, attend
conferences, and/or read books, or blogs, that pertain to your niche or area of business.
Whether it’s painting and sewing techniques, or bookkeeping and social
media , there’s lots to choose from, to help you stay competitive.
excited about the creative part,but you need the business part too, to
be successful. Think of it this way, the more successful your business is, the more creative you’ll get to be, as the demand for your wares/services increases!