Now let's get to know Karly, and learn about the success of Shine box Primitives!
*Some of the amazing handmade product you can find at Shine Box Primitives*
I wish I could say that I strategically planned out every aspect of my business, however that's not the case. About 9 years ago, I got a diagnosis of a chronic auto immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. AS can cause spinal fusion and chronic pain. At that time, I had been working in the medical field for most of my adult life. I thought that would be my line of work forever, however my body had other plans for me. I could no longer work a 12 hour shift schedule due to the progression of my disease and all the physical pain and discomfort I was feeling on a daily basis. At that point in my life I knew that I needed "something" financially and emotionally, but I wasn't sure what that was yet. There was a void there that I couldn't put my finger on.
I met my fiancé Jim about 6 years ago, and quickly realized that he also had aspirations of creating "something" too. After a few years together, Jim started tinkering around with making items out of reclaimed wood in his spare time. Neither one of us took the hobby very seriously at first. Honestly it took the overwhelming support of family and friends for us to even begin to have any confidence in our finished products. As we began seeing the positive feedback from pieces made for acquaintances, the idea of a shop of our own began to form. Even though the woodworking kept us busy, there was an element missing. I have always had a love of bold colors and all things shiny and flashy. I was searching online for materials to incorporate into our products when I came across the vast possibilities of decorating with cast iron. After experimenting with different ways of painting and re finishing it, our style of rustic and aged, yet colorful and bold was realized. I had an overwhelming feeling that we were on to something that could possibly be profitable. In late August of 2015, we made a blind move on to Etsy and Shine Box Primitives was born. We had no idea if we would fail or fly. It was truly a leap of faith, with a lot of "what if's?"
2.) How did Flourish help you on your road to success?
I had absolutely no idea how to run a small business. What I did know, was that with my physical condition progressing, somehow this shop needed to work out for us. Our shop was not booming right off the bat. I knew I needed guidance with this journey. After being open on Etsy only 2 months, I started looking for help on Facebook when I found Flourish. It wasn't very long after joining that I knew that Flourish was exactly where I needed to be. I began devoting most of my time to watching expert videos and reading files about photography, branding, basic business and A LOT of time on tweaking my SEO. Each time I implemented a piece of advice from a Flourish expert, Sarah Sewell or a seasoned shop owner, I saw improvement. I began watching my stats climb higher and higher and regular daily sales became the normal. Only a few months after opening, by Christmas of 2015, Jim and I were both working on orders full time. Flourish changed our lives through education. The vast bank of information in the program and overall support system from fellow shop owners is priceless. You just can't find a better guidance program for small business!
3.) Your success is very inspiring; what advice can you offer to other handmade sellers that are looking to launch their own business?
Do not just open your shop one day on a whim! Plan a grand opening, seek out advice and support BEFORE you launch your business! Take your time forming your brand, researching your target market. Find out WHO your customers are! They are your people! You will not be everyone's cup of tea and that's okay! Build an email list and a Facebook group of supporters before your shop opens, so you have an audience to advertise your creations to. Support other handmade sellers and share your good experiences with their products. Most are more than happy to return the favor! Most of all, believe in yourself and your abilities. Be grateful for your "wins" however small, and celebrate them openly. Remember that remaining positive is so important for maintaining momentum in your business. You really can do literally anything you set your mind to.
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