Valery started her handmade business after a friend suggested she start selling her baby blankets after she had been making them for years. She's gone on to quit her corporate job to work on Sun 7 Designs full time and has been featured on several websites with glowing reviews. We asked her a few questions about running her own handmade business and how she's making it a success.
What type of handmade products do you make?
I custom design unique one-of-a-kind personalized baby blankets.
How did you make the transition from working on your business part-time to full-time?
It was a difficult decision to move from running a part-time business while working in the corporate world to full-time but it came down to doing what I love. I wanted my business to be my number one priority and in order for it to succeed I had to give it 100% of my time and commitment. It really came down to making the decision to spend each day doing what I love to do and I’ve never looked back.
What have you found to be most beneficial in growing your business?
By far, customer referrals are my biggest piece of the pie in terms of selling my blankets. Almost all of my customers come back for more; either because of their child’s response to the blanket, or the special compliments the blanket gets at the baby shower.
What have you found to be the most difficult part of growing your business?
The most difficult part for me is getting my name out there! I have spent many hours networking and marketing and getting my product into the hands of people who can promote my blankets.
You’ve been featured by quite a few businesses and websites, what’s your advice to other handmade businesses who want to be written about?
Contact as many people that would relate to your product as you can. Offer samples, giveaways, discounts and networking opportunities.
How important has social media been to the growth of your business and how have you grown that side of your business?
Social media has helped me grow my business at a much faster rate than I ever would have thought possible. I have worked hard to grown my Facebook page, become a member of various networking websites, as well as set up profiles on LinedIn, Twitter, Google, Google Plus, 411, Yellow Pages etc.
Unfortunately, rejection is a part of any business, what’s your advice to dealing with it and moving forward?
This is the hardest part for me as, like most women, I take things far too personally. I am still learning to continue to move forward when someone or something gets me down. Tomorrow is another day and other opportunities are always waiting.
How do you motivate yourself on the days you feel like you just can’t get going?
You don’t have to be on top of your game every single day, but on the days that I need that extra inspiration, I remember why I chose this business and creating something special for someone always gets me in the mood to work harder.
What are your least favorite and favorite parts about working for yourself?
To be honest, I don’t have a least favorite part of working for myself other than If I want to take a vacation, I have to schedule orders to be completed before I leave or tell people that they will be completed once I am back. My favorite part is setting my own hours, working from home on those cold winter days when you don’t want to leave the house and sometimes, working in my pajamas!
What’s one thing you wish you knew when starting your business that you know now?
How extremely hard it is to get your name out there. I spend 1-2 hours a day just on marketing and networking my business.
To purchase one of Sun 7 Designs blankets or connect with Valery, check out their website, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+