Who are you?
Mine is an online business. Specialising in hand made and machine made applique to either iron on or sew on. (largest in the online market..on ebay anyway!) I also sell range of jewellery and wine glass glass charms.
Why Did you start your business?
I started my business as I was no longer able to work outside the home. I started after I met some people who were selling on ebay. I thought if they can do it with limited retail, marketing knowledge or computer skills I could do it too. That was my motivation I had all those skills so online selling was going to suit me perfectly.
I love mickey mouse so i started by selling my old mickey clothes then i decided to source and sell only mickey mouse products. I came across someone selling mickey iron on appliques and thought they looked like fun. I started buying more appliques of all different varieties and my mum wanted something to do so she started making them for me. It snowballed into a full time business and I just kept expanding my range into other products such as jewellery, wine charms and some clothing which all complimented each other.
What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a business, my initial aim was to be able to pay for a holiday to Hong Kong I thought it would take two years but it only took 3 months and I was away.
In the past 10 years i have been able to finance at least one trip overseas every year last one being a trip to Disneyland which included a chance meeting with Mickey and his friends.
I have also been able to purchased two new cars.
This business turned my life around as I was feeling like I couldn't do anything anymore after having been and active working person.
What makes your business unique?
What makes my business unique is the interesting product range that i have put together. I worked on the model that if I could get people to go the store for one item they would probably look at the whole store. If I gave good service they would be back.
I have a lot of return customers so I am constantly adding new items and quickly clearing those that don't sell. I like to make it a fun place to shop. I constantly try and give the customer a new shopping experience each time they come by varying up the items for sale.
I pride myself on customer service. Without customer service you have nothing. I treat everyone the same whether they spend $1.00 or $100 dollars. I also aim to post out within 24 hours of receiving an order.
Communication and honesty is also the key. I keep the customer informed about their orders. If I have made a mistake I never make excuses but let them know the truth.
I reward customers by offering free postage when a certain amount is spent. I often include surprises with orders.
NOTHING PLEASES ME MORE THEN A HAPPY CUSTOMER!
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
Biggest mistake..Hmmm..Stock control I can't help myself when it comes to buying items to sell..
The most important thing however is not to over invest on what you think is a sure thing.. test the waters in some way first..
If you you buy a dud line don't dwell on it just keep dropping the price until you are cleared of it. If you can't clear it donate it to a charity..You need to be surrounded by positive energy not dead stock.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
My company started as a small online business with the goal being a trip to Hong Kong. After that I just wanted to have a business that I could be proud of and make customers happy.
I am happy that I have something positive and rewarding to spend my time on...in between holidays of course.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
To start your own business.
1. Find an area that you enjoy or encompasses your skills.
2. Research that area to see if it is already out there. If it is you need to have a plan to stand out from the rest.
3. You need to live by the motto "hard work never killed anybody" and give it your all. If you can't give 110% than don't bother starting.