Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Meyer, Founder of AndSundries, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
AndSundries is a handcrafted soap works; we handcraft soap, bath products, and candles from scratch in small batches for our local Cincinnati customers and beyond. We affectionately refer to AndSundries as 'my hobby that is wildly out of control'. Our gift shop and soap store in East Walnut Hills is stocked with our handcrafted soaps and gifts, from plushies and books to candles and pajamas. We offer complimentary giftware and ship throughout the USA and Canada to help our clients shop for gifts, self-care, and daily necessities. Our business has vertically integrated much of our production process. We now do contract apparel embroidery, direct-to-object printing, and custom white labeling, and we offer design services for our business-to-business clients as well as our core retail and wholesale lines. We are a sponsoring partner of our local farmers market and continue to support new soapmakers and candlers in the industry getting their start!
Tell us about yourself
I have an odd background. I'm an architect by trade, and I practiced for almost a decade on small to large-scale projects: from hotels to restaurants, schools to museums. I hold my professional license and continue to take on small design projects with clients. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), I learned the principles of design and started making soap as a functional hobby. I could use soap every day; it was an extension of my love of cooking and was a creative outlet. I quickly found that I could add one more ingredient and make one more new formula. Before I knew it, we made 200+ products in the store, and now we love fueling our growth and expanding our core line. I wake up every day with the joy of making: getting my hands into the process. I design, test, source, and make all of our products from start to finish.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Hiring my staff! I have a FANTASTIC staff that supports our stores daily and assists in the production of our products. It's been a joy to see our team grow. Some have left, but some have flourished and grown as we have expanded to help support our candle studio, our newest stores, and our other concepts.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Managing all the moving parts! From filing paperwork to customer service, we are often a jack of all trades in the early stages. I also do all of our graphics, so having attention to detail in all of our products is hyper-critical to our success.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Jump! Follow your passions, keep doing what feels right, and have a mission to guide your successes.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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