Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home decor but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana Albrecht, Founder and Owner of Apartment No.3, located in Tampa, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Apartment No.3 is a home decor goods and accessories brand. We offer pieces that truly transform your space, making it look and feel unique and beautiful. Our products are crafted with a lot of attention to detail and either hand-picked, curated, or designed and made exclusively for our shop.
Our customers are home decor enthusiasts who are looking for unique pieces to elevate their space and make their homes feel like home. They are looking for something special—something they can’t find anywhere else.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a ballet dancer pretty much all my life (since I was 3 and professionally since 16). At 18, I came to the US from my country Paraguay to pursue my dream of becoming a ballet dancer, and through a ballet Grand Prix competition in NYC, I got my first professional contract as a ballet dancer at the Washington Ballet in Washington DC. I then moved to dance for the Boston Ballet in Boston, MA, where I also got my Business Management degree at Northeastern University.
In 2017 I started to look at how to explore other passions of mine. I love to learn about cultures, I love home decor and design, and as I was finishing school, I started to develop this drive to have my own business. I began to develop a few ideas and designs of products I wanted to make, and with the help of my father in Paraguay, we decided to collaborate with artisans in my country and create a line of products that blended traditional crafting techniques with modern design. We work directly with artisans, which is one of the most important parts of my business.
I have now expanded my line of products, created my own designs, and collaborated with artisans from different parts of the world. I love learning about the story and tradition behind each crafting technique. At the same time, we aim to help artisans who need their products to gain exposure and recognition beyond local markets.
Being an entrepreneur is extremely inspiring and fulfilling. I am in charge of sourcing goods, marketing, and every aspect of the business, so there is always something new to do, some new to learn, to explore, and something to get better at. I like to keep myself busy and continuously evolving and growing and being surprised by the things that can be accomplished with hard work. That is what motivates me the most.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Independence. Being able to be my own boss while still having fun, being creative, and creating something that is self-sustaining.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things when it comes to being a business owner is dealing with the unknown. Every day is different and presents you with new challenges and situations that you’ll have to manage, even if you thought you were prepared and covered every detail, there will always be hurdles to overcome.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be curious, and learn as much as you can about the product/service you wish to sell, who your customers are, how you will market your product or service, and how much that will cost you.
- Start small, find a winning product, and scale.
- The winning formula: find the right product/service, make sure the quality is good, and price it correctly.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot as many times as necessary. It is better to realize when to pivot and take action than to lose time.
- Be consistent, show up every day with determination, and work hard for what you want. Do not give up!
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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