Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home decor but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ilene Miller, Founder of Azalea Cottage, located in New York, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cleaning up your home is easy and fun! I write Shopping Guides and offer Styling Tips while allowing you to shop by your values (non-toxic, sustainable, vegan). You can also read my honest product reviews for my opinion on popular products.

My customers are individuals who are interested in leading a "clean" life while making changes and purchasing products to help them get to where they want to be. Whether it is home decor, clothing, or food, my customers have the desire to partake in the change necessary to help themselves, their families, and the environment to have a more cohesive and healthy environment. These individuals range from young to older, along with being in different socioeconomic levels. My product reviews encompass different categories and price points to assist individuals in making a change they feel comfortable with.

Tell us about yourself

I have always been interested in helping the planet for our future and the future of the next generations. Not only the environment but ensuring that people take care of themselves and to be aware that what they put on their bodies, or in their bodies, or the material that they wear, sit on, or sleep on is critical to the health of each person. Every day, I am motivated to spread the word and make the world a better place, one moment at a time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the decision to start this business and receive an amazing amount of gratitude and overwhelmingly positive feedback from individuals as well as companies. It has been so much more than I could have imagined.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things with being a business owner is building a client base. Many people are on the fence, and until they take that leap of faith to change things around in their life, it can take a substantial amount of time. Everyone works on a different timeline, so one needs to be patient, understanding, and respectful. Listening is a key aspect to ensure that people feel heard and validated. This rings true, especially when I am hired for interior decorating.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Research, research, research. Make sure the business you decide to start has everything you need to ensure longevity.
  2. Look at your competition before diving into starting a business.
  3. Make sure you sit down and write a detailed plan from the financial piece to the responsibilities to the type of individuals you would like to employ (if you are looking for specific characteristics, experience, education, and overall work ethic and personality).

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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