Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Barbara Best, Owner of Lizzy B's Needle Art Supplies & Custom Picture Framing, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a needle art supply and custom picture framing shop. Our customers are people who love to create beautiful needle art, be it cross-stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, and many more types of stitching. Our framing customers can be anyone who wants to preserve and display something they love: from needle art to memorabilia, painting, prints, certificates, gifts, and more.
Tell us about yourself
I bought my business because it was my mom's favorite store, and it had closed due to the owner retiring without being able to find a buyer. It made my mom sad, and I couldn't have that; plus, I figured there were many other people who felt the same way about the store. I was right. It doesn't take much to motivate me to go to work because it is genuinely a fun place to be. For my customers, it is their 'happy place,' so everyone is in a good mood when they come into the store. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by such joy?
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Learning about the various needle arts. I didn't do any of them before buying the store (except a tiny bit of crochet), and it has been a lot of fun learning with lots of help and patience from my customers. On the framing end of things, I already did graphic art, so it has been great to be able to use my knowledge of color and design in a new way.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not buying every single item of inventory I see. There is so much nice stuff out there, and I would love to have all of it in the shop for my customers, but that's not realistic. It's frustrating not to have something a customer is looking for.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Do a lot of research about the expenses of running a business and about your market specifically.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'd like to thank all of the people who have made the decision to buy local and support your local small businesses. Without you, we all wouldn't be able to stay in business.
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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