Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erica Campbell, Founder of Be A Heart, located in San Antonio, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is called Be A Heart - a lifestyle brand that creates products that share hope & light. Our main customers are Catholic women between the ages of 25 and 40 who are seeking ways to live their faith in their modern lives.
Tell us about yourself
Originally Be A Heart was my blog when I was volunteering in Brazil for two years right out of college. After moving back to the States, it was difficult to adjust to life as a young woman in New York City. I was struggling to figure out where to work and what to do with my life. At the same time, I was personally going through a time of darkness and was using alcohol to medicate my anxiety and depression. Eventually, I needed to get sober, and through that, I needed something to manage my anxiety in a healthier way.
I started teaching myself how to do calligraphy and would share my practice on Instagram as it was becoming more and more popular. I would share my spiritual journey, sobriety journey, and calligraphy journey. People started asking me to make their logos and wedding invitations, and I turned Be A Heart into a business. I moved to Los Angeles and met some great people, and my calligraphy business began to grow.
I loved to teach classes and was doing work for some big A-list celebrities. I was also continually learning new things in design - how to illustrate and do digital design work. I started designing products for companies, but ultimately I always wanted to design my own things. As I was getting married and we were starting a family, I decided that I would focus on my own designs, and Be A Heart became primarily a product-based business. These products came from my own spiritual life, and I was making things that I wanted to use in my own home.
I continue to do what I am doing because of the stories that we receive from many women who tell us that our products help them introduce the love of God to their children and to experience a loving, merciful God for themselves.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The whole business is such an accomplishment for me. My degree is in sociology. I never knew anyone who owned a business and had no idea what I was doing. I am so proud of where I have gotten as I continue to always learn new things. And I am very proud that it not only provides for my own family but provides work for many other women (many who are mothers) and their families.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is that it never really shuts off. There is a lot of pressure - like in 2022 when sales were down, and we had budgeted for growth. It was a lot of stress to make sure all bills got paid and that we could continue.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Wear as many hats as you can in the beginning so that you know how things work, and then hire out quickly. I tried to do it alone for far too long and realize now that with more help, there are more ways to grow.
- Share authentically - people will relate to you and be bought into your mission.
- Seek other people who you can talk to about the difficulties of business owning and also the joys.
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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