Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heather Fox, founder of ELA Creative, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I create one-of-a-kind vinyl decals, specializing in custom orders. I offer both adhesive and iron-on decals, allowing people to add their own touch to their special occasions, gifts, home organizing, and more. My customers are those who want to make something special and one of a kind for a gift or to add their own flair to their celebrations. I work with moms, brides-to-be, wedding and party planners, other small business owners, and so much more!
Tell us about yourself
I started ELA Creative hoping to add a bit of income to our household as I was a stay-at-home mom then. It allowed me to work around taking care of the children, which was very important to me. I love coming up with new designs and ideas and sharing those with others. I really enjoy making custom orders and working with someone to bring their unique idea to fruition. Seeing the photos of their successful events or gifts is so satisfying and keeps me wanting to offer my services to those who look for them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Turning a profit almost immediately and becoming one of the top sellers on Etsy. This has motivated me to create my own site and expand my products to be able to offer large form decals and printed stickers very soon.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think time management is very difficult, especially with having to wear so many hats as a small business owner. It can also feel like you are always "on," having messages coming in at any hours and wanting to reply promptly, or working late into the night.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your market research before starting. Who do you want your customer to be? What can you offer that is missing in the current market? How will you stand apart from your competition?
- Find a niche that allows you to offer something that isn't readily available or allows you to keep steady business flowing year-round.
- Learn all about SEO and marketing. You have to work to get those customers to your site.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Building a business takes time, success isn't often overnight, but if you are committed and work hard to grow, it is possible!
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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