Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erica Schlabach, Owner of Erica's ATA, LLC., located in Sunbury, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are based in central Ohio, and Erica’s ATA is a family-owned business specializing in electric nail file tools and techniques. With over 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, we are a proud US manufacturer of efficient cutting tools to help technicians work safely.
Electric files are essential for today’s manicure and foot care services, and we are excited to simplify your work with professional tools and education. We prioritize quality. Our diamond-cutting tools are made with 100% natural diamonds so that they cut faster and last longer. We source materials from other American vendors to promote fair wages and ensure that you receive only the best quality tools.
Tell us about yourself
My dad, Edwin Tausch, had an extensive background in diamond cutting and started manufacturing dental wheels for the dental lab industry in 1987. My dad began his career at General Electric, where he and a team of engineers patented the first man-made diamonds. In the 1980s, he stumbled upon a new opportunity when he met a nail technician using an old belt-driven drill and sanding bands to remove acrylic enhancements. After some conversation, he asked the woman if she would be willing to try his diamond bits. The diamond bits were a hit! And Edwin named the new product line after his daughter, me!
I have worked for the company since I was a little girl. Growing up and going to trade shows and working in the lab, I began to know their customers well. After I graduated with my Master's in Business, I saw how my skills fit a need in the industry, which was growing the education platform for how to use the company's tools. Nine years ago, I bought the company from my dad. I am motivated by helping people work smarter, not harder. I love to see someone learn a skill and grow their business!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is knowing that my product and content make a difference in people's lives. Knowing I am part of their journey to live their best life is more than motivating; it's a high that makes me want to keep going.
I am happy my husband could retire and stay home with our five kids and home-educate them. We love to travel, and we have built our lives by trying to give them worldly experiences.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Honestly, the feeling of loneliness and not being able to share all your doubts and concerns with your team. Building a network is so important to lean into with other business owners. Hearing their struggles makes you feel less alone, and it’s great to have an outside sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Dream big.
- Build a community.
- Ask for help often.
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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