Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Valery Guignon, owner of Guignon Designs, located in Winnsboro, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I make and sell my art products. I'm a self-supporting self-employed artist and have been for 40 years. If you love art shows, you may have run across me. Galleries and art shows are my primary ways of getting my work to my customers and supporting myself.
Tell us about yourself
I love creating! I started at 5 when I dressed my bedposts - and the cat. Inspiration pours out of me. I fill my life with beautiful fabrics and interesting materials and create as the spirit moves through me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
With no business training - just watching my enterprising mother - I built a small business employing up to 8 women working in their homes and marketing through up to 10 galleries nationwide. I personally sold my work at shows across the country with up to 1500 exhibitors. Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and Hallmark are among the many galleries that I partnered with to sell my work.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Responsibility! No slacking for the boss. Risk-taking...Have a play occasional failures and disappointments. When all of my galleries closed in the late 90s, I experienced a sinking feeling of loss and sadness.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Have a plan. Study, desire, and focus. Create a support and backup system.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Use your failures and losses to learn and grow. Don't stop just because you're temporarily disappointed. Keep reinventing and trust you'll get better with experience. Be proud of yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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