Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julia Warren, founder of Looksee Studio, located in Poway, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
When I was a kid, I loved the felt and flannel boards that teachers would use in preschool and church. I found it so fascinating how little felt cut-outs would stick to a felt board without traditional adhesive. Fast forward many years later, I'm grown up with kids of my own. I remembered how magical felt boards were and started making some to use as displays for family celebrations and milestones. That idea has since bloomed into a business, Looksee Studio. We offer a full line of felt boards and accessories. Our customers are everyone from educators, parents, minimalists, and holiday-lovers.
Tell us about yourself
I got my start as a graphic and product designer. For many years, I worked as a freelance designer. I did product development for scrapbook companies, stationers, children's boutiques, and big-box retailers. I absolutely loved the creative process involved in making beautiful products. I had a dream of one day launching a line of my own.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, launching during the pandemic has been our biggest accomplishment! Ha! We got our official start last summer with a Kickstarter campaign that was funded successfully, mostly by family, friends, and people I was able to connect with on social media. That helped get things off on the right foot after production delays and gave me some confidence for the steps ahead.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is also one of the best things: you're the boss! You have to figure it out. Nobody else is telling you what to do or how to do it. The path forward isn't always clear and defined; you have to figure it out and make your own way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research and find out what your customer or client responds to. Be open to feedback. You might be more in love with your business offering than anyone else is, so check yourself before you wreck yourself. ;)
- Don't fall prey to paid advertising or large expenses when you're starting out. Keep your costs down, and muster up as much organic growth as you can.
- Network! Find a business mentor (or two or three). They will open up your world to opportunities and knowledge that you won't be able to find elsewhere. Connect with other small business owners, collaborate with and encourage them. Relationships will lead to opportunities.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The things I've learned in my experiences as a businesses owner make me passionate about supporting other small businesses. It's a really cool group to be a part of.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.