Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in handcrafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachael Loper, Founder of Loper Luxe LLC, located in Trenton, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is made up of handmade items such as zipper pocket scrunchies, simple ingredient lip balms, keychains, notebooks, bookmarks, hair accessories, eco-friendly sponges, tote bags, and more.
Tell us about yourself
I started my business as a way to help my daughter have a head start in her future. As someone who was clueless about going into the adult world, I struggled to rise any further than a job I despised in the past. I wasn’t equipped with the tools necessary to have a choice in my future career path. This made it almost impossible to achieve anything more than the unhappiness I’d once settled for. Fortunately, I taught myself some skills and learned how to run a business with that skill at the forefront of my products. I wanted to make sure my children had something to lean on while they decided on their future. Or possibly give them the business for them to take and flourish in their own way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I built everything from the ground up without putting myself in debt. It took many years to do, but it was worth it not to have a huge loan that needed to be paid back in even more years in order to start making a profit that balanced me out of the hole. Everything I did to get up and running was done little by little when I could afford to invest in my business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The constant work. Everyone, including myself, believe working for yourself means doing things whenever you personally choose to do so. I believed working for myself meant more breaks and free time, but the reality is until you can afford to hire extra help to run the show, you are always working. The beginning year is the hardest because everything is new, and you’re trying to find a balance in managing work and personal life. Your business becomes your baby, so you have to remind yourself that it’s just a business and family is more important. Otherwise, you’ll end up focused on the wrong things. If you only build your business, the rest of your life will crumble. It’s okay to invest a lot of yourself as long as you accept that there will always be work to do no matter what and learn to step away to focus on your life outside of work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Learn how to do taxes or consult with a CPA/accountant. This will save you so much stress to have knowledge of this very important aspect from the beginning.
- Take time for yourself. It’s okay. If your head isn’t clear and your life is falling apart due to a lack of attention to it, then eventually, your business will crumble to pieces as well.
- Let people help you. Anyone that says they did something on their own without help is lying. It’s not an accomplishment to wreak havoc on your life by putting more stress than necessary just for the simple satisfaction of saying, “I did this all on my own.”
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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