Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in e-commerce but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Millen, Founder of Made By Her, located in Tustin, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Made By Her is an online artisan marketplace spotlighting female artists and donating $1 from every order to help mothers and children in poverty. Our customers are people who truly value the uniqueness and elegance of handmade items and who want women to come into the artistic spotlight when 87% of featured artists in galleries are men.
Tell us about yourself
I started the Made By Her Marketplace because women have an insane ability to create amazing lives from the darkest of times, and I think they should get all the support they can get. I, myself, used to have my own handmade business but had to put it on hold when I lost my workspace. When I tried to start it again, the online space for selling handmade had changed, and all the online markets felt like ordering from a warehouse. I decided I wanted to create a curated shopping space where women who are true artists could list their work and be seen by customers who wouldn't have to waste time sifting through re-sellers or beginners. With a portion of the profits, I also wanted to help mothers who might be going through a rough patch and having a hard time feeding or caring for their children, so we donate $1 from every order to No Kid Hungry. I want this to be a platform for women to create empowering lives for themselves.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been the opportunity to work and form partnerships with such talented women and use the money we earned to donate over 700 meals to children in need, helping their mothers focus on what they need to create a better life for themselves. The community that has come together because of this platform is truly amazing. I have also learned quite a great deal about the inner workings of an online marketplace and hope we can change the way people view artisan-made work vs. something mass-produced and sold at the lowest price possible.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is staying focused on the big-picture goal and not letting nay-sayers get into your head. Everyone out there has an opinion, and sometimes determining which opinions are the ones you should listen to and which you need to ignore can be hard, especially as an entrepreneur wearing all the hats in the beginning. It can feel very lonely, and you often question every single decision you make because you don't want to let anyone down, including your audience, your family, or anyone else counting on you to succeed.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The three tips I'd give to anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business today are:
- Have a REALLY strong "why."
- Have a strong support system of people who will help you talk through things instead of just telling you to quit when it gets hard.
- Remember to take care of your own health. It's easy to get so wrapped up in your business that things like sleep, showering, or exercising don't seem important anymore because it takes too much time away from your work.
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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