Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mary Hertel, Owner of Made By Marney, located in Oshkosh, WI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Made By Marney is my foundation paper pieced pattern design business. Based out of my home, I sell paper piecing books and patterns to customers all over the world. My customers are quilters and sewists of all ages and backgrounds. If you have a sewing machine, you can paper piece.

Tell us about yourself

After teaching art for 35 years, I retired from teaching in an elementary school and started to design images that can be sewn into quilts, pillows, or any other projects. My history of working with children and my great enjoyment of children's artwork has inspired me to create fun and whimsical images that can be used for sewing. My designs are colorful and charming, yet easy enough even for a beginner in sewing.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I love to delight my customers with clever designs that they can use to foster their own creativity when sewing gifts and projects. Using YouTube and my website, I offer many instructional videos for customers to learn how to paper piece.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Spending time on my computer! I would much rather be drawing and sewing than laboring over a computer doing social media.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Offer a unique product.
  2. Be available to your customers. Answer emails quickly.
  3. Be savvy on social media. Use Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc., to promote your product.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Know your customer. Always be willing to help with instructional videos, emails, and even phone calls. Be available!

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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