Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shanan Colvin, Founder of Music Library, located in Leander, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Music Library is a monthly subscription box that uses picture books, instruments, and crafts to introduce children to diverse genres of music and inspiring musicians. Music Library's subscribers are called Music Readers, and they range from ages zero to 60! Subscriptions are usually purchased by parents (homeschoolers love us!) and teachers. We do have several elementary school music teachers that subscribe in order to add picture books to their classroom libraries and teaching resources to their lesson plans. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles love giving a subscription to Music Library for holiday and birthday gifts!
Tell us about yourself
I attended the University of Texas at Austin, where I earned a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Studies. After teaching middle school choir for a few years, I decided to stay home with my children, which led to the decision to become a homeschooling parent. While working on some lesson planning for my sons, I rediscovered my love of music-themed children's literature and decided to start a subscription box to support parents, teachers, and caregivers who feel that diverse music education is important. I absolutely love what I do, and that is all the motivation I need to push through the long days and late nights as a mom and entrepreneur.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Last fall, Music Library was recognized by Parents.com as the Best Music Subscription Box for kids. I was shocked as I had no idea they were familiar with our subscription services, and very honored to be included on a list with some other very well-known subscription services.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing has been learning to overcome the fear of making the wrong decision. There have been times when I just want to avoid making a choice about a box I'm curating or how to handle a difficult customer service issue because I don't want anything to affect the business in a negative way. I've had to remind myself more than once that this is something new and unique, and there are no right or wrong answers. Just knowledge to be gained and lessons to be learned!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would advise anyone looking to start a business to start slowly, build an audience, and then be prepared to grow when the time is right. A slow start will allow you to test and perfect your product, hone in on the qualities that make it unique and marketable, and work out the kinks. As you are doing this, you can build an audience that supports your business either by making a purchase or (even better!) sharing about the positive interactions they've had with your business. Once your product is desirable and your audience is buzzing about it, be ready to hit the turbo button and scale, scale, scale!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.