Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamara Stariwat, Founder of Nerdy Book Box, located in Glendora, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nerdy Book Box is a monthly box subscription that features indie authors exclusively. We offer different boxes: full young adult boxes, full adult boxes, and book-only bundles for both genres. Our customers are all types of bookaholics! We cater to those seeking to enrich their libraries with smaller, lesser-known authors who do not have the resources or outlets to market their books as traditionally published authors do.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Tamara, and I'm a mid-thirties mama of two littles, two dogs, two bunnies, and a husband. I live in Southern California, and I'm working towards completing my Business Administration degree. While not raising my farm of people, I usually work as a Social Media Manager. I began Nerdy Book Box when I noticed not many monthly book boxes featured indie authors. Nowadays, getting exclusive indie author books is much more prevalent and accessible. However, back in 2020, when I began, they were few and far between. Nerdy Book Box is my passion project, and I work on it because of my love for books and indie authors. Their stories, I feel, need to be told, and their books need to be put out into the world. I do this for indie authors and readers alike. I want to create a cohesive community to unite these powerhouses of marvelously supportive people.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly? Being able to feature and work with so many amazing authors has been the best thing I have experienced. The ability to work with influencers every month has been inspiring. While financially, I am not gaining anything from Nerdy Book Box, my connections with people have made this all worthwhile.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Hands down, it has to be criticism, unhappy customers, and uncontrollable delays within the wholesale industry. While 99% of people are understanding, kind, and supportive, you will always encounter people that think you're Amazon. Some people, unfortunately, do not understand the complexities of running a business. I honestly wish things would be simple and never encounter issues. It's also tough not to take it personally when you are the only one running the reigns.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Do. Your. Research! Get an accountant! Talk to a business lawyer! I wish I had taken a bit more time to research running a business. It's not simple. There are a lot of legal, tax, and income issues that complicate business dealings. Additionally, make sure you price yourself correctly. You do not want to undercut your prices to be competitive. Price yourself accordingly! You will be working hard and non-stop, and it's not fun working for free long-term. You must make sure you plan for profit to buy something yourself.
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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