Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Kelly, Owner of Nexusknits, located in Bozeman, MT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, Nexusknits, is a handmade business with knit and crochet items designed to be great gift options for family and home. I make everything myself, from home goods like washcloths, dishtowels, and scrubbies, to hats for everyone in the family. Also, special baby sets with a hat and booties. I also have tote/market bags as well. Along with these items, I sell stitch markers and keychains/wristlets for knitters and crocheters.
So my target customers are knitters, crocheters, and really anyone looking for an original handmade product for their home and/or themselves. They all make wonderful gifts for any occasion. Nexus means making connections and what I do is make connections through providing a handmade item to share with people.
Tell us about yourself
For as long as I can remember, crafts have been a part of my life. Be it crochet or knitting. Crochet was my first love of craft, and later in life, I found my love for knitting too. I started around 2013 with the idea that I could make some items to sell that were small and easy to put together in a short amount of time. I didn't want to do large-scale items cause I had two kids and working, so my time was limited. I originally started my business on Etsy since it was not a lot of money to start a business there, and I didn't have much. I still have my business there as well now, but I decided to branch out a year ago and start my own website with a company to back it that fully supports handmade sellers and crafters like me.
Solely in the United States right now, but I suspect I will branch out more in the coming years. That company is called Goimagine. They have allowed me to have my own website and set it up how I like for a small fee, and I know that my expenses to them go to helping children in need as they give 100% of their profits to those charities.
As far as what motivates me to do what I do, a lot of it is the love of craft that I continue to have. My best friends are knitters and crocheters, and they support me in my venture. The look on people's faces when they see my items, whether in person at a local farmers market or online, and they order from me. Lots of the comments I get from the reviews say they love what they bought, and I have repeat customers. I pride myself on providing a well-made product in all I make. Making those connections through my work with people all over the world is a joy to me, and I can't imagine not doing it. At least as long as my fingers will let me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I guess I would say my biggest accomplishment so far is building a reputation for providing a well-made product for both my local customers and online.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Planting the seeds for growth and then having to wait to see it come up. It took me a good while to get a following of customers on Etsy, and now I feel like I am starting from scratch a bit with promoting my new website and trying to build it up. I know it will come, but it's the waiting that is the hardest thing. Believing in yourself and what you are doing til you see the rewards of your labor.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Believe in your dream more than you believe in yourself to start. Have the courage to take the step to start, keep going when it gets rough, and don't give up. And really, the most important one is to love what you are doing. If you don't love what you do, you will not keep it up. The love of the work keeps you going while you are waiting for the growth to happen. It will come if you persist and have faith.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I love what I do and would do it even if I didn't have the business. It's the love of making connections through my handmade craft items where each is original to me and individual instead of being a big box store item. Finding people that want that unique item is my hope and inspiration.
Where can people find you and your business?
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