Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Singh, Owner of Boozoo Baby Handmade Creations, located in Warkworth, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Boozoo Baby Handmade Creations offers high-quality custom clothing and accessories for the entire family. Using fabrics and materials sourced from Canadian suppliers and featuring fashion-forward styles and prints, our goal is to be both fashionable and functional.
Tell us about yourself
When my daughter was a baby, I started sewing her booties and bibs and got so much positive feedback that I decided to start selling them. What started out as a small single-focused shop quickly grew into a larger business offering a much broader range of products. What motivates me is the repeat customers. You know you're doing something right when people keep coming back for more of the same item, and seeing people with a wardrobe full of my clothes just brings a smile to my face every time!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I started my business, it was more of a hobby, but as it grew, I made it a goal to become profitable before year 5, something I accomplished last year. Even though I had broken even in the previous few years, it was really important to me to grow this into a self-sustaining business where I could take advantage of volume and sales trends to truly guide my planning and purchasing and end up with extra money in my pockets at the end of the year.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having a business is hard; so much time, effort, and money gets dumped into it that eventually, you get to a point where you can't do it unless you love it. For me figuring out pricing was really important and something I still struggle with. As much as we think that the lower our prices, the higher our sales, that model is not always realistic nor sustainable. Now I make sure always to pay myself for my labour, and still offer a reasonably priced product.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Treat it like a business, and it will pay you like a business. Don't expect it to be easy, it takes a lot of dedication to grow a successful business, but if you take it seriously, it will pay off.
- Learn to say no and stick with what works for you. You don't have to say yes to everyone and everything. If you can be the best at doing 2-3 things, stick with them. No need to spread yourself, your materials, and your budget thin trying to do 50.
- Know your numbers. As easy as it is to get caught up in all the bells and whistles, knowing where you stand financially makes it a lot easier to set goals. Figure out which parts of your business are most profitable and sustainable, so you can focus on what works.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Have fun. Once it stops being fun, it is very hard to keep going, so find what brings you joy. In my case, that means sometimes doing selfish sew and making something for myself that I wouldn't sell in the shop. But it breaks up the cycle of mass production where I'm making 30 of the same thing at once.
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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