Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chloe Nicolini, Owner of Slateplate, located in Honesdale, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Slateplate is a small business that specializes in slate serveware. From coasters to a large 12x24 serving board (the biggest on the market), we do it all. We get our slate between the border of Canada and Maine to then bring back to Honesdale, PA. Our slates are perfectly leveled and easy to pick up from the table. Our slate is truly hand-made and hand-finished. We hand-grind all of our edges, and we pay attention to the quality of each slate. We ensure that we're delivering the quality of product we would want as a customer and to use in our homes. Other slates on the market can have sharp edges or flake-off pieces of slate into your served items. Some can literally cut you. We make sure our products are family-safe, easy-to-clean, and beautiful.
Our customers are individuals who are looking for a unique way to serve their food. We have individuals that buy our product once and can't get enough; we have customers that buy our products for weddings or corporate gifts, and we have restaurants that use our plates on a daily basis.
Tell us about yourself
My backstory really comes from turning a bad situation into something good. I graduated from Honesdale High School in 2020, when the world was in a panic from the pandemic. My original plan after graduation was to attend McDaniel College to study Gerontology and play field hockey. Unfortunately, I was not able to go to campus and took online courses. I soon learned that college was not for me, and I was not a fan of online classes. I then had an amazing businesswoman, Lynn Yanyo, reach out to me about purchasing one of her many businesses, Slateplate. Not really knowing a lot about it, I took a chance and said yes. That was one of the most difficult yet best decisions I have ever made. That is where my journey with Slateplate began. From there, we packed everything from North Carolina and brought it all to Pennsylvania. While in North Carolina, Lynn taught me everything about Slateplate, from using a large laser engraver to hand-working the edges. A few short months after, we were asked to be on the Deals and Steals segment of Good Morning America, and from there, my journey has continued into things I never thought possible. What motivates me the most to continue to grow my business every day is my family; they are always there if I need something and continue to support me day in and day out.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is to hear great feedback from our customers. When I hear great feedback about our customers giving our slates as wedding or housewarming gifts, it makes me proud to think that I created each piece from start to finish and put a smile on someone's face.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is failure. Failure is inevitable and a wonderful thing, even though it doesn't seem like it at the time. Without failing and making mistakes, we never learn. It takes a lot of no's to get a yes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top three tips that I would tell anyone who is looking to start, run or grow a business today are:
- Do not give up on your first try; learn from what didn't work, now change it, and move forward.
- Take the leap, it may be scary, and you might fail; go in the next day with your best foot forward and try again.
- Do what makes you happy; if it doesn't make you happy, then it's not worth doing.
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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