Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rocio Jimenez, Owner of Sparkling Punk, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a Halloween year-round small business called Sparkling Punk, where I focus on selling all of my handmade items. I sell clothing, accessories, stationary, jewelry, and just overall lifestyle goods. The majority of my customers are Halloween year-round lovers, people with goth aesthetics, and people that are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Rocio Jimenez, and I am the owner and artist behind Sparkling Punk. Not only do I design all of the artwork seen on my pins, stickers, prints, stationary, jewelry, etc., but I also design my own packaging, pack orders, design my website, create listings, and take my own product photography, and the list goes on. I am a sole proprietor that runs the entire show for my spooky small business.
I never thought I would open my own small business, but as someone who has been making art since 6 and tried to sell it from day one, I should've assumed that I would do this one day. In 2018 I began having the thought of starting my own small business because I was still creating but never had others to share my work with, so in November of 2019, I decided to officially open Sparkling Punk, which was NOT originally a Halloween year-round small business. At the time, Sparkling Punk was a place where I could sell anything and everything; by that, I mean there was no theme to my shop. But as the year went on, I realized that it was no fun having no theme. I thought it through and said to myself, "Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and I wish it was Halloween all the time, but there aren't many Halloween year-round businesses, and that would be a cool concept."
So in January of 2020, I decided to rebrand myself and turn Sparkling Punk into a Halloween year-round small business, which has motivated me to continue and still motivates me to this day. I love that I am able to bring year-round spooky vibes through my work, and I have had the opportunity to meet so many other people like me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a small business owner would have to be when I was given the opportunity to put my items for sale on consignment at Skellington Curiosities in Waco, Texas. I never thought that I would be selling my work in a store, especially a spooky year-round store. This also opened up another consignment opportunity at LvL Up Art Gallery in San Antonio, Texas, at the Rolling Oaks Mall, which to this day is my biggest accomplishment as a small business owner yet. I am still ecstatic, shocked, and so grateful that my items are up for sale in a mall.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that I have noticed that comes with being a small business owner is an investment. By this, I mean investing your money to begin your business. If one doesn't invest properly, they can easily lose a lot of money along the way. Investment is not only a key factor when starting your business but when looking to branch out into making other items. For example, I recently designed and ordered my first Ita Bags, but I had to invest a large amount of money straight out of my pocket, and this was after I received money from pre-orders. I chose to invest my own money to finally get this bag I designed 2 years ago in hopes that it will all pay off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
🎃Tip 1 for Starting: Make sure you have a set theme for your business; by this, I mean making sure that you are going to stick with a certain aesthetic and choose a couple of types of products to make, to begin with, because you don't want to overwhelm yourself too quickly and then eventually find yourself lost with what you sell or even in financial troubles due to purchasing too much of something that might not have sold too well or you feel it doesn't fit your aesthetic in the end.
🎃Tip 2 for Running: Try your best to document everything you do for your business because nowadays, social media is everything when it comes to grasping an audience. By this, I mean take pictures of products you've made, videos of you working on products or even organizing them, take pictures of your booth displays every single time, etc., and just post it. I highly recommend having all the social media if you can handle them. For example, make a business with TikTok, Instagram, Facebook Page, Twitter, etc. These platforms will all serve as portfolios in the end and help when applying to markets, conventions, consignment, etc.
🎃Tip 3 for Growing: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. By this, I mean, don't be afraid to do in-person events. Having the courage to set up a booth for your work at an Artist/Craft Market, Convention, or even putting your items in consignment can open up avenues that you wouldn't have ever dreamed of or maybe even been aware of. Don't let the fear hold you back. Just do it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Make sure to check out all of my social media listed as well as my TikTok and YouTube, which are @sparkling_punk and Sparkling Punk. Don't give up, don't forget to take mental health breaks, and stay spooky, friends.👻
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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