Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anna Warren, Co-Founder of Tactile Craftworks, located in Milwaukee, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a women-owned and operated leather goods studio, handcrafting accessories for people who value history, travel, and quality that lasts.
Tell us about yourself
Sarah and I became fast friends when we met, working side by side in a theatrical prop shop. We knew we worked incredibly well together and fantasized about starting our own company of handmade goods. Sarah started making leather journals to sell at farmers markets during our seasonal layoff, and we started collaborating on leather work soon after, which we were eventually able to scale when we learned how to incorporate laser etching and cutting. Our friendship is still at the heart of the company, working together instead of for someone else is an absolute dream come true. It lets us dictate the lives we want to build.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We were extremely proud to keep our employees working throughout the pandemic, even pivoting to laser-cutting face shields for a few months when our orders dried up. Now that we've made it through, I was able to fulfill a huge dream and purchase a 1905 building- Tactile's new workshop will be in the first-floor storefront, and I've moved my family into the floors above.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Even if it's absolutely the lives we want, it is difficult work. One of the hardest but most rewarding parts is being responsible for our employees, making sure they are well taken care of and that the business is healthy enough to sustain all of us, even through lean times.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start before you're ready.
- Focus on long-term steady growth, not on overnight success.
- Celebrate wins and learn from losses.
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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