Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamara Morrison, Founder of Thirty One Palms Studio, located in Norfolk, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Thirty One Palms Studio creates marketing, social media, and website templates aimed towards female entrepreneurs looking to build a cohesive brand without the designer price tag or timeline. Our templates are designed to work with popular editing platforms like Canva, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, and Mailchimp. What makes our templates amazing is they come in collections, so you can choose your style, customize it, and have a wide range of other templates available that already match. Our templates cover many social media platforms, printables, course creation designs, and of course, full websites! We're making creating a DIY cohesive brand across all platforms easy. We also have a membership, The Business Template Collective, with new templates released monthly as well as other goodies like cohesive photo collections, content ideas, 50% off any website template, and exclusive member templates.
Tell us about yourself
I started out in your typical 9-5 nightmare, bad boss, hating routine office life. I knew I didn't want that to be my life. I went to school for graphic design and started out freelancing on the side. That grew to full-time eventually, but something was still missing. I was burning out from an endless cycle of client work, and I wanted to find a way to scale my business without me having to work more. I jumped on Etsy with templates after reading how some designers scaled up with digital products, not expecting anything. It took off since COVID hit right at the time I started, totally by accident. I quickly wanted to expand to my own platform, which I did, and I also wanted to offer a one-stop shop for people to DIY their visual brand. This led to the membership. I have gotten so many messages about how I've helped people with my work, and that's just incredible to have that kind of reach.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Figuring out how to scale and continuing to figure it out. Simply being here doing this for this long! I've built a life where I don't need a boss or a job. I can travel whenever I want, and my time is mine. I can choose what I do with my days, and I can get paid to do it by people who truly value what I provide. We're all only here for a short time; we deserve to enjoy it and have the freedom to do so. It's so rewarding to learn about a concept in marketing or sales, execute it, and see the results come to fruition. That's what keeps me going.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Only one?! For all the wonderful things, there is a fair share of hard ones. Self-doubt is one feeling like nothing you do is working some days or that it will all come crashing down eventually. Not seeing results and not knowing why, trying to be patient. Knowing that you're ultimately responsible for your fate and it's all in your hands. Sometimes it's a lot. But I think I would be bored doing anything else.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Expect it to take time. Anyone I have seen who grows a business to 6 or 7 figures, it will take years. It might not be years in THAT business, but the years are beforehand learning. This business hit 6 figures in its first year, but before that, oh boy, there were 6 years of freelance struggle!
- Get your finances straight. If you can't manage your money when you don't have a lot or are just starting, you won't be able to manage it when you start to make more. I was so "cheap" for years and years, and people made fun of me. But I don't regret that. Money is freedom; had I been reckless, all this would have taken even longer.
- Research what actually sells, but not too much. Find a good balance between planning and action. I did so much research in my darkest business days as a burnt-out freelancer. But I also acted on it with no clue if it would work or stick. Find a way to get yourself in front of an audience fast, which could be a platform like Etsy or Amazon. The market will tell you what they want! Do more of that. Also, of course, get your branding together and looking professional! It builds trust and cohesive recognition that says, "I'm serious, you can trust me." I know a company that sells templates ;)
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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