Keep those emails coming! I love hearing from you.
Running a business is not easy. Starting a business is even harder. I say so from experience. Is Svaha my first attempt at starting a business? Absolutely not. I love writing, so when I had some free time during my maternity leave, I decided to write some board books for kids. They were well received, but since I had self-published them, I didn't realize how much work it would be to travel from store to store, trying to sell them. With a new born, I didn't have the time to do that. After that, I decided to create a line of heavily embroidered tunic tops. I loved wearing them and I thought others would too! I attended a few trade shows, but there were no takers! So, that was the end of it! The next idea I had was to start Svaha. All of you know how that went! The moral of the story - Try, try, try, until you succeed! Followed by my favorite quote - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
I often get asked about how much money did you invest in the business. Here is my answer for all those curious about it. My main investment in the business was the initial expense that I had to create the samples for the kickstarter campaign. I had the right connections for people who could get this done, photographers and videographer, who were able to help. So, I would say, it cost me about $1000. The good thing with launching a business on kickstarter is that you don't need to do any production until the campaign gets funded and you get the money. You can then place the order and get the products. I was also able to order more than what was ordered by the backers with the money and had more things to sell even after shipping what was ordered during the campaign. Kickstarter is also a great way to find out if people really like your idea. Its like a stamp of approval.
The difficult part is once the business starts growing. Making decisions about when to move to a bigger space, when to hire the first employee, how to handle unhappy customers, and so many other issues. I would like to believe that I made the right decisions at the right time, but things were definitely not smooth sailing. Its really difficult to trust someone when its your baby. My business was my baby. So, I did the thing everyone does (or not). asked my kids babysitter who I had known for many years as my first employee! :-) It was such a comforting feeling. I have made a few bad hiring decisions, but such is life right? I am not perfect, but I am learning every single day.
I think that's all for this part. I love talking to young kids, or adults about my learnings. So, if any of you want me to talk to your group, or students, please feel free to reach out! I would love to share my knowledge and if anyone can learn from my mistakes and my success, I would love that.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!