Weekly giveaway's are back and I'm so excited to have Olive Manna here as the opening giveaway for the start of many lovely giveaways to come. Not only that, but Natalie has generously donated 3 prizes, so that means there will be 3 lucky winners. I really admire Natalie and her beautiful products and photography/styling. Everything is so pretty to look at, and inspiring. And now for the prizes:
The 1st winner will receive a Mixed Bag, valued at $50!
The 2nd winner will receive a Melamine Platter, valued at $120!
The 3rd winner will receive one 50% OFF code for the
whole shop, anything you want, as much
as you want, one time. (Um, can I win this one?) ;)
Hello! Please tell us a little about yourself! I hate this question. :) I could tell you my stats (mexican-irish descent, very tall, married, mom) but that's boring. I'm a California girl, turned Hoosier (Indiana) who was born to a Christian, adopted by agnostics, and found Christ again at 22. I found my birth mother at 23 only to find she had died two weeks before I appeared on her doorstep. Ouch, right? I was married a year later to a Midwestern brick mason who comes from a large Catholic family. We have three young girls, two of whom are twins and I work from home while raising them. I have an awesome studio office in my basement that my husband built for me, and it's always a mess because I never have time to straighten anything between meals, laundry, dyeing, staining, designing new product, packing and shipping, etc (so no pictures right now).
How did you get started with your lovely shop? Telling this story is a lot like telling my mom when I was little, how I got grass stains on my corduroys. "It was an accident, I swear!" See I was doing my thing with web design for a few years when out of nowhere this seamless background pattern I designed for a website snuck up on me and inspired me to put it on other surfaces. Then, when I wasn't looking, people started asking me if they could buy the stuff I was making. I accidentally stumbled upon Etsy and totally fell in a puddle of customers there and before I knew it I had my own (non-Etsy) shop and stores were calling from all over the country to buy wholesale. I'm still wondering where the last few years went, it's crazy.
But my mom would tell me "You must have done SOMETHING to get those stains." So yeah, I've worked hard to design great products that people like to use and I've spent a lot of time getting to know my customers through my blog and through twitter. I read emails from you all the time telling me what you like, and sometimes what you think could be done better (I love those). It feels like it all happens by accident, but my husband will tell you, I work my tail off. In fact, I'm proud of how messy my home is because you know that if I ever have time to clean and tidy, business isn't going so well!
You've had great success with your shop, any advice for aspiring small business owners? Oy. I could write a blog post of my own on this because there are SO MANY things I've learned that I wish I had known. Here are my top 3...
#1 - EMULATE, DON'T SIMULATE - Emulate means to try to match or best the successes of another in a way that sets one apart. Simulate means to duplicate one's idea without improving upon it, trying to pass it off as original. Emulate, don't simulate.
#2 - OVERPRICE - believe that you're worth what you're charging and other people will too!
#3 - TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY - INVEST in everything you need to be a success (logo, branding, website, supplies, software, etc). Don't put yourself out there until you're really ready to be a success and then go for it full steam. Testing the water is safe, sure, but most folks who only stick a toe in tend to burn on the beach.
I passed by the middle school today on my way home from dropping packages at the post office and they had this quote on the marquis that fit this perfectly: "The harder you work the 'luckier' you'll be". Don't you love that? :)
Readers of oh, hello friend will receive 25% off the entire week of the giveaway. Use code "HELLO25" at checkout. Code expires October 25th.
If you miss the 25% or have to wait for your next paycheck, code "HELLO10NOV" is good for 10% off the entire month of November! Thanks Natalie! :)
3 chances to win!
3 prizes will be awarded!
( COMMENT TO WIN )
simply visit Olive Manna and leave a comment
with your favorite item from the shop.
*note: if you twitter, p
lease tag it with @ohhellofriend + @olivemanna
so I can keep track of entries!
( +1 MORE EXTRA ENTRY )
Become a twitter / blogger follower or a facebook fan,
Leave a comment letting me know which site you follow for an extra entry!
*note: please only comment once for what site you are a follower of
Giveaway ends on monday, October 25th at 8am, pst
Please check back next week to see if you are the lucky winner!