Ever heard of giving yourself an interview? I thought this was interesting in that it would answer many questions and perhaps help me to continue to work on and create new goals for my business. In doing so it may inspire and shed some light on how you conduct your own business and why you are in the place you find yourself.
Designs by Shell - Digital Designer
What was your motivation to start your own business?
I have always been interested in art and drawing since I can remember. Always doodling on scrap paper when I had the chance and I loved to color as a child too! This was probably the beginning of my inspiration.
I had always talked about being able to work from home, although this business came after my children were all grown.
One day my husband came home from work and handed me a 'Wired' magazine and said "there's a company in here called Zazzle that does Print on Demand and you might enjoy designing on their products."
I did some research and looked into the company and decided to open an online shop and try my hand at designing and to see if working from home might be an option for me.
What is your business about?
My store's name is Designs by Shell. I create designs for stationary items, gift items and apparel. I began using a paint program on my Samsung tablet and this is where I draw and create my designs. You may notice I also have photography images on many items and these are all my own pictures as well. I draw many whimsical items but also like to create chic stylish designs for birthdays and weddings as well.
Where is your business based?
The company Zazzle is based in San Hose, California. I personally live near Vancouver, B.C.
Tell us About Zazzle, the Print on Demand Company?
This company is a huge online marketplace for designers to sell their art. As a designer you publish your products on any of thousands of products that are available and set your royalty rate. All of the processing, payments and shipping are done by Zazzle. This allows artists to focus simply on designing and leaves them free of inventory.
What has been the most effective way of customers finding your products?
Social media and through several of my own websites has so far been the most successful method of sharing my products and designs. Driving traffic to my website is still challenging and something I work on everyday.
How do you stay motivated through the tough times?
I love to be active so usually a good bike ride or fitness walk gets me rejuvenated and ready to work again.
Can you offer any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Stay the course. Be a 'fearless' learner. This was some great advice given to me and has helped me dive in when I felt like I didn't have the expertise or knowledge on hand but found out that I could learn. You will make mistakes but that's okay, shake it off and keep moving forward.
What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
Flexibility for sure. Setting your own hours.
What is the most challenging part of your business?
I would have to say the marketing is the hardest part. SEO is challenging as Google is always changing the way sites are ranked. Marketing takes a consistent effort and time.
Well I hope you find this interesting and perhaps motivating too! When you have drive it's amazing what you can do!
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