One of my dreams has always been to have my own business. As a child I was always coming up with a new venture – from holding neighborhood car washes to writing newsletters and even selling painted rocks. These ventures usually included a friend or younger sibling I had convinced into running a short business on a summer day when they’d probably rather be inside watching cartoons.
Along with being a professional photographer, I loved the idea of running my own boutique. After discovering the Etsy shop platform, that dream of having my own shop became a reality. I carefully created a collection of items to sell. Soon, I realized I was able to utilize my love of photography, by organizing modeled shoots and capturing product shots. After curating all the pieces and putting together listings, I opened Anchor In Time in January of 2012.
Having the freedom to run my own business, along with the joy of designing and creating, inspired me to become a shop owner. To be able to make something with my own hands that someone else can use and enjoy, drives me.
Challenges I faced after opening my shop…
- My first sale didn’t come until six months after opening. It can be discouraging trying to get a business started when you’re surrounded by overnight success stories.
However, this pushed me to learn more and challenged me to get my shop out there. Rather than relying on a marketplace platform alone, I started a Facebook page and blog. More recently I made a shop Instagram and Twitter.
- At the beginning I listed everything from baby beanies to fine art photo prints to scarves for women. Without a focused collection, it is hard to reach the right shoppers and plan what to carry in your shop.
I decided to zero in on Women’s Accessories and Home Décor centered on a Classic and Nautical Theme. Not only did this help build my brand, it also helped me define who my customer is and know how to create for them, based on what they love.
My first official shop sale came from someone in Australia, who took the time to request international shipping. I learned to listen to my shoppers more and it has propelled my small business.
The biggest lesson I have learned as a shop owner is to follow my gut and work hard. Success rarely comes overnight – entrepreneurship is challenging and takes determination.