Today’s entrepreneur is Mark Poulin.
When and why did you start your business?
I started my business 25 years ago when I fell in love with metal work. I was taking a jewelry class at the local rec center with a friend who talked me into selling jewelry with her out on Telegraph Avenue near the University of California Berkeley campus. I have kept busy since those days and now sell my jewelry in galleries across the country.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I love being only as good as the last thing I’ve made. I love having to reinvent myself every few years to stay interesting to my audience. I love that there is always something new for me to learn. I love being off the 9 to 5 grid, even if that means some 15 hour work days sometimes.
Describe your business in 20 words or less.
I make gifts and collectible jewelry that really hit the target for for a wide age group with different taste.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I’m visual and I’m a day dreamer. That didn’t really work out so well in my school days but it has paid off as an adult. I’m constantly writing down new ideas on scraps of paper, sending emails to myself, and bouncing things off my friends.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?
Price your goods so you are making money and paying yourself a living wage.
Where do you see your company in three years?
I’ve so much time in the last ten years working on fun jewelry and gifts. I am now dedicating some time to working on a higher end wedding based line. Wedding bands, engagement rings, bridesmaid gifts. It’s a lot of work and I’m studying hard. I think I’ll have a great line in two or three years.
Do you sell your products wholesale and, if so, what is one strategies that you use to get your products in stores?
I do wholesale. Although I think wholesale shows may be obsolete in a decade, I think for now it is still important to attend so buyers can see and touch your products. Also face to face is pretty priceless.