Today’s entrepreneur is Sue.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I love what having a creative outlet does for me as a person. It has changed me in so many positive ways. I love that I can wake up in the morning and plan my own day. I love that I can chop vegetables while talking to a customer. I love hearing client stories while building a charm necklace. I love making customers happy.
While I always had great bosses, the work place is too structured for my family life. I could never say, “I will arrive late every day because I want to walk my son to school and then enjoy the ravine with my dog.” I love that I am here for my son when he comes home after school.
I love that we are reinventing tupperware parties and creating part-time jobs for moms that put money in their pocket. I love how fast online retail business is changing and growing with social marketing. I love that I can Facebook, Twitter and blog and it is part of my job! I have loved to write since I was seven. I love brainstorming with my partner about my business and I love that we travel together to find new suppliers. I love the endless possibilities of Suetables.
What is your biggest success or accomplishment you’re most proud of in your business?
I’m proud that I am making a living doing what I love with a product that celebrates life and loved ones. I am proud that I am creating part time jobs for other moms through my rep growth model. I am proud that am am rebuilding my life. I am proud of my children who have taught me more about life and love than I ever imagined. They inspire me to do and be better.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?
Begin. We get so caught up with the how, when and where. Once you take one step, you just keep walking. Before you know it, you are running! Even if you fail, you learn from that and begin again. One small success brings on more success. But, you can’t have success or sales unless you begin! Suetables began with one necklace. People kept asking me – “what else do you sell?”
I talk to so many people who want to start their own business. Many of them are immobilized because of this and that timing, time, complications, kids, costs, details of their business plan etc. People are their own worst enemy. Just begin!
Where do you see your company in three years?
In three years, I plan to have a larger roster of incredible, savvy “mompreneurs” in Canada and the US selling accessories online and through in home trunk shows. Currently, we have 13, but it is not about the number of women that interest me. It is the character of the woman. Stella and Dot (US business) has 10,000 reps. I’d rather have 50 incredible reps and provide them with personal support. Our top rep last year has two kids and a full-time job. Woman are amazing multi-taskers if they are motivated and hungry. I want to work with woman who are passionate and creative like me who want to have a flexible job with a socially responsible company that makes a living with a product that celebrates life and loved ones. What could be better?
I also see better rep support structure in place, a larger and more diverse, jewelry line and growth in online sales. Online growth will will be achieved through both reps and marketing including SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing, publicity not to mention attention to a clear and simple branding strategy.
What is one thing you wish you knew about being an entrepreneur when you first started out?
I have always been lucky. Success came early and easily to me. Suetables was the first hand stamping personalized jewelry business in Canada in 2005. I wish I knew to capitalize on my early success and go big. But, I had little kids and was not interested in devoting too many hours to the business.
As a result, a number of people “replicated” my business while I was busy changing diapers. If I had known how popular hand stamping would be, I would have grown my market share in the early days. Now, I am full steam ahead. However, if I had know how competitive the personalized jewelry field would get, I would have invested more time, effort and money on my online business so that I would be further ahead of the game now.