Client Interview: CV Collection
What inspired you to start your business?
I initially wanted to follow my mom's footsteps as she had her own business. I was also worried that my major - Art History, which I love dearly, won't be able to support me at first, so I thought it would be a good idea to open a small business. It would not only fulfill my dreams of owning one but also support me. It was only going to be a human accessory store with stationaries, but after I started an Instagram account for my dogs, Vegas and Clifford, I fell in love with photography and how positive the dog community is. I began buying accessories for my boys, and I have favorite brands, but I always thought that something was missing. I believe accessories should be high quality and worth the quality that it is marked for, and I failed to see certain styles that I love. Thus, I learned how to sew, got obsessed with it, and changed my store to an accessory store for both humans and pets! I will be adding more matching accessories such as totes, clothing, home decor items, and hair-scarves because who wouldn't want to match with their pets?
What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get started?
The biggest obstacle would be making myself happy. I'm a perfectionist, so it took me days, even months just to get the designs, and product pictures right (I'm still not 100% satisfied with those). I also struggled with my brand identity, there were nights that I just couldn't sleep because I couldn't make my brand work as it is very diverse. I have also delayed the opening of my shop for almost a year because I only want to present my customers with a perfect shop which could never exist. I had to tell myself to stop worrying, and one learns the most through actually doing something, not being overly obsessed with a thought. So I opened my store, and to my surprise, no one minded my product pictures and my silly product descriptions.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
It's ok to be scared. I delayed the opening of my shop for almost a year because I'm a worrier. I'm worried that people won't like my products, I can't hold successful events as others do, and I am so scared of failing my customers even though I selected all the fabrics with a tremendous amount of attention to details, made every product with love, and triple checks everything before I send them out. Eventually, I learned that being a small business owner does mean a lot of responsibilities, but if you own up to your mistakes, and care about your customers, it's ok to fail sometimes.
What has helped you the most in marketing your business?
I'm not saying this because I'm doing an interview for you. But YOU! My small business has changed from just another store to a brand, and you made it happen! Online businesses aren't easy because one has to have more than just good products. I made sure everything we have is high quality, but it's hard to convey these messages only through high-resolution images and me saying they're top quality.
What has been the most important part of your journey?
I got the courage to face failures, I'm no longer afraid of them because I know I will own up to them and solve them, and I could only grow through failures. It also still gives me goosebumps to see my accessories on pups and kitties around the world, it's a crazy feeling, and I don't think I'll ever grow out of it!