Blog 21 of Top 25 Mompreneurs - 2012

Amy Cornwell Designs

by Amy Cornwell

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What advice would you give a mom who wants to be a mompreneur?

I posted this a while back on the blog and it's perfect for this question: 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Opened Shop: 1. that “overnight” success could take a while. I started my shop back in 2003 and it wasn’t until 2011 that I was able to do it full-time where it generated enough income to quit my job. 2. that there is so much more to pricing than just doubling cost (or tripling). You have to factor in promotions, shipping materials, business cards, fees, etc. There is so much to factor in when pricing to still generate a profit that values your time. 3. how competitive and ruthless it can be. There are critical, negative people out there. You have to not dwell on the negativity and do what you were created to do. 4. how rewarding and supportive it can be. Among the small pocket of negativity, there is a LOT of positive, encouraging, uplifting business owners out there willing to help. 5. that what I love, others might not. It always amazes me when I come up with a product that I think is SO fabulous, then it doesn’t sell. And then other items that I’m so-so about and it sells like crazy. Everyone has different tastes! 5 Things I Know Now That I Want YOU to Know: 1. You don’t have to go into debt to start a business. I started my business on $150 and have never carried ANY debt. Sell, reinvest, sell, reinvest. You don’t have to have huge debt to be successful. 2. Don’t let anyone else steal your joy (see #3 above). There is a small pocket of negative people that like to criticize and nitpick. Ignore them. Stay joyful. Keep doing what you love. If comparison is a struggle for you, take a break from social media and unfollow those people that bring you down. 3. Don’t be afraid to learn new things. Trends are always changing. Don’t be afraid to change up the look of your products or try new things. Sometimes ideas fail, that’s okay. You’ll never know until you try. 4. Encourage and help others. I’m not saying give away trade secrets, but as you learn and grow, share that knowledge. Encourage new business owners who are just starting out. Network and support other businesses. Give them a shout out on your Facebook or Twitter. Spread the love. 5. Customer service is KEY.This may be #5, but it is probably the most important. Customer service is super important to me. I hope that each customer I interact with (whether or not they’re happy or not-so-happy about their purchase) feels my kindness and willingness to help in every email or Tweet I send out. I see so many business owners to publicly tweet negativity toward customers and who wants to support a business like that? Remember, word of mouth is one of the best forms of publicity…what do you want your customers to say about YOUR business?

What tips do you have for connecting with other mom bloggers?

Be genuine. Encourage randomly. Be a friend. Truly be concerned with other mom bloggers, invest in their lives, comment on their blogs, encourage them along the way. Take it a step further and send them a note or small gift when things aren't going quite right in their lives. Be the person that you'd like to HAVE in your life. Don't be afraid to reach out!

How do you balance being a mom and and an entrepreneur?

There are days when it's really hard, like when my oldest is at school, I have a lot of orders to do and my littlest wants to play. During those times I try to focus and have a set "work" time, then I step out of the studio and be a mom. There is a small amount of time during the week where both kids are at school, and I'm extremely focused during that time so that once they're home, I can focus on them more. Something that works for one person won't work for another. For example, I like sleep and need sleep so to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning blogging or creating won't work for me. What works for me is to maximize my time during the day, especially if the kids are playing nicely together and I can sneak away for 20 minutes and crank some orders out. I just try to find bits of time where I can get things done throughout my day.

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