A New Mini Series for Entrepreneurs

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It's official, 2015 is over. And like you, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. You know about the usual things we all contemplate as we start up another year: personal goals and business aspirations and the like. One thing I'd like to do in the new year is introduce a little more variety around here. {smile} Starting with monthly, real interviews of entrepreneurs who are making their dreams a reality. We'll keep it fun as we look behind the scenes and get some advice along the way. If you're a Boss and want to land an interview, we'd be thrilled - tickled pink, even - to have you dish your secrets. Please send an email to RaleighCalligraphy@gmail.com or comment below with your business name and I'll be in touch. If you are a blogger and want to re-post an interview please email me with your blog URL first.

Well, I guess I'll kick us off!

Please introduce yourself and your business. Hey y'all, I'm Tiffany Anne. {wink} I run a calligraphy and stationery company called Raleigh Calligraphy & Design. I also run the blog Raleigh Calligraphy + Blog. {teehee}

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Where are you located and where can your products be found? Like most startups, I run my business from my home studio just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. I sell online on Etsy.com, Etsy Wholesale, Amazon Handmade and directly on my website using eCommerce powered by Square. I am also on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. My stationery products can also be purchased at The Green Monkey in downtown Raleigh and at the Common Deer in Burlington, Vermont.

Okay we're getting serious now. This is good. Let's keep going.

What was one of the challenges of getting started? One of the challenges I faced was figuring out how to price my products. There are formulas you can use like double your costs to get your wholesale price, double your wholesale price to get your retail price. But even so, it's not quite as cut and dry as it may seem. Doing a bit of research on comparable products is highly recommended to help gage where about you should price your product or service. I ran into some brick walls as my product isn't quite the same as its factory produced counterpart. But when in doubt, try it out. And adjust your prices as necessary, I know I have more than once. {smile}

Raleigh Calligraphy

What products or services do you offer? I offer calligraphy services for weddings and events. Which means I hand letter anything from invitations and envelopes to reception decor and chalkboard signage. As a stationery designer, I also create my own paper products. I currently have a few different lines of stationery and several prints. Each piece is individually hand lettered by me and most feature rose petals from real fresh cut roses.

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What's in store for the future of your company? Lots of things! Thanks for asking. {wink} Next week is the launch of the new hand stitched notebooks. Also, I am working hard on a linen collection of tea towels, travel pouches and pillows. This line will launch next month and I almost can't wait.

How did you get your products on store shelves? I'm tempted to say trial and error, but it's more than that. I landed one wholesale account from being on Etsy Wholesale. This is a juried marketplace that, if accepted to, you can create linesheets of your wholesale products. Kind of like catalogs, which retailers all over the country can use to stock their stores. Fortunately, The Common Deer found me and I'm thrilled. My other stockist required a bit more leg work. Research and more research led me to create my 'list' of retailers where I would love to be stocked. If you're looking to sell products wholesale, it's worthwhile to narrow down your options to retailers that fit your niche. Let's talk about a time saver. {wink} Then reach out to those at the top of your list with an introductory email or mailer. Follow up and best of luck!

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Let's throw in a light and fluffy question. What's your favorite breakfast food? Blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese. And yes, this is also my toddler's favorite breakfast, too. But I'm not sure if that's hereditary. {smile}

When do you use snail mail in your business? All the time! I admit maybe a bit more than most considering my studio is stuffed with such pretty handmade paper. There are several occasions to drop a note in the mail or on someone's desk. And there are even more reasons to do so if you own a business. Sending a little thank you note to a customer can go a long way to tell someone how much you appreciate their business. For instance, I tuck a hand written thank you note into packages I send to my stockists. But there are other great occasions to drop a note in the mail. If you are in the wedding business, it's always a good idea to send well wishes to the happy couple especially if they are your clients. I love to send a note to each of my brides thanking them for letting me help in the making of their day and wishing them happy wedding thoughts. Plus surprise packages just make people happy. {smile}

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What's the best thing about being your own boss? Working from home and around my schedule is fantastic. This 'nap-time' business as I like to call it, allows me to stay at home with my toddler. To me that's everything.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? Go for it! You will never know how much you can really do until you put your whole self out there. Oh and make a point to surround yourself with like minded people and help each other reach your goals and stay motivated. You can do amazing things with passionate people.

Extra, Extra! and Exclusive Discounts:

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA _ Facebook.com/RaleighCalligraphy | Pinterest.com/RalCalligraphy | Instagram.com/RaleighCalligraphy

FIND ME ONLINE _ RaleighCalligraphy.com | RaleighCalligraphy.ETSY.com | Amazon.com/Handmade/RaleighCalligraphy |

SHOP IN STORES _ The Green Monkey 1217 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 | TheCommonDeer 210 College Street, Burlington, VT 05401

COUPON: BOSS10 for 10% on all products when shopping online this month only! Offer ends Jan 31st.

In The Studio Thanks

 

If you're an entrepreneur and want to be featured get in touch or leave a comment below with your contact details. What questions would you like me to ask the next awesome guest boss? Let me know by leaving suggestions in the comments! Oh and I think you're really going to like the next boss. If you haven't already, nows a good time to subscribe so you don't miss a thing.

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