The Start of DHS
Back in 2015, Tim (my now husband!) and I were engaged and planning our wedding.
Like every couple, we were so excited to get every detail perfect and make sure that our wedding was everything we ever dreamed it would be. Unfortunately, things did not go that way. I got extremely sick, lost my job, and had to drop out of college. My anxiety grew worse because I knew this meant that we had to cut back on a lot of the original plans we had for our wedding. Jobless and extremely ill, we persevered and got creative. We started DIY basically our entire wedding. Centerpieces, wedding signage, anything we could DIY, we did it.
Around that time a lot of small businesses were showing up on Instagram and I came across a girl who was selling signs. It really felt like a light in such a dark time. Seeing her make something I love into her full-time job, really inspired me to do the same! I mean, I was home, not working, so why not give it a try?
I took a leap of faith and started an Instagram page for our designs.
I really wasn’t sure what I was doing or what launching even was but in September I started announcing that our Etsy shop would open in October.
So here’s exactly what I did to take our little shop into a full-time job with over 6,000 sales on Etsy alone.
In the beginning, I really focused a lot of my efforts on researching everything I needed to know to make our small shop succeed. I started paying attention to other shops, what was working for them and how I could make that work for me. This also really inspired me to relentlessly vouch for my small business and believe that if they could do it, there was nothing stopping me either.
I read countless articles on how to optimize your Etsy shop, what to write in the product descriptions, titles, tags, etc. I was even learning how to properly take product photos (shhh don't tell anyone.) I really learned on the go, but persevering and using that momentum really helped me stay consistent to not give up on our shop.
If you’re wanting to start your own business, please don’t let the fear of not knowing what to do hold you back.
Experiment with your creativity in the beginning and really learn what you’re good at. Once you have that down, research as much as you can.
Build a Community
Instagram really helped our small business thrive! We're currently almost at 15k followers on Instagram and honestly I'm so grateful!! I never thought our products would get this much traction and better yet that we would find an amazing community of other passionate small business owners like we did. It's surreal and we're extremely grateful.
So how did I do it? Honestly, in the beginning I was posting every single day! Sometimes I cringe at the fact that I was so determined to make everyone know about our shop, but honestly, it’s what really helped us blow up.
Sharing it with everyone and being clear on
- Why I was doing it
- Who it was for
- Why they needed it
Really helped me come from a place of trust. Meaning more people were attracted to our shop.
If you’re trying to build a business, building a community is everything. Learn everything you can about your ideal client. How your product/service serves them and really learn what resonates with them. This will help you attract clients that not only love your work but will keep coming back because they trust you. Remember that when we approach things from a place to serve others, there's no stopping your business from flourishing.
This brings me to my next point.
Really Know Your Ideal Client
Something that really helped take our shop to the next level was being clear on who my ideal client was. I knew that creating designs for special moments was my thing and I ran with it. I wanted our shop to appeal to women who want to add those special touches to their events but just don’t have the time. It was (and still is) extremely important to help my clients look back and really be proud of their home, party, special moment that they were able to create with our designs.
Really understanding your ideal client will help you stand out from other businesses. Instead of just promoting your product (or service) come from a place of service.
Show your client
- What your product/service can do for them
- How it’s going to help them
- Why they need it
- How it’s going to change their life
Once you start applying that to your business model, trust me it’s a total game-changer.
I know there’s so much advice on the internet on what to do and what not to do when starting your business, but honestly the best advice will always be to JUST START.
No more putting it off, because honestly there's going to be a million reasons to not do it (sometimes I even have to remind myself of that) so don’t let the fear of failing keep you from trying!
Think about where your small business could be in 6 months, a year, and really work towards that.
If I let fear stop me, DHS wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have the honor to create signage, which has become a total blessing and joy for me.
And If I can do it, trust me you can do it too!!! I believe in you friend.
Interested in one of our products? Check out our collections here!