Don’t be April-Fooled :: Business is Personal!

Don’t be fooled! Many people think that running a business is something you do between 9 and 5, that it’s a means to an end (money), that it’s “nothing personal, just business”. But savvy LaunchHER League members know better: business is definitely personal.

Even large corporations celebrate birthdays and refer to their corporate culture, their family of employees. For young start-up brands like ours, business can be a 24 x 7, all-consuming obsession that can move us to tears of anguish or tears of joy. After all, our businesses are based on our ideas, and what defines us as individuals if not our thoughts? Our ideas?

Should we shy away from putting a personal stamp on our business? Not at all! That personal stamp can affect how others respond to it, whether or not they “like it” and choose to buy from it.

For example, suppose that you are a jewelry vendor who sells hand-made, artisan pieces. As of today, if you click on the “Jewelry” tab on Etsy alone you will be able to choose from 2,758,038 items.

But what if you make the personal decision to be a green jeweler, like recently {Launched} jewelry designer Norah Downey of Your Daily Jewels.  Norah, for example, pledges to only use 100% reclaimed 99.9% pure silver combined with gemstones from ethical vendors. Or what if, like Brittany Melton of Made With Hope, who supports World Vision International and was {Launched} October 18, 2011, you promised to donate some or all of your net profit to charity? You’ve made business personal, and differentiated yourself. You’ve cut through the clutter of 2,758,038 jewelry items on Etsy with your personal decision to do something meaningful with your business.

We asked LaunchHER League members to tell us how business is personal for them. Here’s what some of them said:

  • Deirdre Olson of Deirdre Handcrafted Jewelry said, “I started my business 20 years ago and I was really young! I spent my time dreaming up jewelry designs to sell. Much to my surprise, the items that sold the best where the ones that I designed for myself. I remember making a pin to wear to a Christmas party and it became a best seller! I realized that designing what I loved and what I wanted to wear was the way to go. I am so glad I learned very early on to just be me. “
  • Diane Perry of Catcophony Wearable Art said, “The most difficult aspect of the first year of business was seeing how many other people were making jewelry out there. I used to joke at some of my earliest shows that if you spit in any direction, you hit a jewelry vendor. That hasn’t changed, but I have. I focused my line to producing limited edition pieces, working mostly in copper, using unconventional techniques in jewelry making. No surprise—you have to stand out from the crowd stringing semiprecious beads.”

Now, how are you going to make your business even more personal? Surprise us! We’ll be watching …

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