1.22.2014

one delightful business: lessons learned

I have thought for a little while that it might be fun for me to share some things I have learned from owning my own small business. There is certainly a lot I do not know, but I have been running one delightful button for over four years now (hard to believe!). And I feel like there are a lot of tips and tricks and lessons I have learned along the way.


So, my hope is weekly to share something with you.

For my first post though, I will just share some about how I began selling crafts. In 2009, I heard about etsy for the first time. I was working a full-time job with Young Life, but had no kids and some free time. I thought it would be fun to have some sort of craft to make and sell. I was some what crafty already - I liked making cards for friends and in school I loved projects that required some sort of poster or display so I could make it pretty. I also started this blog around that time (under a different name) and I shared about a chair I reupholstered here.


But I didn't really have a "thing". I barely knew how to sew. I had just some random supplies and an idea to start a craft business for fun. (Sounds a little odd to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's how a lot of people began on etsy).

In the fall of 2009, I found a jar of vintage, discarded buttons at my favorite antique store in Norfolk, Virginia called "Country Boy". If you live nearby, go. It's the most unrefined antique store and walking through it is like an adventure because there are things piled up everywhere.

I bought the jar and googled "things to make with buttons." This is pre-pinterest era, people. I started then making button earrings and some other accessories surrounding buttons. Soon, I expanded to the fabric button and took some sewing lessons.

I posted on etsy basically immediately after testing out my product to make sure it was wearable. My business name: k bowling designs. Sure, why not? I had my first sale shortly after opening. God bless that woman, I have no clue why she bought these earrings that I photographed under yellow lighting on a white piece of paper.


I continued with etsy, started doing craft shows, began approaching shops about wholesale and consignment, and really started to develop my niche as the button girl. I now sell on an e-commerce site called big cartel (more on that later) and have continued making and selling jewelry and accessories as we have moved from Virginia to Massachusetts. 

I hope some of the things that I have learned will help a reader or two out who is considering starting a craft business or is continuing with a shop they own already. 

Thanks for reading! 

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