Turning Passion Into Profits: Success Stories of 8 Female Entrepreneurs Who Are Doing It Right is a blog series featuring eight amazing female business owners who have successfully turned their greatest talents and gifts into a profitable business. These SUPER women show us how incredibly powerful it is to wake up to work that we love, each-and-every day.
MEET: CHARIE WILLIAMS!
Charie is the founder of Uncommon Redesigns where she and her team transform vintage, ugly, or boring furniture into unique trendy pieces to meet each client's decor needs. You can check her out here: www.uncommonredesigns.com.
Hi, Charie! What is your passion/talent around which you created your business?
I have always had expensive taste that I could hardly afford, so I had no choice but to create the things I wanted from art to clothing. I have taught myself to paint, draw, sew and cook. This all boils down to me preparing my 2nd child's nursery. I could not afford the type of furniture and decor I pinned on Pinterest, so I had to accept mismatched, hand-me-down furniture. I redesigned it and the nursery turned out beautifully! I was so proud and I knew I had something special that needed to be expanded. People started offering me money to transform their furniture and I realized that as a military spouse, this was an opportunity to start a business that can travel with me where ever the Navy takes my family and me.
That's awesome! It's wonderful that your business blossomed out of an experience in your own life. How long have you been in business now?
I started/registered my business May of 2016, and I have been actively running for 10 months.
What’s your WHY?
My why is because I love being creative. I love giving something or someone a second chance to be amazing, before being given up on. I want to teach my kids that you can do what you love. My life and career is shaken up every three years (Navy life), so having my own business allows me to take control over my career.
YES! That's what this is all about for us women: creating a life of financial freedom and flexibility. How did you monetize this work?
I sell custom redesigned furniture. It is usually high-end and vintage, but I also redesign my local customer's existing furniture. I started my business and made my first sale by posting on Craigslist. Once I saw there was a demand, I stayed up until 3:00am creating my logo, getting a domain, setting up a website, email accounts, and social media accounts. The game-changer for me was actually Etsy. The site gave me access to out-of-state customers, so it helped me create nationwide interest in my business.
Super cool! Your pieces are gorgeous!! In addition to Etsy, what else are you doing to grow your business?
Strategy one: My customer's experience with my business is the most important. I provide a high-level of customer service. I have free consultations, free local delivery/pick -up, and picture updates during the restoration process. When my customers are happy, they spread the word and they become repeat customers.
Strategy two: I do not run my business like my competitors. I look different and I appeal to not only the usual older target audience, but I have gained the interest of millennials too. I look at my competitors and go the opposite direction with how I brand and operate my business.
Strategy three: Marketing and networking! I make sure people who are interested in what I do know I exist by using social media marketing. Facebook re-targeting is a real game-changer. I am also networking with business owners and interior designers that regularly come in contact with my target audience.
Those are great strategies. Was it always easy?
An obstacle I had at one point was finding ways to easily explain what my business offers without confusing people. I got a cute whiteboard video made, and I send this to people when they seem confused. That has helped a lot. I also have developed my elevator pitch for my business to simplify the idea for people.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?
My advice is: do the research. Look for the free and low-cost resources that will assist you in building your business. Google is your BFF. Google is always awake when you need them and they never get tired of you asking for help! LOL
How has your life changed since starting your business?
My life is completely different. I left my day job to focus solely on my business. I work from home so I can spend time with my kids. My hours are sun up to sun down. There is always something to do.
Is there anything else you want to share with my readers?
I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey Take control of your time, do what is most important to reach your goals, and stay focused.
Want to read other stories of successful female entrepreneurs?