Best Success Story:
When I sent out my first press release I received 4 orders from Intelligence Specialists that were stationed in Basra Iraq. They wanted to place an order for my totes and so I had to package the handbags up and ship them to a man by the name of Michael who was in a secure location. In return, they sent me photos of all of the women who received my handbags which I then posted on my Facebook page.
I was officially in business and I was proud to support Made in the U.S.A. and to create jobs for Americans and to supply handbags for people that were fighting the war in Iraq. I am very proud of our men and women who work in the military, not only are they fashionable but they are very smart people.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
My biggest challenge is working with stores.
Due to the economy, some boutiques will place an order, we will then ship the products and have a hard time collecting the payment. Because of this we have been focusing more on selling direct to customers. To date we’ve shipped to Germany, Australia, Denmark, London, South Africa as well as throughout the U.S.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:
I recommend taking classes (learning about) public relations, advertising, and social media because through these marketing vehicles this is how you get the word out about your product.
I have not worked with a PR firm because they typically charge $2,500 and up per month so I handle my own PR and I’ve had pretty good success so far. When you have a startup business it’s important to function on a tight budget otherwise you will go out of business very quickly. I also suggest investing in a good photographer because image and branding is everything.
Photo Credit: Jacki Easlick
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