What is your business name and what kind of products do you sell?
Judi Painted it – We sell hand painted, dishwasher safe glassware using only materials that are made in the USA.
Is there a story behind your business name?
Every time I made something for someone the question was always “Wow, where did you get that?” and everyone would reply “Judi Painted it”.
How did you get started in your business?
I started out doing a few of those small church craft/ yard sale shows to get used to talking to people and learn how to sell myself and my products. Christmas of 2009 I opened an Etsy account: www.JudiPaintedit.etsy.com
Where do you sell your products both online and offline?
Just about everything I sell is through either www.JudiPaintedit.com or through my Etsy site. I also wholesale to stores, I have about 25 different stores between New York and Florida who resell them.
You told me that 90% of your website visits are from your free marketing techniques! Can you share those with us?
Social media is HUGE for me. You have to know how to use it and market it though. My Facebook fan page and Pinterest are my top two traffic drivers. Its all about word of mouth through social sharing and good tags. Google it, sign up for free webinars, watch you tube tutorials and read the actual site to learn how to get the most out of it.
Any tips on how to stand out from other crafters?
Made in the USA and the fact that my products are dishwasher safe is a huge selling point for me. But my hair makes people remember me and I stand out. If your doing a craft someone else does you have to find a way to make yours an attention grabber.
How did you make the transition from part time to full time?
Fast and furious! My day job closed its doors unexpectedly one day. After a day of freaking out I thought to myself “This is a blessing in disguise and my opportunity to do what I love to do full time.” I decided I’m going to make it work no matter what and failure is not an option. I set a time limit on what I had to achieve and when. It was hard!!! I’m a hard worker, but during this period I worked from the time I got up till the time I went to bed 7 days a week reading, learning, doing and growing and selling. My family time suffered, I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in my office, I lived in my office pretty much 24/7. Every waking hour was dedicated to making this work.
Do you have tips or tricks in regards to running your business that you learned the hard way?
1) I Google the hell out of everything from several sources, print it, highlight things I like and create a “to do list”! I then separate all that stuff I printed out by category. Blog stuff, Social media, marketing, how to take good product shots, you name it.
2) Online free webinars – Sign up for as much as you can on a large assortment of topics. Most of them if you missed it they will send you a link to listen to it or even send you the pdf visual stuff.
3) Hire someone to help – This was the hardest thing for me to do but the timesaving payoff is huge. It doesn’t have to be on a hourly rate, pay someone on a per project basis. I have to give props when due, these women who help me are awesome at
4) Printed magazine ads – Don’t waste your money. One year I spent about $4000 on two major wedding magazines and only got about $200 worth of orders on it. Everything is all about the internet in today’s world.
5) Mass Production companies – Be extremely careful!!! You know those companies who tell you they will produce and market your item and give you a royalty. I paid quite a chunk of change to start the process and six weeks later they wanted a minimum of $20,000 to move forward with none of that in the paperwork they give you.
How do you get past fears and self doubt to share your awesomeness with the world?
I honestly have no idea, maybe over time you gain knowledge and confidence. I think that is when you let your awesomeness shine if that is what you like to call it….;o)
My first time going out as a sales person representing myself to local wineries I got a little “happy!” I was so scared and didn’t know what to say so I did what I do best, sample wine! As I was generating chit chat while drinking I loosened up some. I did this on every stop I was so stressed. By the time I got to my last stop I walked in the door like I owned that place, not because I knew what I was doing, I had no clue, but because I was so relaxed and just being me without all the stress or worry. I walked out of the last stop with my very first large wholesale order.
What is your schedule like on a typical work day?
It has recently changed a little, but I would seriously get up about 4am and work till about 9pm almost 7 days a week. I’m always learning, working, doing and growing. You can read about my craziness here: http://JudiPaintedit.com/running-a-small-handmade-business-from-home-full-time/
How has your business changed over the years?
The core of it has not. I’m a very customer service top quality type provider. But how it’s run has drastically changed over the last few years as things grow.
What are your hopes and aspirations for your business and where do you see yourself going from here?
I would like to get to the point where I can just paint (getting back to what I love to do) and have others handle all the other 5000 things that go into running a business. (Accounting, marketing, research, product shots, shows, web site maintenance, packing and shipping, answering 40 emails a day, etc.) As long as I can pay my bills and have extra money to spend I’m happy.
Thanks so much for this inspiring interview Judi! Stay tuned tomorrow for a giveaway from Judi’s shop!
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