Today's interview will really make you glad it's spring!
Mandy Leckie, owner of Treasured Peach, makes the most adorable felt flower items for children, from headbands, to garlands, to mobiles to name a few. As she put it in her own words, "I create items for magical childhoods and treasured moments with your littles".
Mandy's located in Alberta, Canada. She's been in business for just over a year, which is very impressive considering all of the high-profile places where her products have already been featured!
If you're a small business owner or interested in becoming one, keep reading to hear Mandy's advice on the topic.
How did you get started in your field?
I started sewing for my children and friends and family. It was really my daughter who started what Treasured Peach is today, when she asked me to make her flowers for her room.
What do you wish you had known when you were just starting your business?
I wish I knew that you can't confuse your clients by selling everything you make. I think as creatives we are so multi-talented that it's hard to narrow down to selling one of the mediums we use.
What has been the most effective strategy for gaining new customers or selling more products?
Quality photographs and a narrowed focus of what items to sell definitely changed my shop for the better. I saw an increase in sales, since clients could see how to style my items.
For photos, a white background photo is a must for listings, that is essential to learn. Find a few tutorials on YouTube and practice all you can.
The other essential is a lifestyle photo so your clients can imagine how to use or style your piece. I started out with a non-existent budget. So I searched my area's community and mom Facebook groups for beginning photographers who needed to build their portfolio. I got free photos, they got samples of their work. Win-win!
And I kept getting free pro-styled photos because we held events for members of the community to model for me. If the client wanted the pictures, they paid a discounted rate to the photographer. All participants had to sign a release for both parties to use photos in marketing materials. Now, I don't have the time to plan those events. But it was a great way to start, low cost and so much fun!
What has been the best part of running your own business?
There are so many things I enjoy about running Treasured Peach, but the best part is the freedom to be a stay-at-home mom and be there for my family.
This is such a family business because my daughter models my accessories, everyone helps wrap orders for shipping, and my kids absolutely love mail day when get to drop off orders at the Post Office.
We live in a small town so the ladies at the Post Office are so sweet and great with my kids.
What has been the most difficult part of running your own business?
The great balance.
As much as it's awesome to stay at home with my kids and serve clients at the same time, it can be difficult some days.
Balancing time and my energy to give the best to my family and my best service to my clients, has taken the most time to learn a flow that works well.
What advice would you give to someone else starting a business?
Figure out your favorite thing out of all your talents that you could make over and over again, even late into the night. That passion will draw in clients and pull you through the rough days.
Anything else you would like readers to know about you, your business, or being a small business owner in general?
Never stop learning!
Things are always changing with SEO, social media, and trends. To stay at the top, you need to constantly be in a state of learning and working on improving yourself as much as improving your business.