Today’s Feature Friday guest, Jessica, runs her own online fashion boutique and does drop shipping. She’s inspired by many of the same people who inspire me (including one of my absolute fav authors Tim Ferriss).
I’m actually reading Tim’s newest book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, and it’s beside my bed on my nightstand right now. I highly recommend it for any entrepreneur looking to “pick the brains” of some of the most successful people out there. The book also makes a great bedside weapon because it’s like 10 pounds thick. =)
And there is money to be made in fashion. Just see the top clothing retailer stocks to invest in according to Market Beat.
Let’s hear from Jessica on how she started her own online fashion business.
What is your business?
My name is Jessica and I run Polka Dotted All The Things Boutique.
What did you do before you started your own business? If you are still employed full-time, please share a little but about what you do in your day job.
Currently at my day job where I’m an employment specialist. I work with homeless youth and help them finish their school, and find work that is meaningful and ends the cycle of homelessness.
Who were some influencers in your decision to be an entrepreneur?
My mom was a huge influencer for me. She had her own business when I was younger – but she ran it into the ground. I saw how much money she was making, but somehow we were always poor. I wanted to create something like that for myself, but to do it right.
How did you prepare to take the leap both financially and in your business?
It was really about my mindset. I’ve known my whole life that I was not meant to be a poor person. But for so many years, I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. I’ve even willingly take on positions that encouraged that poverty level living through volunteering.
But once that was done, I decided to make the change. I started reading as many books about business as I could. Some of my favorites are Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, and Josh Kaufman. Between the three of them, I came up with an idea for an online store, tested it, and it’s worked out really well for me.
If you quit your job, were you already making money on the side before you decided to quit your job? Tell us about that. If you are still working full-time, what would make you leave your job?
There is definitely a level of fear surrounding my decision to stay at my current day job. While I’m making money every day from my store, there are those hidden things like insurance, days off, and generally being accountable to someone that keep me motivated.
Right now my insurance is a totally reasonable price every month. If I were to quit my day job, I’d have to start paying for that out of pocket which could cost thousands of dollars every month.
In my dream world, the ideal situation for me to quit my job would be to have all of my debt paid off, and at least $100k in the bank. And while I’m making money everyday, I’m just not at that level yet. Hopefully soon!
Who else works on your business with you? Did you hire anyone to help? When did you decide to bring that person on and how did you find them?
Can you share any financial details about your fashion boutique?
Right now I’m averaging about one-two sales a day, which seems low but I’m not paying for ads. My main source of sales comes from Pinterest and email marketing.
What was your worst day so far as an entrepreneur and what was your best day? What happened on those days?
They are the same day. I dropship my products, and when I made my first sale I wasn’t actually sure of the process. I ended up making an incorrect account with my customer’s name, and then the website wouldn’t accept my credit card for several hours. It was a nightmare.
But it all got taken care of. Making that first sale was great. I felt the stress of the insecurity lift off me. Once you make that first sale you feel invincible.
What is one small “trick” or piece of advice that you have learned about reaching customers or making sales with an online fashion boutique?
Give us two truths and a lie about yourself so we can get to know you better personally!
1) I’ve run the Chicago Marathon 2) I’m completely obsessed with Polka Dots 3) I once sang karaoke with Gaby Dunn
Do you have a side hustle or a student loan debt payoff story you can share? I’d love you to fill out this quick survey here.
PS – do you scale your business? When did you decide it was time to start paying people?
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