We all learn from each other, so why not share the ins and outs of everything it takes to start, run and grow your own business. Whether you’re an established brick and mortar, or someone who’s in the process of creating their own business, our new, monthly small business blog feature will focus on connecting entrepreneurial spirits, like you, with expert insight from small business owner, Kathy Cruz.
Since founding The Salvaged Boutique with her sister in 2013, Kathy has watched her passion grow from an online business to a brick and mortar that’s the perfect blend of upcycled and locally sourced goods. During these years, she saw the need for an online community where small business owners could find resources, so she took it upon herself to create Savvy Shopkeeper, a website dedicated to educating, motivating and building a community of shop owners.
Read on for Kathy’s account of how she went from DIY blogger to business blogger…
We all have journeys. Sometimes we map them out and sometimes they happen naturally.
Growing up poor in Cleveland, Ohio, our mother taught us that anyone can have a nice, clean home – no matter their budget. My sister and I watched our mother refurbish, improve, decoupage and paint hundreds of household items throughout the years.
Fast forward into adulthood and my sister, Karen, and I knew we wanted to embrace the creative side we inherited from our mom, so we launched The Salvaged Boutique, a DIY blog, in October of 2013. We wanted to show anyone willing to read our blog, how to take something old and make it new again.
We knew we were onto something when we realized we were gaining new customers, social media followers and newsletter subscribers that weren’t family members and friends.
Thanks to the increase in traffic, we decided to launch an Etsy Shop so we could have a place to sell vintage items, upcycled goods and refurbished furniture. With every bit of growth, we paid ourselves a small percentage and reinvested the rest back into our little business.
As we continued to grow, we started selling at outdoor market events and quickly outgrew working out of our homes. We decided to take a leap of faith and started looking for a commercial studio or space where we could create together and sell our goods. 2 years after launching our DIY blog, we opened our brick and mortar store in October of 2015!
We didn’t have retail experience, and aside from a Marketing degree earned 20 years earlier, we didn’t have a business background either.
I found Google became my best friend. I taught myself how to create a website, grow a social media following, run an E-commerce store, ship products, buy wholesale and the list goes on. If you run your own business, you’ll know exactly what I mean!
What I couldn’t find was a blog or resource for people like me and my sister, independent female retail store owners who need to learn, who need to wear ALL THE HATS – all while juggling a household, family and friends along with it.
I couldn’t find a community where I could ask questions without feeling shame for not already knowing the answer. I was looking for a place where I could chat and engage with women who were also trying to grow their business and master time management while on the roller coaster ride we call entrepreneurship.
In 2017, I created Savvy Shopkeeper and soon after, I started Savvy Shopkeepers, a free Facebook Group and community for women shop owners. Whether you’re a maker or a retailer, or maybe both, Savvy Shopkeeper is a resource for YOU.
My mission, in addition to co-owning the brick & mortar store with my sister, is to help shop owners run efficient businesses so they can spend more time doing what they love.
I am thrilled to announce that I’m partnering with Darice. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned along my entrepreneurial journey in future small business blog posts… right here on the Darice website!
As Darice’s new business blogger, I’d love to know what you want to read about and what you want to learn about! Click here to send me an email – I personally respond to all emails and look forward to this NEW journey!