Hi, please introduce yourself and your business.Hello, my name is Hope and I am a Métis business-owner. I am a third year Education student at the University of Saskatchewan. I create customizable jewelry and accessories! My most popular item, would be my keychains!
Why did you start crafting business and how does your passion still drive your business today?I started my business when I saw there was an issue in the custom marketplace. So many pieces are extremely expensive and often times, many come from the USA rather than locally which adds on huge shipping and customs costs. I wanted to create something special that remained affordable for everyone. I am still passionate about providing fun, affordable, and customizable products!
At what point did you realize this is what you wanted to pursue and that the potential to make a living from it was there or was there a turning point or what made you want to switch this from a hobby to more of a business?This will not be my full-time job in the future, I plan to complete by B.Ed and pursue a Certificate in Michif after. Once those are both completed, I plan to teach middle years in an elementary school. This business will be an excellent way to provide extra income. I am a very creative person and I know I will definitely need extra income to provide materials, decor, books, and other great items in my classroom. After the first few full summers of planning, I will be able put a big focus on my business through the summers and attend weekly markets as I currently do.
Does it concern you that as a teacher you will be expected to put forth your own earned money for your classrooms in the future?Teachers are given a classroom, desks for the kids, and a desk for themselves. Teachers are responsible for cleaning supplies, decor, lessons, most of the supplies for lessons, their desk chair, learning tools, extra furniture and storage, etc. On a teacher’s salary especially starting out I am a bit worried. I love to decorate and want to have a great classroom that feels like a fun and safe learning environment.
What brought you to selling your products with Handmade Saskatchewan?When I found out a store was opening close to my parent’s home, I thought it would be a great opportunity for my business to expand. Handmade Sask was my first of four stores that I now am a part of. It is the second location for me in Regina and I am happy to continue to sell through Handmade Sask. Handmade Saskatchewan also has a fantastic location being in the mall as it drives plenty of traffic to the store especially during the holiday season.
What do you attribute your success to?I would say my success is because of a few things. When I was in high school, I ran a business as I took part in an Entrepreneurship class which was quite successful. Also, as someone with ADHD, many people thought that starting this business was just going to be one of the hundreds of things I start and forget about a few weeks later. I fell in love with creating customizable pieces and wanted to prove people wrong. I wanted to show that once I was passionate about something I could stick to it. I am also aware that most businesses fail in the first four years of business and I have a goal to surpass four years so that I can be in the group of businesses that make it past four years. The pandemic definitely have causes some bumps in the road, but I am happy that I am still I business.
How has the pandemic affected your business?The pandemic has been difficult. I was on track to triple my sales from last year when the pandemic hit. I became extremely worried about my business failing, but I was lucky that during this time I picked up two more locations and transitioned from an Etsy website to my very own domain. My online traffic boomed in the spring but quickly dropped though July and August. Generally, I rely on summer markets for more than 70% of my sales. But knowing that, I have put even more effort into marketing and creating traffic on my website.
If you could speak face to face with yourself when you first started, what pearls of wisdom would you impart?I would share my current suppliers with myself and tell myself to practice a lot before I started selling rather than selling right off the bat.
What new products have you been working on? Any you would like to highlight?I have released a few new necklaces lately that I am in love with. I am also always releasing fun new keychains on my online store every week!
Thank you for your time! Any last closing comments?I would like to thank everyone who has ever supported me by any means. I appreciate every follow, like, purchase, and I especially love when I get to see people posting their items online. With the pandemic, all these actions, big or small, have meant the world to me.
You can contact Hopeful by Hope at their social media and email below.