Featured Entrepreneur: Designs by Janessa

Want to be inspired by entrepreneurs who are doing something great? Then read on. Each day we feature new entrepreneurs who are passionate about their business and who are living their dream.

Today’s entrepreneur is Janessa Gruby.

When and why did you start your business?

After the birth of my son in 2007, I went from working full time as a high school science teacher to being a full time stay at home mom. This was a very difficult transition for me so I took up the hobby of making jewelry using metal clay. I began making name tags and started selling at craft fairs. This earned me enough money to purchase my own kiln and get a little more creative; that’s when I discovered that I could make fingerprint jewelry. I’ve been making fingerprint jewelry ever since!

What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

I love that I can work whenever and wherever I want.

Describe your business in 20 words or less.

I make describe your business in 20 words or less very personalized silver keepsakes using fingerprints of loved ones.

What is your biggest success or accomplishment you’re most proud of in your business?

I am most proud of the fact that my business is successful. It started out as a hobby and has grown into a full fledged business. I am also proud that I have had community support in the form of local businesses carrying my fingerprint impression kits that I developed myself.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?

Take it slow. Write out your goals and focus on one every few months. Once you’ve achieved one goal, move on to the next.

What is one mistake that you made that you really learned from and what did you learn?

I ran a daily deal with one of those big companies. What I learned is that although it brought me new customers, I was not ready for the influx of sales that I gained from the deal. I was underprepared regarding my supplies and I didn’t have enough time to fill the orders in a timely manner. The company also took a large percentage of my earnings so when it was all over with, I didn’t make a profit from the deal. Also, the number of repeat customers has been very low.

Do you sell your products wholesale and, if so, what is one strategies that you use to get your products in stores?

I do sell my fingerprint impression kits in the stores. All I did was approach the store owner with my idea and either they wanted to support me or not. I would say don’t be afraid to ask. Out of 20 stores I approached, 6 agreed to carry my product. It never hurts to ask!

If you like this interview, Like Janessa Gruby on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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