Shopping Small (With Big Heart) – Jessica’s Planner World

Continuing our interview series Shopping Small (With Big Heart), I am truly happy to be introducing you to Jessica Ares owner of Jessica’s Planner World on Etsy.

Studio Elaine ~ What is your background before being your own boss, or do you work both a 9 to 5 and run your own business?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ I have a degree as Medical Assistant and I am a Wedding and Event Planner. I also run a pageant and I organize fashion and bridal shows. I have always loved being my own boss, the creative side of me comes from my dad, he has always relied on himself for success. His crafty side is amazing, being in upholstery and carpentry.

Studio Elaine ~ What first inspired and motivated you to open your own business?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ My own ideas, I can work perfectly in the team environment, but with that being said, I love giving my ideas to a t, love talking about it and making it work. I strive for the best and when you strive, you love being your own boss. There is a movie that totally inspired me and it’s called, “You’ve Got Mail”, I loved the idea of having a bookstore and coffee shop together, but it was hard for me due to lack of funding, so I just stood with an online store. It works well and helps pay the bills, this means it’s just as successful as the store front. I still want to one day have my own store front, it is never too late to make your dreams come true.

Studio Elaine ~ What does a day in the life look like? Walk us a little through the juggling act of balancing your business and home.

Jessica’s Planner World ~ A day in the life, in my world is pretty crazy, sometimes it can be relaxing while some days it can be chaotic.

I always start my day by thanking God for the opportunity, then I make my bed, shower, etc… start brewing coffee while making a healthy breakfast which can help me stay strong and active throughout the day.

While that is on the works, I check for emails and orders from Jessica’s Planner World, sometimes after that I drive my daughter to work, if she is not having a work day I work on orders, print, and send. I also update the website, create more planner goodies, or just visit Michaels, Hobby Lobby, A.C.Moore and Target for deals.

Well once my day is done you know the rest, dinner, chores, laundry and more work on Jessica’s Planner World, lets not forget I may have to meet a bride or client for events, check venues for shows, and I also run a chapter called Kick Ass Red Lipstick in Massachusetts, which helps women battle self esteem issues.

Studio Elaine ~ How has social media impacted your business and how you conduct business?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ Social Media is an amazing way to grow your business, it all depends how you use it.

We need to focus our tools on what clients, friends and family would love to see. One word of mouth can gain upto 100 clients a day if it’s done correctly and wisely.

I try to stay on top with my business, giving my clients what they want, i.e. giveaways, coupons, freebies, and much love…

Studio Elaine ~ Looking back at how you first started as a small business owner, what would you have done differently, knowing what you know now?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ Absolutely, I would strive more to get funding I needed to make it possible.

Studio Elaine ~ What made selling on Etsy appealing to you vs. starting your own online ecommerce site?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ I just wanted to try something new, there is no difference, I’ve tried it all. Even though I have an Etsy shop I am working my way to creating a website with tools not included on Etsy shops.

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New Black Fabric Rosettes Planner Clips available at Jessica’s Planner World.

Studio Elaine ~ Obviously I love your shop and items, what are you most proud of in your shop, and where do you find your creativity and inspiration?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ I am most proud of my paper clips, how much love and dedication I give to it. I am working on adding stickers, dashboards, bookmarks, notepads and more. My creative inspiration is web designing.

Studio Elaine ~ You are obviously very creative and talented, besides the items you create for your shop, what are some of your other talents, and what alternate creative outlets do you pursue?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ Web designing, flyers and post cards.

Studio Elaine ~ Why do you feel shopping small is important?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ Supporting small business is very important because we all want to grow equally, we want to be successful, big, and well known around the industry

Studio Elaine ~ How do you feel the role of women as small business owners has impacted you, and what do you think the major challenge as a woman in business has been for you?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ You know I’ve had good and bad impacts when it comes to women business owners. There is a huge battle and fight in this industry, women tend to burn each other instead of supporting, helping and lifting each other up. But I thank God my capacity and maturity is amazing, because I have been strong and learned the hard way, the bad experiences have helped me better myself, my business and connection with other women.

Studio Elaine ~ What do you want our readers to specifically know about you and your shop?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ I am a woman of many hats, I can do everything and anything anyone wants, if you do not see something in my shop and would love to see it, just say so and I will work on it. I want my readers to know I take pride in my work, I love what I do because I want my customers to be treated as I would want to be treated.

Studio Elaine ~ What advice would you give to anyone out there, who thinks they might want to open their own small business?

Jessica’s Planner World ~ Research first, inventory second, grand opening third.

Studio Elaine ~ I’d like to thank Jessica for participating in our interview series. If you haven’t done so already please visit Jessica’s Planner World on Etsy and follow her on Instagram. She is a dynamic woman and an inspiration to others trying to achieve their goals.

Click on the links below to connect with her shop and social media. One of my favorite items, from her shop are the New Black Fabric Rosette Planner Clips, linked above. They are striking and would make a great addition to any planner clip collection.

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Shopping Small (With Big Heart) – Pretty Peaceful Planner

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Kylie Fraley owner of Pretty Peaceful Planner on Etsy with her family.

Continuing our interview series Shopping Small (With Big Heart), I am delighted to be introducing you to Kylie Fraley owner of Pretty Peaceful Planner on Etsy.

Studio Elaine ~ What is your background before being your own boss, or do you work both a 9 to 5 and run your own business?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Before opening my Etsy shop, I was working reception at an animal hospital. I was hired in hopes of working in the Veterinarian Technician field.  I started at the bottom cleaning some unimaginable animal messes, walking dogs, and cleaning the hospital.  After a while I was at the front desk with some other wonderful ladies.  A few years later, my husband enlisted in the Army and I left my job at the animal hospital to travel to Georgia with him.  This is where we had our first daughter and I decided to stay at home with her instead of going back to work.

Studio Elaine ~ What first inspired and motivated you to open your own business?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ The biggest factor in starting my business was the need to stay at home with my children and still be able to bring in some extra money for my family.  Before opening Pretty Peaceful Planner I was running an Etsy shop designing invitations and stationery.  I loved creating invitations for someones birthday or big day.  Once I purchased my first Happy Planner I was hooked on anything planner related.  I joined Facebook groups and stalked Etsy sticker shops.  Thats when it clicked. I could combine my love for designing invitations with my love for my planner.  I started making different sets of stickers and cutting them at home.  After a while I had enough stickers to open Pretty Peaceful Planner.

Studio Elaine ~ What does a day in the life look like? Walk us a little through the juggling act of balancing your business and home.

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Days at the Fraley home are quite hectic!  Our two girls are 4 years and 18 months old.  Taking care of them and running the shop can be a huge balancing act on most days.  I spend my days printing and cutting sticker orders while keeping up with the kids.  The nights are for designing new prints.  Most days cutting goes into the night and designing has to wait.  It is a back and forth act between the girls and working on orders.

Studio Elaine ~ How has social media impacted your business and how you conduct business?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Instagram has been a huge platform for my shop! I have connected with so many other business owners and customers through Instagram.  I started an Instagram account for Pretty Peaceful Planner before the shop was open.  I would post updates on sticker sets I was designing and how the process was coming along.  This helped me gain business contacts before my shop was even open.  I usually will post coupon codes first on Instagram. This give my followers a chance to sometimes get discounts exclusively or before anyone else.

Studio Elaine ~ Looking back at how you first started as a small business owner, what would you have done differently, knowing what you know now?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ I would definitely troubleshoot more! I was so confident in my product that sometimes I missed a few things in the process.  This left me having to fix problems before sending out orders.  It made made order processing time a bit longer at first.

Studio Elaine ~ What made selling on Etsy appealing to you vs. starting your own online ecommerce site?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Etsy is a very well known website.  I love the fact that if you are looking for something unique and hand made all you have to do is search Etsy!  This helps with advertising.  I don’t have to worry about being accessible for my customers or making sure my ecommerce site is out there.  It is easy to navigate and gets my shop noticed.

Rustic Yellow and Grey Planner Stickers Available at Pretty Peaceful Planner on Etsy

Rustic Yellow and Grey Planner Stickers Available at Pretty Peaceful Planner on Etsy

Studio Elaine ~ Obviously I love your shop and items, what are you most proud of in your shop, and where do you find your creativity and inspiration?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ It’s so hard to choose just one thing! I would say my Rustic Yellow and Grey Planner Sticker Set is my favorite.  It is the first sticker set I created.  I am so proud of this set because it is the set that started it all!

Studio Elaine ~ You are obviously very creative and talented, besides the items you create for your shop, what are some of your other talents, and what alternate creative outlets do you pursue?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ My shop keeps me busy most of the time.  It is probably my only creative outlet.  I would say taking my heated vinyasa yoga classes is my alternative outlet.  It helps me clear my head and sweat it out!

Studio Elaine ~ Why do you feel shopping small is important?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Shopping small is so important!  I love being able to own something created by someone with a small business.  It is so much more personal to me.  I love being able to support others in their own journey of creating what the love.

Studio Elaine ~ How do you feel the role of women as small business owners has impacted you, and what do you think the major challenge as a woman in business has been for you?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Since starting Pretty Peaceful Planner I have met some amazing women. I have been shocked by the amount of support from these ladies.  From regraming my posts on Instagram to having the opportunity to be featured on Elaine’s blog.  The amount of other business women helping each other inspires me tremendously!

Studio Elaine ~ What do you want our readers to specifically know about you and your shop?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ I want Pretty Peaceful Planner to be a creative outlet for other planner nerds like myself. Sitting down with my planner and decorating my weekly spreads helps me feel calm about my life.  In a sense it brings me a little bit of that “me” time that all other women, working or staying at home with their children, know we need so bad!  It is awesome to know that I can give that little bit of peace by providing pretty stickers for other’s weekly planner spreads.

Studio Elaine ~ What advice would you give to anyone out there, who thinks they might want to open their own small business?

Pretty Peaceful Planner ~ Go for it! Even if you open an Etsy shop and only have a few listings. Start somewhere and see where it takes you.  Don’t worry about the small stuff it all works itself out.

Studio Elaine ~ I’d like to thank Kylie for participating in our interview series. If you haven’t done so already please visit the Pretty Peaceful Planner shop on Etsy and follow her on Instagram. She is an absolutely amazing woman! Her love of family and willinginess to support others in achieving their goals is an example to all of us, and I know you will enjoy her and her creations as much as I do.

Click on the links below to connect with her shop and Instagram feed. One of Kylie’s favorite items, and mine as well, from her shop are the Rustic Yellow and Grey Planner stickers, linked above. They are soft and sweet, and would make a great addition to any planner sticker collection.

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Shopping Small (With Big Heart) – Lavish Paper Company

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Continuing our interview series Shopping Small (With Big Heart), I am thrilled to be introducing you to Rebekah Norman owner of Lavish Paper Co. on Etsy.

Studio Elaine ~ What is your background before being your own boss, or do you work both a 9 to 5 and run your own business?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ I work from home for an online women’s magazine, formatting articles. It’s fun, creative and I work with an amazing team. I’ve been in this business for 4 years now and it helped lead up to me opening my own Etsy shop and helping empower other female small business owners.

Studio Elaine ~ What first inspired and motivated you to open your own business?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ My mother. I kept telling her I wish I could find a job that paid me enough and allowed me to create fun things for other people. We had talked about and began to prepare to open a small family business together before she passed away. After she passed away, I continued on with our plans but on a smaller scale.

Studio Elaine ~ What does a day in the life look like? Walk us a little through the juggling act of balancing your business and home.

Lavish Paper Co. ~ My kids are up at 6am, breakfast and lunches are made. I drop them off at school by 8 and I come home to start my day. I juggle my job duties and the Etsy shop during the day. So far they’ve balanced each other out nicely.

Studio Elaine ~ How has social media impacted your business and how you conduct business?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ It’s helped a lot by bringing in new traffic and allowing potential customers to see my products in use by other customers. I also enjoy sharing behind the scenes work that goes into making the product. I feel like social media allows me to connect with customers on a more personal level and that’s the feel I want for my shop.

Studio Elaine ~ Looking back at how you first started as a small business owner, what would you have done differently, knowing what you know now?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ Honestly? Not a thing. Growing a business is a learning experience and it takes those experiences to get exactly where you are now. I’ve learned a lot about what to do and what not to do.

Studio Elaine ~ What made selling on Etsy appealing to you vs. starting your own online ecommerce site?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ Etsy helps promote your business. It’s easy, safe and secure. It was a breeze to set up and they have great tutorials!

Inspirational Note Cards Available in the Lavish Paper Co. shop.

Inspirational Note Cards Available at Lavish Paper Co.

Studio Elaine ~ Obviously I love your shop and items, what are you most proud of in your shop, and where do you find your creativity and inspiration?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ My inspiration comes from my own needs as a planner. I think I’m most proud of the digital items I drew and designed myself vs. clip art I purchased. It took a big effort to make some of those designs!

 

Studio Elaine ~  You are obviously very creative and talented, besides the items you create for your shop, what are some of your other talents, and what alternate creative outlets do you pursue?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ I sew and can hand stamp jewelry! It’s actually what the shop was prior to being a sticker shop! Digital graphics and design are my favorite though and why I picked this as my “forever” business plan.

Studio Elaine ~ Why do you feel shopping small is important?

Lavish Paper Co. ~As a small shop owner I know how much work, time, blood, sweat and tears goes into small businesses. I happily support other small shop owners (and bigger Etsy shops, too) because I know that they wouldn’t do what they’re doing if they didn’t love it and put a lot of work into it. There’s just something rewarding about buying an item I know has a lot of handmade love behind it!

Studio Elaine ~ How do you feel the role of women as small business owners has impacted you, and what do you think the major challenge as a woman in business has been for you?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ Being a small business owner has taught me a lot about owning and running a business. In the financial aspect of it, it’s helped me learn how to be financially more responsible. The major challenge I find as a female in any business is getting people to take me seriously. Women can and are just as motivated as our male counterparts. We can be just as business savvy, too!

Studio Elaine ~  What do you want our readers to specifically know about you and your shop?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ I started small and I’ve worked really, really hard to get where I am. I’m no where near as big as some other shops in my line of business, but I am really proud to have come as far as I have. I strive for out of this world customer service and the very best product I can make for you. Each and every single product that leaves my shop is designed, made and packaged by me with a lot of love and thankfulness.

Studio Elaine ~  What advice would you give to anyone out there, who thinks they might want to open their own small business?

Lavish Paper Co. ~ You can achieve anything you want to achieve. If you fall down, get back up. Don’t ever give up. If your first shop idea doesn’t work, find one that does work for you! I love sewing but it did not work for me in a business setting. Find something you absolutely love making for other people and then run wild with it!

Studio Elaine ~ I’d like to thank Rebekah for her time and participation in our interview series. If you haven’t done so already please visit the Lavish Paper Co. shop on Etsy and follow her on Instagram. She is a spectacular woman with an encouraging spirit and heart, and I know you will all love her as much as I do.

Click on the links below to connect with her shop and social media. One of my favorite items from her shop are the Insirational Note Cards, linked above. They are so delicate and feminine, they remind me of spring. Who wouldn’t want something so precious gracing their desk?

 

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