Our next small business owner enlightened us about the power of family and of unity. Their success knows no bounds. Want to know how?
Meet Tia from AllThatsRustic on Etsy, for our next conversation with a small business owner. She has come a long way since her day 1 and the journey has been nothing but a pleasant ride. Read on to know more!
Wow! Isn’t your stuff so amazing! Congratulations on that huge number of sales. Please tell us what your shop is about and how you came up with the whole idea.
Thank you! Our shop is basically a one-stop shop for rustic and farmhouse decor! We sell mason jar decor, centerpiece, sconces, metal decor, and so much more. We consider ourselves like a go to “Pinterest” store. 🙂
My shop basically got started on a random note. My husband and I always have been ones to DIY and remodel the homes we live in and I wanted to start making my own home decor for my new home at the time 3 years ago. I started searching for ideas on Pinterest no doubt and stumbled across this new emerging “rustic farmhouse” style. I was sold and absolutely obsessed and in love with this look. Eventually, I started seeing items for sale on a site called Etsy. I was kind of familiar with Etsy, but not 100%. I started clicking on some wreaths for sale and noticed that the people selling these items were everyday people and not big box companies. I did more searching and researching and walla! It gave me the idea. If they sell items on here well maybe I can too! I can sell things that I like with my taste and twist on them and see how it goes. I was a teacher for 3 years teaching first grade. Don’t get me wrong, I love the children and the teaching part, but being a teacher these days requires more than I bargained for. I didn’t feel the love for it like I thought I would. I told myself if I can get a certain amount of income and orders daily then I can leave teaching and pursue this dream. My husband worked at a factory at the start of my Etsy shop. I worked so so hard that summer of 2015 when I first opened my shop. I mean I worked! I sat in front of a computer for hours and hours until my wrist and arms were tingling and numb, created new listings, took pictures, and studied practically all day every day until I started getting some sales.
Then the work really began! Soon, the school year was back in session so I had to go to my day job and come home and work on my Etsy shop. I would stay up late hours. I worked for a whole year of working as a teacher and my Etsy shop. My Etsy shop exploded right when I found out I was pregnant a year since we had been open. My husband and I both decided to end our day jobs and take this new dream of ours on full force! We left it in God’s hands and walla! It worked.
Since then we have grown every single year. We have now hired 5 employees, 2 being full time, and 3 part-time. We have cried, screamed, yelled, laughed, threw things, celebrated, prayed, got injured, you name it! But all has been extremely worth it as we are both pursuing our dreams of being small business owners.
How did you make your first 5 sales? Did you have to struggle a lot?
Our first 5 sales were very memorable! I will never forget hearing that first sell come in with a “cha-ching” sound on my cell phone from the Etsy app! We opened May 26, 2015 and my first sale was on June 6, 2015. I could not believe it!! I literally jumped up and down and ran out the door to tell my husband. He kind of at first was skeptical and laughed when I said I was going to even do this shop and try to make a living out of it. He thought selling home decor would never get that much attention! Boy, was he wrong 🙂 After that first sale, more and more just magically came about! Reviews also help guide that too!
At first, there was not any struggle. As soon as the items were ordered, we pretty much had them shipped within a day or two. Very simple and
Tell us about some roadblocks you might have faced. How did you overcome them?
We have had some pretty big issues we had to work through. Once we started getting around multiple sales a day we started to worry some because it started to become very consistent and predictable. We were happy, yes, but with that many orders a day with just two people working on the material we started to worry we couldn’t handle the load and have items shipped on the dates stated.
We even moved our processing time dates out and we still struggled! We came down to realizing we had to get more help! This process you think would be a fast solution, but even at that, it took time! We had to train and teach people to really be crafty and we had to explain to them all we know so it definitely was a stressful problem, but a very good problem to have! Hiring help was how we overcame it! Eventually, we would get double that amount in orders a day and we had to hire more and more. Those times were probably the most stressful I can say.
What are some of your goals? Did you start your business with a particular aim in mind?
We have a 2018 goal of building our new shop/warehouse and small storefront! We have already purchased the land to build and we will start building in the next couple of months! We are very excited for this new improvement! Our aim has always been to make it go as far as it will let us go!
Don’t stop and don’t give up! Push hard and work hard. It will not be easy, but it will be so worth it and so rewarding! Try to be your own person. Make your own products! Feel proud about your products and self. Feel confident, but never think you have it made. That is when you may slip. You will always have to work for it every single day like it is the first day!
Tell us something about your family! How have they contributed to the shop?
Our family is one tight family that honestly you don’t see much of anymore. We are so so close and work so well together. My husband and I have mostly employed family to help. We now have 3 employees that are not family, but my mother, grandfather, sister, mother in law, father in law, father, sister in laws all helped at one time or another. My mother and grandfather are currently steady employees of ours and my goodness we could not have done what we have done thus far without them!! My mother paints mason jars and helps me fulfill orders for shipment. My grandfather painted some of our mason jars.
What is that one quote that inspires you and always keeps you going?
I have always felt like people would never like things I come up with or my ideas in general. I have always been shy and timid about things. I don’t open up very often either. I can sometimes be very to myself. I feel as if though this business has brought me out of that a little bit, but being that way has also made me a determined and self-motivated worker as I spent so much time alone creating this shop. I feel like I finally have the confidence of knowing my creations and my ideas are accepted well and sometimes not accepted by everyone and that is okay!
I thought about rustic and how it means “imperfect”. I actually have come up with my own quote to describe me and my business very well. “We all have imperfections, but that is what brings out the character in us!” -Tia Moyer (All That’s Rustic).
Something about that rustic touch gives off so much rustic charm and character. We are like that as humans. We all have imperfections, but sometimes those imperfections may lead to bigger and better things that can show the best of our character 🙂
If you had to point out something unique about your shop, what would it be?
Our mason jar sconces! They have been such a hit from day one! We are the number one sellers on them by far and we are very proud of our sconces! There are so many shops now on Etsy that sell these, but we did start the trend 🙂
We noticed that everyone started to make these, so we thought to ourselves.. Hmm.. how can we change it up and make ourselves different from everyone else again? We changed our metal hooks! Instead of using the same style hooks everyone else did and had access too, we decided to design and have our own created! My father is a sheet metal business owner and he was able to make that dream come to life. Walla! We were now uniquely our own sconces again and this time no one could do the same product exactly, so we feel our lighted mason jar sconces are our most unique product about our shop!
Our family is one tight family that honestly you don’t see much of anymore. We are so so close and work so well together. My husband and I have mostly employed family to help. We now have 3 employees that are not family, but my mother, grandfather, sister, mother in law, father in law, father, sister in laws all helped at one time or another.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I had no experience or skills in running a business and neither did my husband. We have no degrees in business either! We have self-taught our way through the business world 100%, but we have learned a tremendous amount of things now we feel like we could have degrees!
This one needs special attention. What, according to you, makes people not succeed?
In my personal opinion, I feel when I person doesn’t succeed it is because they didn’t work hard enough towards it. To be extremely successful in what you do or want to do, you have GOT to put 100% full time effort into it in most cases. You have to go through sacrifice to do so as well. There were so many nights I had to sacrifice having fun or doing things a typical young couple would do our age. We really had to hustle. It was not easy by any means, but it is extremely rewarding if you can keep pushing yourself to the limit. We still do to this day. It doesn’t really stop there. It has to be something you continuously are doing. You can never settle down or give up! I feel most the time if you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough or working towards what you wish to be successful in enough it won’t ever happen. I have seen so many try to start an Etsy shop that I personally know and they gave up within about 3 weeks or less. You must persevere! 🙂 It usually is never the product or items that people are trying to sell or make that makes the business unsuccessful, but more of how they are running or conducting their business rather than the products themselves, unfortunately.
Lastly, If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t stop and don’t give up! Push hard and work hard. It will not be easy, but it will be so worth it and so rewarding! Try to be your own person. Make your own products! Feel proud about your products and self. Feel confident, but never think you have it made. That is when you may slip. You will always have to work for it every single day like it is the first day! 🙂
Loved the post? Check out our previous conversation with another successful Etsy seller here. Let us know what you think about this shop in the comments below! We’d love to know your opinions.