Hi Jen! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Jen Perkins and I am the owner of BeezDream. I live in Macon, GA with my supportive husband Michael and our son Tyler. We also have 3 smalls dogs and 2 cats.
How did you get started in your handmade business?
I believe I started as a young child with the drawings I used to do (houses, houses and more houses, I grew up in a small frame home with 9 people sharing the space so I dreamed of wide open spaces within a house!), it progressed to re-decorating my room (after my sisters moved out) and then blossomed into my wedding. It wasn't too long after that I was creating things for friends and co-workers. A couple of friends encouraged me to branch out. I started on another sight, had some success there and have since opened shops with The CraftStar and a couple other sights.
What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
My big dream is that I will grow enough to actually pay myself! I would love to contribute to the support of the family. I have enjoyed enough success that the business is now self-sustaining, but it would be wonderful to see it grow even more. I see myself on my current path, new designs, learning more about web marketing and working out of my home for years to come. I love the creative process I enjoy. I have two sisters that paint, two brothers that are musically talented and another that builds race cars, so I come by my creativity naturally (my mom also, knits and crochets). I completely "zone-out" when designing new things, hours go by and I look up and see that the day has raced past my corner of the world! I love it!
Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
I have been asked to donate for auctions, been invited to many craftshows but the biggest thrill was when I was asked to participate in Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Although I did not see my work featured I know it was used on-set.
What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My Dykes (wire cutters), these have proved invaluable in saving my hands and wrists... next in line is my trustee glue gun, third but greatest tool in my bag is my creative passion. It is the most valuable tool I have. With creative passion you can make the world more beautiful!
Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?
Worst disaster ever! As I mentioned, I did my own wedding, from the flowers to the bridesmaid dresses. I designed and produced a beautiful veil, hand-sewn edging of delicate pearls, etc. After all was done, I decided the veil needed a little pressing, got the iron too hot and melted a giant hole in it! Needless to say I was much more careful when I had to start over with a second version...
How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
I post primarily on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BeezDream/143898462378148
and twitter: @JenniferPerkin6 I frequently post coupon codes for twitter followers!
How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
Marketing like any business is the life blood of growth. i use social media and have used a service to help with web traffic. Most effective? I think my daily posting to social media brings the most traffic. Although I believe it is just as important to grow your followers within your shop sights.
Word of mouth is also critical, people have friends and recommendations are the most valuable marketing you can obtain. I have experienced "clusters" of sales where I make a sale in one state with many in the same state following... coincidence? I think not. I strongly believe providing a top-notch niche product is my number one marketing tool.
What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
My top seller is a beautiful lavender/purple mix. Also very popular during the holidays are my custom design hand-crafted angels.
Thanks for taking the time to join us today Jen. We appreciate you taking time out of our busy schedule so that we could interview you. Happy sales!