It takes a village to raise a child. And that's what Sweet B feels like.
Sweet B wouldn't be possible without the help of my suppliers. When I'm creating new products, I consider where I'm going to get my materials. I am always looking for locally-sourced supplies or materials from small businesses. Today on the blog, I'm highlighting a family-owned business from Missouri, One of the Flock. After the jump, Kelli, from this mother/daughter team, shares what it's like starting their own company.
Sweet B: How did you decide to start One of the Flock?
One of the Flock: My mom and I decided to partner in business just two years ago, but she started One of the Flock around 1999-2000. She was a crafter, selling wool felt and thought the name One of the Flock brought in the elements of both her wool source (sheep) and her spiritual source (God) – she also had a cute tagline, “Ambassador of Good Wool.” She had the desire to earn income from something that she was passionate about, and she is definitely a passionate crafter!
SB: Does running a business differ from how you first envisioned it?
OOTF: I think we both envisioned it a little differently. Of course, we envisioned financial freedom and the perks of being your own boss, but maybe we didn’t expect the challenges of managing the many aspects of business. When you are a creative person, you may not be thinking of keeping the books, or marketing strategies, or inventory, or product launches. There is a lot to consider when running a business, and sometimes you don’t have the whole picture when you first decide to embark on the journey!
SB: What has been the most exciting thing to happen since the company was founded?
OOTF: I think one of the most exciting things was forming this partnership as mother and daughter. My mom did a lot of groundwork in just being a consistent presence on the web for the last 15 years or so, and since partnering, I’ve been able to add my skills to the overall management of the business. When we combined our strengths the business really started to grow more significantly, and we are excited to see where it goes from here.
SB: Did you experience any setbacks or hiccups when starting your own company that you'd like to share?
OOTF: Yes. In terms of setbacks, one was definitely lack of focus. For example, not having a really good grasp on who our ideal customer is, what products to carry, what products to eliminate…what Etsy shops to keep open, which ones to close. I think there were 7 Etsy shops at one point. The setback would be in the time it has taken us to get a more laser like vision that can help us go to the next level.
SB: What are your favorite products you sell? What are your big sellers?
OOTF: It’s too hard to pick a favorite! Everything in the shop sells pretty well, but our pattern kits and felt and roving palettes are probably the most popular. (SB Note: One of the Flock has several pattern kits for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter)
SB: What does a typical day look like?
OOTF: A typical day starts with processing orders. Invoices are created in our own book keeping software, pick sheets are printed, orders are put together and shipped out. If there is extra time we may prep or pre-pack our popular palettes and kits, and because we create our own schedules we can weave in our family responsibilities like taking the kids to school, or sports events, getting groceries or doing laundry. That’s the beauty of the home business!
SB: What tend to be your biggest inspirations?
OOTF: I believe our biggest inspirations in the creative process are visual images – pictures, paintings, nature – many times the colors we see in these visual images may come out as a coordinated color palette or product image. We do give the greatest credit to God for our inspiration though! He gives us our best ideas.
SB: Besides Etsy, do you sell anywhere else?
OOTF: We sell on eBay as well, and have tossed around the idea of a brick and mortar – time will tell with that!
SB: What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year?
OOTF: We are looking forward to creating more, selling more, and creating a greater impact on the world through what our business is able to give into the non-profit organization Life Impact International. 10% of the personal income we make from One of the Flock goes to support their efforts in preventing, rescuing and healing children who have been victims of human trafficking. We look forward to seeing that support increase significantly!
Sending a huge thank you to Kelli and her mother, Suzanne, for taking the time to answer a few questions and continuing to provide amazing product!
Want more One of the Flock? You can follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook.