Sarah DeMoss of DeMoss Designs
How did you start your business?
This business, and I am still hesitant to call it that, started very much by accident. I discovered Etsy.com
after hearing about it on TV, and I made a few purchases. I made a quilt for to use in my living room and while the quilt was beautiful, it did not fit my room as I had hoped. I decided to give Etsy a try, so I filled out a few questions, took some pictures and got my store up and running.
When my first quilt sold, I was shocked and excited. I began to increase my inventory and to expand my selection. I also did a few craft shows and word began to spread locally. Now, I sell on Etsy, locally and through a few wholesale accounts with boutiques, children’s retailers and gift shops. By having my business located primarily online, I have some control over how active it is.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
I started with one item on Etsy and it never slowed down from there. I have a real appreciation and love for all things handmade, and I knew I wanted to sell quality handmade products. I still have a “real job” part-time as a social worker, and I parent my young kids during the day.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
The first and most important resource I took advantage of was the help of a good accountant. I was a stay-at-home mother and social worker with a good business sense, but I didn’t know the first thing about taxes and money. I got on the right track early, which has eased my family’s mind.
I also listen to my customers. I get custom requests for items almost every day and many of these are not items I traditionally make. Some of these requests have turned into my best sellers. If a customer asks for something, there’s a good chance someone else would want something like that too.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
I wake up and get my daughter off to school and then start answering emails and looking over any orders that were placed during the night. I work in my basement studio any chance I get during the day when I am not playing with my kids or running them to and from activities.I typically pack up orders to ship and answer any final emails prior to leaving for my other job in the evenings. Weekends are spent sewing and processing orders as well.
What’s next for you and your company?
I would love to sell my products in more local shops and boutiques around Cincinnati. There are some great little gift shops located just a few mines from my home and I hate going in and seeing mass-produced items. I personally seek out handmade products when I am shopping, and I think a lot of people have that same mentality. My on-line sales really increase during the two months leading up to Christmas so I am planning on reaching out to some local shops after the holiday season.
What other start-ups or new companies in our area have caught your eye lately?
I love local business and downtown Loveland has some of the most quaint and wonderful places. My family frequents Loveland Sweets and the Branch Hill Coffee Company whenever possible and my favorite restaurant is Tano. I could seriously never leave Loveland and be quite happy just visiting locally owned businesses.
Interview by Robin Donovan