Kaitlin Akvan, creator and co-owner of Rustic Bear, is answering the questions for today’s Small Business Snapshot.
What is the primary purpose of your business? We create hand stamped jewelry in a variety of different metals and leather. We can personalize names, quotes, phrases and shapes on earrings, bracelets, necklaces, leather, pet tags, charms and keychains.
What is your business background? No business background. I have always been interested in starting my own small business from home. My husband has a natural knack for marketing though. He designed my logo and he keeps me on track.
Why did you start this particular business? I love the look of hand-stamped jewelry. It is quite expensive to purchase online so I wanted to try to make it myself. After making my first few pieces, I realized that people loved it. My husband and I decided to try to start a business and the Rustic Bear was born.
What makes your business unique? You can put absolutely anything on my jewelry. Whenever I buy jewelry, I always think, “I wish it had this little thing on it, or it said this, or it looked like this.” Now, I never buy jewelry because I can make it on my own. The best part is that no one else has it. It is totally unique.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession? I love meeting all the wonderful small business owners. The small business community has welcomed us with open arms and treated us like family. My customers are also so encouraging. I have had people say they pray that my business succeeds or that they have come to a craft event just to see me. How did I get so lucky?
What has been the biggest challenge to overcome as a small business owner? Honestly, the most challenging thing has been my perfectionism. I always want my jewelry to look perfect, but it is handmade — that is the beauty of it. I also have a hard time giving myself time to finish orders. As soon as someone orders something, I want to immediately make it and get it out the next day. I try to do that, but sometimes when I have several orders, it is just not realistic.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? If you are thinking about starting a small business, you can do it. I never dreamed I would be on this adventure, but I have loved every minute of it!
Business Age: 6 months
Owners: Zack and Kaitlin Akvan, creators
Business location: Home based
Web site: www.therusticbear.com
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org