Keepsake Business start up – a true life case study on a new keepsake business
What’s it really like to start your own keepsake business? When we read all the success stories of businesses, do the authors really remember what it was like to start up? Our very own Create Your Way To Success member Lianne Sheldon, joined us to begin her dream in September 2016. Here she shares her very recent experience of what it is like to become an entrepreneur when she set up Liggy’s Gift Shop .
“I am married and a mum to 2 children aged 9 and 6 – and I also have 2 dogs! I have been in the same type of job as an Early Years Practitioner since I left school. I just felt like I wanted something different. I have always been good with children and I am sociable and creative but I just didn’t know what was out there for me. One evening my husband was searching on Google for “opportunities to start your own business for women” and he came across The Keepsake Company website which is a joint company of Create Your Way to Success. It seemed to offer amazing support and good quality products to help you set up your own keepsake business – not a franchise. It seemed perfect as a low cost way for me to dip my toe in the water into creating these amazing keepsakes and see if I could turn it into a business. I could continue working at the same time. With a young family I didn’t want to get overloaded and this seemed a way I could have the best the best of both worlds.
Getting started in keepsakes
I contacted Create Your Way to Success and they were so helpful. I ordered their Mini start up kit . My husband works in IT so we chatted about the different packages and felt we didn’t need the IT support of the Full Package as he could do it all – there were different packages to suit everyone.
When the boxes arrived I was so nervous! That feeling of “I’ve really done it” mixed with anxiety but huge excitement. I waited for my husband to come home and we opened everything together. We were like children on Christmas Day! I immediately laid everything out and opened the link on my computer for the training module. I didn’t even know what all the pieces I had in front on me were! But as the training video went on I was picking them all out. It was so exciting I just wanted to start there and then!
The first thing I did was to make raised impressions with my children’s hands. They were so excited to be involved. We sat down and looked at pictures of what we could make. It was brilliant having them so involved in what I was doing.
As Christmas was approaching I purchased the pottery kit from Create your Way to Success. I sold personalised plates which were so easy to do and very popular. My first sales in my own keepsake business!
I created a Facebook page once I had made some samples to photograph and then asked my family and friends to share the page as much as they could. I also put it on local social media sites. My Facebook page is becoming more and more established. I recently ran a competition to get to 100 likes to randomly select someone to win a prize. It was a really easy and effective event to do – and so much fun to see the page get more and more popular.
My first ever creation was a raised impression of my 7 month old Godson’s hand. I made it as a surprise Christmas present for my friend. I felt so pleased and proud when I presented it. My friend was delighted. I will always remember the look on her face. It was a very special moment.
My goals for the next few months are to really push my Facebook page. I haven’t paid for any advertising yet but already I have 5 customers booked for the next 2 weekends, purely through Facebook sharing. I work within a children setting so I am planning to utilise the opportunities that I have through work.
I will be advertising for models and charging them a discounted rate for anything they order, so I can even cover the costs of materials whilst I am training myself.
The main challenge for me is to produce perfect work. As a mum myself I would be heartbroken if I paid money for something to capture a memory of my children and it was not perfect. The support I have received from Create your way to Success has been amazing and any questions or challenges I have faced they have been there to help me. Their Facebook group for members has been simply fabulous. It’s so helpful and supportive having other people just like me, setting up their own businesses, to share tips and experiences with.
My ultimate plan is to make this my full time job and I really think I can do it. Running it side by side my employment has been manageable and I can see it growing to being my sole income. I want to be there for my children and do things with them and with this business I will be able to.”