Jenna Sue Designs is a Jacksonville-based business that creates art prints and sells them online via Etsy. Jenna started her own business after deciding that the 9-5 life was not for her — she wanted to do her own thing. Her evolution from a job-holder to small business owner appears seamless — but it was really her determination and grit to succews that made it go well.
Jenna was inspired to start her business after she moved across the country and started envisioning her future house. She began designing artwork to fill the walls of her house in her spare time. A few pieces turned into an entire collection, and then she discovered Etsy, which is an online marketplace for artists/creative people. She became determined to become successful at selling her work and after several months of research and preparation, she opened her first Etsy store.
Jenna found that online marketing was critical to her business and that getting her products noticed online was essential to her success. She never paid for advertising but did her own social marketing (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). She also pitched her story to many online publications and individual writers to generate inbound links and drive people to her store. Additionally — the quality of her presentation and work attracted both West Elm and Starbucks to find her, which she modestly said was ‘good luck’ — but if you take a look at Jenna’s work, you will see why they were interested. She is talented, her presentation is crisp, and her work sells itself.
Jenna states that her attitude with her customers is imperative to her success — she treats every customer with the utmost respect and gratitude. She personally oversees the shipping process and takes a lot of care to make sure people get what they ordered and are pleased with the process. She says that she gives 110% every day to her business.
Although Jenna states that she was ‘born with the creativity gene’ — she states that what is most important to her success is the desire and absolute need to succeed. She says ‘when you want it more than anything else in the world and refuse to fail, you never stop learning and growing and doing’. Well, said — most self-help motivators agree on this one thing: you must commit to your success no matter what!
Jenna also states that you need to be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t do: and that if your presentation is lacking, you will not attract the sales you desire. The presentation of your brand must be professional and unique in order for your business to succeed. She states ‘if your product is not selling already, advertising will not fix it’.
Lastly, Jenna has a bit of advice on what is necessary to get people to your website to buy. She says it takes a good bit of research to find ‘popular blogs, magazines, news sites, where there is a captive audience targeted in your demographic.’ Sales is really matching the right product to the right person at the right price . . . and Jenna seems to be a natural at this process . . . she now has 2 Etsy stores and is doing great.
Congratulations to Jenna for her fantastic success in starting her own business: we wish her the best going forward! You can become Jenna’s fan on Facebook at facebook.com/jennasuedesign, or follow her on Twitter @jennasuedesign.