Monday, August 10, 2015

5 Questions for Melissa, #Girlboss at Sweetwater Decor

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Hello hello! Welcome to our third #Girlboss installment! Here, you lucky ladies can pick up tips and serious inspo from Melissa, owner and creator extraordinaire behind the adorable Sweetwater Decor, which was featured on The PDX Belle just a few days ago

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1. What is your favorite item in the shop?  

My favorite item in my shop is my Strong Beautiful Brave Courageous Mug!  I came up with the idea while I was washing dishes and began designing it right after that.  I love that there's no other design like it out there as it's original to our shop.  I have as a print as well and I can't tell you how many customers purchase it for a friend who needs a pick-me-up.  It's great create something that touches so many lives in a positive way.

2. What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting and owning your own business?  

The most rewarding aspect is making others happy and excited to own one of my products.  Whether it is a wedding invitation or a inspirational mug or print, I love being able to create items that bring happiness to others.  Along with that, it's so rewarding to create a design and have it come to life - whether it is on one of my mugs, invitations, stamps, or apparel.  It's really great to bring an idea to life!

3. Where do you see Sweet Water Decor in the next 5-10 years?  

I hope to see SWD grow and have a few more employees than just myself in the next 5-10 years.  We are in wholesale all over the US and Canada so it would be wonderful to keep growing that business as well.  I would love to see our product lines expand into new items and many new designs.  I want to see SWD touching many lives in a positive way in the coming years!

4. How did you get started?

I used to be an apparel buyer for a major retailer in Pittsburgh, PA.  Being in merchandising, I fell in love with product - creating buys and designs, it was a dream!  That combined with my love of design, I knew I wanted to open up my own shop, but just didn't know what I'd sell.  I switched jobs to become a Financial Analyst last year, but still was missing that retail calling.  I got engaged in September and started looking for save the date postcards on Etsy.  I started looking through everything and thought, I could make that myself!  I was actually in my basement with my then fiance, surrounded by my paintings, and thought well, I could see if I could sell any of these on Etsy?  I needed a shop name and contemplated what name I should use, and I came up with Sweet Water Decor.  [ Sewickley, our hometown, means Sweet Water - hence where I got the name]   From there I added invitations, wall art, and then many many others - mugs, stamps, wedding invitations, save the dates, and more. My business has grown tremendously since I began it in December 2014.  I have now been featured in Style Me Pretty, made an actress's wedding invitations, and was even featured in Pittsburgh Magazine.  I opened a second Etsy shop, StampsLux exclusively for address stamps with much success in my SWD shop.  We now sell wholesale all around the United States and Canada.  I just launched my website, and just became an LLC.  

5. What is it like owning your own small business?

I absolutely love it!  It is VERY time consuming.  Working full time, I spend every other waking moment on the business.  With that being said, I'm so excited to say I just put in my 2 weeks at my current position in the corporate world last week to live my dream and work on Sweet Water Decor, LLC full time!   Being the Owner and Designer (aka the only worker), minus my great husband who sometimes helps me make all the mugs!, is crazy but also so much fun.  It's amazing to work for yourself and truly "hustle and work" for your business.  I love being the designer and seeing my products come to life.  You definitely have to be very organized, whether in your mind, on spreadsheets, or on paper.  When you own your own business you juggle deadlines for orders, ordering supplies, shipping, customer service, marketing, the works!  W hen you own your own business you become a  true "Girl Boss".  It's great to see this amazing #girlboss movement going on and so much of it can be seen on Instagram.  Many women run their own business 

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