Lesley Hobbs, owner of Mushybooks
. Mushybooks is a collection of modern baby books. Lesley wants moms and dads to have baby book options that aren't all "pink and blue."
In Business Since: 2014
Business Highlights: I launched on January 13, and I've already got my books in a retail store in Abbotsford. I thought retail sales would come WAY down the line, but it happened really fast. I'm also proud to say that I've shipped to nine different US states! I was surprised to see so many US customers that found me via Etsy.
Business Challenge: Finding the capital to order in larger quantities. I opened my online shop with 100 books, so the margins aren't great. If I can order in larger quantities, my margins will improve dramatically. We are a single income family, so committing money to a business is a major risk. The other major challenge is TIME! I have three kids (5, 3, and 2 years old) and they are very demanding of my time. I am filling orders and assembling books in every spare moment.
Business Question: Are you aware of networking or mentoring opportunities for a new business to get involved with? I'd love to have a "big buddy" in business to bounce ideas off.
Congratulations on your new venture. Given that you are seeing book sales so early out of the gate, you might want to take a good look at biting the bullet and ordering at the next price break. Also, make sure you’ve shopped around and really are getting the best deal possible. If you can’t do it now, why not set a sales goal that will trigger the "big" purchase (e.g. "after I’ve sold 200 books"). Regarding networking opportunities, you’re in luck. There are tons of great women’s entrepreneurial groups. Check out Mompreneurs
, Women in Biz Network
, and The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
, for starters. By getting out to networking events, you’re sure to meet women ahead of you on the curve.
Lesley’s Advice to Other Entrepreneurs: Take a chance. You'll never know how your business idea will do if you don't try. It took me a year to muster up the courage to actually get some books printed, but I feel like I'm successful no matter what because I put myself out there and was vulnerable.