For Small Business Month in the Seller Community we are taking the time to feature just a few of our fantastic Community members.
In this interview we learn about Grace and her business Gracie Goose Designs. Grace shares why customer feedback helps her to improve, and how having a strong support network is so important.
Grace lives in Warwickshire in the UK. She has a full-time job in the research industry, and transformed a hobby into a greeting cards business after the pandemic. In the Seller Community she's @GracieGoose.
Why did you start your business?
I have always loved crafting, and grew up making gifts for loved ones. After collecting many hobbies through lockdown, I decided to return to one of my favourite hobbies since I was a child; card making and illustrating. Luckily for me, my skills have improved a little since then! By day, I work in the research industry, and one of my colleagues pushed me to start Gracie Goose and share my creative outlet with the world!
Goose is a nickname from my partner, and whilst I am still a little unsure whether or not I should take it as a compliment or not (!) it stuck, and became the perfect way to brand my shop, based in rural Warwickshire, UK.
Why did you choose Square for your business?
When I decided to start craft fairs, I needed to find a simple way to take payments in a world which is using cash less and less. I had seen Square used before and upon some research, it seemed the most user-friendly setup for my business. Thanks to Square, I can provide my customers with a convenient and reliable way to pay for my products at events, whilst remaining affordable for a small business such as mine.
What is your favorite thing about running a business?
Something I didn't even think about when starting my business was creating product mock up images, the difference in my first mock ups compared to my current ones is astounding! I love to create these so that customers can visualize the designs in a way which gives a little piece of GGD's personality, rather than standard product shots.
It's nerve wracking putting yourself out there, but the customer feedback makes it worth it. Whether it's good or not, feedback is super valuable, and provides you with insightful feedback on how to improve processes if they didn't meet expectations.
What is something you didn’t expect about running a business?
Being a small business owner is no easy task. You have to wear many hats, from accountant to marketing guru and everything in between! I've had to learn a lot about writing copy, and reading trend reports to see what customers are looking for. I may have a favourite design or two, but it's usually the items I don't expect that perform the best!
How do you plan for the future?
I have a list as long as my arm of design ideas to keep me occupied through quieter periods, as my sales are currently fairly seasonal. When busy events such as Valentines, Mother's Day and Christmas approach, I prepare by ordering materials ahead of time, and setting up ad campaigns to boost sales. I also keep in communication with my customers and inform them of any relevant updates which may delay their order, such as strike action, to keep things transparent.
What are your long-term plans for your business?
I would love to expand to cover more events, and start promoting sales outside of the UK! I would love to collaborate with other artists to start some fairs of our own in the future.
What has helped you to grow your business?
I have been able to pursue my passion and grow my business with confidence thanks to having a strong support system; from lending a helping hand with craft fairs, to tasks like social media promotion. It just goes to show that success is never achieved alone, and having a strong support system can make all the difference in the world!
Helen is a Seller Community Manager at Square and is the editor of the Seller Community Blog. She writes about small business and the owners & entrepreneurs that are a part of the Seller Community.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, you can register with your Square Login.