Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Garcia.
Hi Crystal, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Lucky Star Bandanas began as a creative outlet for me. I’ve always loved working with colors and prints, and I wanted to somehow combine my love of textiles with my passion for animals.
My inspiration was none other than my dearly departed big furry Akita, Star—who patiently modeled my fabrics and designs and sat by my side in the wee morning hours of my trials and errors. I was fortunate to share 12 wonderful years with my beautiful spirited girl.
She is the “Star” behind Lucky Star Bandanas and the reason for my strong advocacy of kindness, support, and compassion for animals in need of a loving home. It was very important to me that my business contributed back to the animal community.
So, a portion of each purchase supports an animal in need.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
At the startup of my business, most of my customers were friends and family, who were my biggest cheerleaders and sponsors, promoting my business to co-workers and friends of friends. I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it was to see my first 20 sales!
Responding to questions about my product when I was still creating my brand was nerve-wracking. But I was determined to see my business venture come true. It was definitely a slow start and I struggled with how to gain greater visibility. That’s when I decided to partner with a local dog rescue and sponsor a fundraiser so that a portion of all purchases for that quarter would go to that rescue.
I took photographs of some of the rescue dogs in Lucky Star Bandanas and featured the dogs on my social media pages in an effort to help them find their forever homes. Soon after I took these steps I saw an uptick in my sales and followers. I was so excited to hand over my very first donation to the rescue.
I’m a firm believer that when you have good intentions, and you do good things for others it will come back to you. I can say that was very much the case in helping grow my business.
As you know, we’re big fans of Lucky Star Bandanas. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Lucky Star bandanas and bow ties are hand-cut by me and meticulously sewn by my mother-in-law who is a professional seamstress by trade. My favorite part of the process is shopping for fabrics. I look for a fun and tasteful variety of prints on good-quality fabrics.
I’m always mindful about keeping up with the trends, but also love a good classic polka dot or plaid. I often reach out to my followers for their feedback on prints they’d like to see added to my shop. I think it’s very important to engage your customers to ensure that you’re on the right track with the products you’re offering.
Many of my clients are repeat customers who appreciate the quality and style of Lucky Star Bandanas and have graciously left product reviews indicating that the bandanas and bow ties hold up well to the wear and tear of their pups and that they wash well. I pride myself on providing excellent customer service and making quality pet accessories at an affordable price.
The most rewarding part of my business is that I am able to give back to the animal community. Since I started this business 5 years ago, a portion of all of my sales has gone to several animal rescues around the valley to assist in providing water and feed to wild horses, caring for rescue dogs with extreme medical needs, assisting with cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs and much more.
I wouldn’t be able to do this without all of the support I’ve received and I’m so grateful for that.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes when running a small business; packaging and shipping, responding to customer messages, shopping for new materials, maintaining social media pages, prepping for events, etc.
It’s okay to have the help of your family and friends. Don’t feel like an imposter because you’re not doing it all on your own.
Having the help and support of your friends and family is truly a gift and sometimes it’s the only we can keep things going.
- Website: luckystarbandanas.etsy.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luckystarbandanas/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/luckystarbandanas/
Araya Photography arayaphotography.com