Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Kline.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Like many other entrepreneurs, my business started with passion. I was a new stay at home mom and after working nonstop for many years (Design Assistant, Optician and Performing Singer/Songwriter), even though I LOVED being a mama, this was a hard transition for me. Being a creative person, I needed to be doing something work related from home so, I taught voice lessons, made and sold soap, sold Mary Kay cosmetics and even did in-home child care for a while. I was searching.
One day, I went to sell some clothing at a children’s clothing resale shop and I left frustrated about how badly I was treated. I decided I could go home to do it better! The next day, I started buying clothing and threw up a website; which did not do very well, as I was a novice. Then, after some time, I learned how to use eBay….
For the first 8 years of my business, I was mostly an online shop on eBay. During this time, I was lucky enough to be featured on AZ Midday and also win “Best of the Valley” from Phoenix magazine for best back to school clothes shopping! I totally thought it was a joke until I was invited to the winner’s party and saw that magazine with my name in it. Crazy, right?!
During this time, I also opened a physical location, created a business group for moms with 6 local chapters as well as produced with a partner 3 large holiday vendor shows. It makes me tired just thinking about it! So much fun had and lots of amazing people met.
Over the last 7 years, I have focused on painted furniture, vintage home décor, custom signs, pop up clothing resale and opening as well as closing a new physical location. I have been a vendor at Front Porch, Covered Wagon, Qcumberz, Zinnias, Michael Todd’s Treasures and lots of trade-shows. Currently I work from home and my shop space is nestled inside Merchant Square Antiques.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Has it been a smooth road? No! It has been a very curvy and changing road — sometimes, with the which road are you going to take arrow sign on it. For me, the biggest struggles have been balancing family (3 kiddos and a hubby), college, music and work as well as not having enough help in the business with daily tasks. Also, I am a constant visionary and dreamer, so I am always adding new ideas and projects to my list that seem overwhelming however, needed to grow. Once again, balance.
Friendly advice from me to you (I could go on and on):
*Believe that you can do it.
*Ignore naysayers. For real.
*NEVER go into business with family or friends. I am sure some of you disagree and this is my policy.
*Even though it is hard not to, do not compare yourself to others. If you find yourself in a comparison moment, tell yourself: *Her success is not my failure*. Truly
*Help others and share insight.
*Build a community of supporters.
*Learn something new every day.
*Learn to rest -not quit.
*Connect with other business owners.
*Most things do not happen overnight —give it time and be patient.
*Do not be stagnant-keep growing.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need it sometimes.
*Remember that every event that you participate in is good. Even if you have a sad turnout you can still make contacts with other vendors that may turn into great friends.
Please tell us about Strawberry Monday.
My business is called Strawberry Monday and I carry vintage home décor, painted furniture as well as custom signs. Once in a while I also incorporate online pop-up shops with clothing resale, since many of my customers still search me out for it.
For the vintage items, a lot of travel is involved to hand pick items that fit into the shop. If a personality was assigned to my shop it would be a grandma’s beach cottage. That sounds weird right!? However, if you come into Strawberry Monday hopefully you will feel like you stepped into your quirky grandma’s house who like lots of color, positivity, serving food on pretty dishes and the beach.
I hand make the signs, earrings and paint all of the furniture myself, which is a lot of work as well as therapeutic.
Something else that Strawberry Monday is known for is vintage Cabbage Patch Kids. I typically take them to shows however, some may pop up online soon. I LOVE when ladies come into my shop and run over to them gushing about their favorite!!
I am proud of the longevity (15 years strong) and the direction my business has taken. I think some things that make Strawberry Monday stand out is I try to provide exceptional customer service, value by affordably pricing unique/collectible items and promoting a positive vibe/message with my signs.
- Website: www.StrawberryMonday.com
- Phone: 480-862-4907
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/strawberrymonday/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrawberryMonday