Over Mother's Day weekend I had my first trunk show in Buckhead, Atlanta at Swoozie's. For those of you that aren't familiar with Swoozie's they are a contemporary gift and stationery retailer. They have everything you'd ever need to host a party or event. They even have specialty gifts you can have monogrammed. Cool, right?! My experience at Swoozie's was one of my best experiences as an entrepreneur. I will admit I was nervous the entire week because I didn't really know what to expect but it surpassed any expectations I could have dreamed. The Swoozie's staff was so helpful and supportive which I am so thankful for.
Here are 6 things I learned from my experience this weekend.
1. Stay in the moment
This is something that is often easier said than done. If you guys are anything like me, I am always thinking about what's next or about the outcome of a situation that hasn't happened yet. It's a pretty wasteful use of time, right? You can't predict the future, but you can put your best foot forward and do everything you can to make sure you succeed.
2. Share Your Story
One of the best parts of this experience was having the chance to talk about my inspiration for creating Mae B. I found that every brown girl I spoke to over the weekend shared my experience and frustration of the lack of stationery products for women of color. Sharing my story started these wonderful conversation and confirmed that Mae B is filling a void in the marketplace.
3. Be Open To Feedback
On Saturday, a gentleman was on the hunt for the perfect Mother's Day card for his wife. Unfortunately, the Mother's Day cards in our collection were written from the daughter to mother perspective. The gentleman still purchased a card because he wanted to support Mae B, but in that moment I knew I had an opportunity for growth. During our conversation, I asked him questions about what occasions he was more likely to purchase a greeting card. This conversation was so helpful and I will be making immediate adjustments to the line. Feedback is always a great way to provide a bit of checks and balances to any business.
4. Own Your Products Value
Pricing has always been a tricky subject for me but I have learned to own the price point of Mae B's products. I firmly believe that if I wouldn't purchase our products I will not sell them to you. I refuse to skimp on quality. From the weight of our envelopes to the cardstock we use to print our cards it has to be the best. Now with that being said, the commitment to quality is reflected in our pricing. When I first started Mae B I was scared to price our products "too high", but I quickly moved on from that because I know that what we offer is worth it.
5. Not Everyone Will See Your Products Value
There is a huge marketplace out there and the fact is everyone is not going to want to buy into your company. That is okay. Focus on the building and maintaining great relationships with your current customers.
6. There Are People Rooting For You
Being an entrepreneur can feel isolating at times because many of us spend most of our time in our bubble working to make our dreams come true. You may post something to social media and it gets a like or two and your reaction is "no one's supporting me". I see memes that highlight this all of the time. This weekend my entire attitude changed. I had childhood friends, high school friends, college friends, social media followers, co- workers, and my dad show and support me this weekend. When I saw those beautiful faces walk through the doors my heart could have burst. I said all of that to say, there are always people in your corner whether you see them or not.