Working Women Wednesdays: Connella’s Creations

8 May

This week, I interviewed my friend Misty, owner of Connella’s Creations.   Misty and I went to college together.  I wish I could say that she and I were really close back then, but truth of the matter is, I always tend to meet the coolest people, the ones that best jive with my personality either as I am leaving, or as we cross paths later in life.  My friendship with Misty is one of these. 

While I had genuinely liked Misty the little I saw her in college, I finally got to know Misty better through MySpace and Facebook during the time my hubby and I were stationed on Oahu.  While we were on that island, Misty and her family were living on another island.  Small world that brought the both of us all the way from college days in Florida to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 

At any rate, over the years, through our numerous comments and messages back and forth, I have come to truly admire and respect Misty as she strives to live a more natural life.   Her products, whether knit items or body care items reflect her passion to live clean, to use the resources God gave us wisely while taking care of our bodies using only what God gave us.   Misty has been inspirational to me to also start moving in that direction as I reevaluate the products I use and the foods I eat.

Below is our interview:

What inspired you to start Connella’s Creations?
A friend of mine had a soap making class at her house, and I loved the idea of making my own soap for my family, so I went and found it to be really fun. The soap turned out so well, I started researching and talking with other soap makers who encouraged me to go for it, and even shared some recipes.  On the knitting side of things, I always wanted to knit, and finally decided to take a class the beginning of this year. The ladies were so great, and I caught on quick because of their support.


How did you get started?
Well, from the time that I learned each skill to now, my family kept cheering me on to sell my products.  So, I made a Facebook profile page and just started posting soap and knit wear as I went along.  Because I’m still in the early phases of business, I’m still kind of “starting”.

Tell us about the type of products you make.
I make handmade, cold-processed, goat milk soap bars, organic lip balm sticks, and knit hats, scarves, cowls, wristers, skirts, slippers, etc.

What makes your products so unique?
I try to use natural ingredients in my body care line: organic unrefined cold-processed coconut oil, organic shea butter and organic bees wax, organic essential oils, local honey, local fresh goats milk, and, of course, lard– Good old fashioned soap.  My knitwear: I try to use mostly natural fibers like various wools, cottons, and vary rarely use synthetic fiber like acrylic.


What do you love most about your business?
Being home with my kids and feeling like I am still contributing to our finances.

What is most challenging about your business?
As I am still in the beginning stages, I think finding venues to sell through have been a little challenging and learning how to do more online business. Figuring out shipping costs is always a little tricky too, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

What was an expectation you might have had, that you have had to reevaluate once you got started?
The initial cost of start up.  To really make a “go” of this, I need to put more into my supplies to build up an inventory. Currently, I mostly make knitwear for special orders, and have a small inventory of body care products. So in order to supply more, I’d like to invest more. Gotta have money to make money, as the saying goes. Right now, whatever I make pretty much goes back into buying more supplies.


What is one tip you might offer to others stay-at-home moms starting out?
Find something you love and can live with doing over and over. Get connected online. Networking is so important. I post on several stay-at home-mom pages on Facebook, and share what I’m doing constantly. You never know who is looking and just may want what you are promoting.

What do you think is your most valuable tool in marketing your business?
My enthusiasm and the Internet. I don’t know how many people have contacted me that I’ve never met and want my product. It’s awesome.

How does your business affect your family? In either good or bad ways?
My family is excited about my business. Everything I make they want me to sell, or they come up with different ideas for scents or something to knit. There are times where they are put off, like when I have a big order to fill, or it is taking a lot more of my time than they’d like, but overall it has been a good experience so far.

 

If you had it to do over again, what might you change about the path of your journey so far, if anything?
I’m glad I am taking baby steps with this. I tend to be an all-or-nothing person, and although this may not be the way I’d like to do it, I think it will give me a better sense of accomplishment- for being patient and doing what I can when I can, versus being frustrated that I can’t put a lot of money into it right now to bring about bigger results faster.

Share a funny experience.
I like to give out samples of soap and don’t mind driving to a person to do so. I think a lot of people are looking for alternatives and want more natural products as a whole. That said, I was getting ready to knock on the door of a potential customer and got nervous when I heard dogs barking. To my relief, they were inside because when I looked up, I could see them in the window. As I looked back to the door, the guy had already opened it and was staring at me. It surprised me so much I let out a small yelp and nervous giggle. He was amused as well. That’ll teach me.

Misty is offering some specials as stated below. 
I try to keep the cost of my products down to make them affordable and easy to incorporate into having a healthier option. My specials are 3 bars of soap for $10, regularly $4 each and 2 lip balm sticks for $4, regularly $3 each. the cost of my knit wear is comparable to others on Etsy or other handmade sites.

If you would like to place an order or view the variety of items Misty makes, please visit her Facebook page: Connella’s Creations. 

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If you are a Work-At-Home Woman who runs your own business and would like to be featured on a “Working Women Wednesday,” please submit a short email about yourself and your business to borden.cbands77@gmail.com. ((Sorry, no Direct Sales Businesses at this time.))

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