Name: Alison Lindsey (Ali)
Company/Business Name: Alisiana Designs
Website: http://alisianadesigns.webs.com, http://www.alisiana.etsy.com, http://www.alisianadesigns.com (coming soon)
Year Business Was Founded: October 2010
Tell us about your business: I make custom personalized beaded mother’s bracelets, grandmother’s bracelets, bridal bracelets and more. I use Sterling Silver alphabet beads and Swarovski crystals. I am a mid-thirties married Christian mom of four children and live in the west suburbs of St. Louis, MO. I am still “inventing” new bracelet styles and welcome suggestions. Since most are custom made, customers can contact me with what they are looking for and I will do my best to accomodate them. For example, if someone loves the “Lorraine/Kayla” mother’s bracelet, but does not want the birth stones, she can substitute for any other color crystals or even a different type of bead. (Prices will be lowered or raised to reflect the cost of the beads used)
What inspired you to start your business? I have always had a creative side. But being a mom of 4 meant that I put my creativity on hold. I saw mother’s bracelets on the internet and fell in-love with them. I decided I’d like to try to make one for myself…and I did. I found that making bracelets was relaxing. And I knew that it would be a great way for me to make unique holiday and birthday gifts for the moms, grandmas, aunts, and sisters in our lives. After my husband saw the very first bracelet I made, he asked me…”so is this going to be your new business?”. I was quite surprised as I wasn’t even sure anyone else would like my style. I started putting photos of my bracelets up on Facebook and had a terrific response…several people asked me what the prices were and someone even bought one before I decided I was indeed going to do this as a business. With that little bit of encouragement, I decided that I would try my hand at selling these bracelets.
What has been your biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it? Since this business is so new, I have not met many challenges with it yet. However, I would say there are moments when I feel silly for trying to promote something that I originally intended to be a hobby. Then I realize that is how many successful businesses began. And not everyone has the time, patience or creativity to make jewelry but still would like something special to symbolize their family.
What would you say has contributed to your business success? The support of my husband Dave and best friend Jen has been a huge reason that I have even given this a try. And my two older children have helped me with my two little ones while I make bracelets.
What advice would you like to offer other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business? “Attitude is everything!” – thinking positive can really go a long way. And don’t let the potential to make money be your only source of motivation. Find something you love doing or can feel passionate about. I have worked with several companies as an Independent Rep over the years and have found that I couldn’t stay focused…partially due to the demands of motherhood. But also because I got bored. I’m still a part of several companies and work them here and there… especially when someone has expressed an interest in the products or services. But the hobby of beading bracelets (which I hope to extend into earrings and other pieces) is something that I would enjoy doing even if no one ever bought a single thing from me!
What is your favorite tool or resource you use for your business? Facebook has been wonderful! I am able to easily post photos on my business page and have already held a contest that received attention a lot quicker than I expected. Also my new iPhone 4 has a decent camera…I’ve had to use it exclusively since my real camera is not working properly, though I do hope to buy something better soon.
Share one business goal you have for your business? One goal I have is to continually earn repeat and referral business. What better complement than for someone to come back to buy something else from you and send their friends your way! I love to see (in person), read about, and hear about how much someone likes the bracelets I make. I take pride in my work and offer free re-stringing if a custom bracelet does not fit or if it breaks.