Full Name: Lisa Pallardy
Company/Business Name: My Little Rembrandt
Year Business Was Founded: 2004
Tell us about your business: I create unique gifts and apparel (Christmas cards, notecards, coffee mugs, notecards, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and aprons) using a child’s (or adult’s) artwork. I also make fun, unique, and affordable teacher gifts, and I offer fundraising opportunities. My business is different from most similar businesses, because I work individually with each customer to help them create what they envision. For instance, I add borders and text. I can remove “mistakes” on the artwork. And for those who are technologically challenged, and aren’t sure how to scan or attach images to an email, I invite them to snail mail the artwork to me, and I scan it for them at no additional cost. I’m offering readers of your blog a 15% discount off any order when they use Coupon Code DIVA15 at checkout.
What inspired you to start your business? I’m a mom of 6 kids, and my house was being overtaken by art projects. I wanted to find a fun and creative way to share it with grandmas and babysitters teachers and other friends and relatives. One Christmas, I used a school art project my 6 year old had created and made our family Christmas cards. The response was so positive, I decided to start my business offering this service.
What has been your biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it? My biggest challenge in the beginning was time management. Once I started running my business like a business (with set hours for myself, minus the occasional day off to go on a field trip or have lunch with a friend), I started getting a lot more done, and started to receive a lot more orders!
What would you say has contributed to your business success? Perseverance. My sales were slow at first, but I kept working, and kept experimenting with better ways to make my products, and networking with other moms, and now I’m making a fabulous income, and just signed a contract with a major children’s catalog who is going to be carrying my Big Brother/Big Sister tshirts in their Spring catalog.
What advice would you like to offer other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business? Learn. Read. Network. Don’t give up….it took me several years before my income could be considered more than just a hobby!
What is your favorite tool or resource you use for your business? I love social networking, like Twitter and Facebook. I also read a lot of blogs and try to leave lots of relative comments with a link back to my business.
Share one business goal you have for your business? In the last couple of years I’ve started doing fundraising for schools, and I’d really like to grow this part of my business.