The creative births a business
How amazing is it that we can create things from scratch. There’s a reason many people refer to starting a business like having another child. A business begins as an idea. In my case, an epiphany, and needs to be fed, nurtured and continually tended to. We give it a name and outfit it to suite our style. It has to grow, flourish, and in some cases, it becomes so strong, it can be set free and function without us.
Let’s put it out there that I am not a numbers, math or business person. I am a creative, the idea person. I am a storyteller, problem solver, a connector and facilitator — bringing people together to make things happen. If you talk about taxes, spreadsheets, pricing, investments or how to manage profits and income, I’ll get sweaty and uncomfortable.
But in the vein of getting things done, a trip to New York City loomed in early June for my daughter, Ella, and myself. It was a fun trip that involved performing and meeting entertainment professionals, visiting with family in New Jersey, seeing sights, taking in a Broadway show, and having a glorious time. But getting to and getting around NYC is expensive.
Idea born! Let’s raise money.
We started making custom bead bracelets and launched Ella Bella Beads. It was a simple fundraising idea that I jumped on like a business — and which has since become a business. We got a logo to create familiarity, set up a website, launched a Facebook page and Instagram account (which is how we’ve received most of our business) and have been vendors at several events. It was actually tough to keep up with orders given the initial outpouring of support.
I use only basic spreadsheet skills to keep up with tracking income and expenses. But the entire endeavour has multiple built-in lessons for Ella:
- If you want something and it costs, we have to work and earn money in order to afford it.
- We have pride in creating custom products that reflect our style and standard of quality. Each order comes with a handwritten thank you note from Ella, and a sticker that speaks the truth: “Handmade with love.”
- We must always give back: We donate $1 from each bracelet to The Children’s Hunger Project. She understands now how important it is to help others in our community.
I can see the sense of pride Ella has in our business. As we finished setting up our table at an event, she jumped up and down asking if we could start making bracelets. She made them for four hours straight. Everyone who walked by saw her sitting next to the sign with her name, beaming with pride at the beautiful table with display and products that what we created from nothing. And there I was, with my two kids, Ella and Ella Bella Beads.
Instagram icon: @ellabellabeads
Facebook icon: /IWantMyEllaBellaBeads