Even as a handmade business owner, I am always amazed at how some people are able to create the most gorgeous products with just a few materials and their hands. Today I am excited to share with you Cortnie of Love, Cortnie. Not only is she an amazing style blogger at Style Lust Pages but she has created an incredible line of handmade handbags and clutches all made from her home! Get to know more about Cortnie below!
At what moment did you realize you were meant to be an entrepreneur?
I don't know if that moment ever came! I never woke up one day and said "I'm going to start making handbags." It all started as a hobby. I found fun in it. It wasn't until I asked my blog readers what they thought about the idea I had did I really think about taking it further. I received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement.
Since all of your bags are handmade,how do you keep up with demand and the business side of Love, Cortnie?
It all goes back to time management. When I first started I was able to get bags finished and in the mail in 2 days at the longest. While I still work quickly, sometimes a week may go by before I'm able to get to an order and get it on its way. But my customers know that because I communicate that to them. Communication is so so important. You just have to pace yourself. Stick to your schedule as best as you can.
You are a style blogger as well! How has blogging helped you grow your business?
I actually started blogging before I started my business! The fact that it happened that way helped me tremendously. I had been blogging for about 2 years before I started making my bags and it was at a time before hundreds and hundreds of people had a blog. I'm going into my 6th year this year. So in that 2 years before I actually started I pretty much had that platform already to share my bags on. Bloggers were and still do play such a big role for brands. They were definitely some of the first people to wear some of my bags. Then the word spread from there.
I'm sure that you're super busy. What tools do you rely on daily to stay productive?
My iphone is #1. I can basically run my business from my phone. I'm posting on social media, answering emails, editing photos...you name it. That's really all I need.
3 Words To Describe Cortnie As An Entrepreneur:
Organized, Determined (I always say I'm hungry) & Focused
Being an entrepreneur is a constant learning experience. What sites or books do you go to for business tips and advice?
It's definitely a learning experience. You learn new things all the time. I wasn't into reading much, but you realize you have to read and consume new information if you want to better yourself and your craft. I'm not currently reading any books at the moment, but I do research things online. I love the website craftsy.com. For something as simple as new sewing techniques or how to incorporate a pocket or zipper, for example. There is something for everyone there. It's not just for people who sew. The best part is that you can take the classes on your own time and refer back to them later.
What has been the most challenging part of owning your own business?
Time management. I say this all the time when people ask. I'm the buyer, the merchandiser, the photographer, the marketer/advertiser, etc. While I love every aspect of what I do, it is time consuming. You have to learn to set aside time for yourself, as well as friends and family. I feel it is important to still keep a schedule when you work for yourself.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
The fact that I'm going into my 4th year of business. I'm grateful. So many people don't make it past the first. They think it's too hard, they give up, they don't have the money or whatever it may be. Their business doesn't make it. What's most rewarding for me is hearing how much people love their bags. It truly amazes me and I smile every time. People send me photos, or tag me online. Showing me how I made their birthday, Christmas or other event special. It means a lot. And it pushes me.
What advice would you give a young woman wanting to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship?
Go for it! You will never know the level of your future success if you don't try, right? You don't ever want to wake up and ask yourself "What if...?" No one wants to regret that.