My name is Heather, and I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I worked with my mother in her business. Back in the 80`s, she made and sold some pretty amazing jewelry made of Shrinky Dink (shrink plastic, remember that?).
By the time I was 16, I was testing my salesmanship in a traveling carnival (loooooong story). For a few years, I settled into the corporate world with Kinko`s (starting at seventeen) while I went to college. Moving up the ladder from co-worker to color copy specialist to desktop publisher to print specialist (for outside work) to corporate trainer over three years had me moving all over the country.
As soon as I got the chance, though, I got back to my dreams of owning a business by writing and publishing my first book. Selling it meant I made my first website in 1996 (it was one long gif, because HTML couldn`t make it look like what I wanted yet), and start my first email newsletter (I met potential customers through the Compuserve forums).
I kept my business going until 2007, when I let it go for personal reasons whie it was still bringing in good money. I had done what I dreamed for ten years... supported myself and my family very well with something I loved.
During that time I also consulted and helped start-ups and other companies at no charge. I have worked with everything from a skateboard company, a tattoo shop, several magazines, a shopping center, a pet store, a barbecue company, a enviromental engineering firm to real estate agents and restaurants. I used theopportunities to see inside those businesses, and to learn as I taught and helped.
Now, I have gone back to corporate for a short time. I took the job I`m in because I felt (and still feel) it had something to teach me. I am the marketing coordinator for a local corporation. I oversee the graphics, list management, email schedules, promotions, and social media efforts for Queensboro, a company that offers custom embroidered and printed apparel for small businesses.
I also take freelance work on the side in web and graphics design (specializing in marketing-driven design), but I don`t really push that myself, since I have a girlfriend who I work with that pimps me out quite nicely. I am also working on a new project.
My project is part online community, part charity, and part Project Runway. In those ten years of business, I taught sewing, fashion design and personal style development, and I will be using some of my considerable accumulated resources from that time to build the foundation for my new project.
I learned something from my ten years in business for myself... I can`t and don`t want to do it all.
In a few months, I will be looking for skilled people who would be interested in participating in a business experiement, a team of professionals giving a small amunt of time per week (say 4 hours) for a year to learn new things, challenge themseves, and quite possibly make a nice chunk of change.
Of course, the money is never a guarantee, so even I am in it for the fun and challenge (although the goal is serious cash), and then to repeat the template again and again. *smiles*
I`ve probably rambled on enough.
I am not the greatest expert in anything. I am just me, with experiences and opinions in nearly every part of running a business, and willing to share them.
I look forward to continuing my discussions with some of you, and meeting many more of you.
Thanks for having me.