I was in Hobby Lobby yesterday using a Christmas gift card from my Hubby (employing the “matching gift” program — match with my own money the value of the gift card!) and picked up the January/February 2011 issue of Victoria Magazine. I haven’t subscribed in years, mostly because I felt it was too much about decorating and less about history and a serious look into things vintage.
But I still pick a copy up now and then for the visual appeal and occasional article on successful women entrepreneurs. This issue is the “Special Entrepreneur Issue” so it appealed.
Of the six women featured, two really caught my eye — Eileen Eisele and Kate Hines. Ms Eisele because she has taken a totally mundane commodity — packing tape — and turned it into something elegant; and Ms Hines because of her longevity in the jewelry making business.
TapeSwell‘s identity is clear: “Practical. Pretty. Tape.” I’m going to order some of the Envelope Wrap Tape. This one, I think:
It’s called Lyra.
And I love their brown paper shipping labels for packages:
According to Victoria, Eisele was an interior design and art student, then had a successful career as a photo stylist.
Kate Hines came out of the Rhode Island School of Design as a metalsmith and has been a successful jewelry artist and now entrepreneur for thirty years. Kate Hines Jewelry features pearls of all kinds — freshwater, cultured, and saltwater . Her bridal line is understated and classic. Being a traditionalist and a vintage lover, pearls are queen in my book.
Here’s a beauty called her “Grand Tier Necklace” with pearls, crystals and moonstones. Lovely and affordable at $195.
Hines’ success story includes being picked up by blockbuster retailers like Sakes Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, then designing for catalog giants like Coldwater Creek and J. Jill.
But what interested me most was what Hines had to say about growing her business. The fact that her jewelry appeals to women of all ages (classic endures!) she owes to following a set of rules.
She says: “If you are going to put a product on the marketplace you must ask three questions: What is it? Why does it matter? Why now? And the answers must always be apparent.”
I’m answering these questions in my own business right now and it always helps to have someone else who is successful in your field validate the process.