Small businesses are more and more becoming the lifeblood of America. As a fashion blogger and entrepreneur, I understand the struggle to transition to a new business venture. I enjoy stories of people following their bliss and going after that American Dream with their whole heart! It’s right out of the pages of $100 Start up (which I am currently reading). I was “introduced” to Erica Batista a fashion blogger turned e-jewelry store owner. We spoke briefly about her transition into business ownership from full-time employee and passionate blogger. Here, is an excerpt from my interview with this new passion project entrepreneur.
TB: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I love your store and your style. What pushed you to start your business?
EB: I started as a fashion blogger a year ago. I always had people ask me where I got this or that from. I figured if people liked my style I could create a way for them to get it. And Lola Blue, the Closet was born.
TB: That is fantastic, so where did the name Lola Blue come from?
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EB: 5 years ago my fiancé bought me a dog and I always loved the name Lola. She was our baby before our son. So when I started brainstorming on ideas I thought of what would work, and Lola Blue was such an easy fit. I liked it a lot, so it stuck.
TB: Nice! What drove you to start your own business?
EB: I worked full time in real estate as a Project Manager. Then I had my son and while on maternity leave, I decided to do something that was mine. I’ve always worked for others, but have never truly been a 9-5 girl. I wanted to do something I loved to do. Owning my own business was a way to do that. I also wanted to show my son that you can do anything you put your mind to.
TB: I love that! So is this your full-time business?
EB: Actually, going back to my job after maternity leave. My company was bought out and now I work part-time while I work on my jewelry business/blog full-time. In January, my job is being downsized.
TB: So this business was right on time?
EB: Yes, I believed that everything happens in perfect time.
TB: I love the way your store looks. I am a critical about where I buy from online. I like the way your site is clean and fresh, the photos are clear, and the prices are affordable.
EB: Thank you, when I looked at other sites. I wanted to make sure that I offered something visually appealing. I know I would not buy from a site that did not look up to par.
You can tell that there was a lot of attention to detail. The photography is clear and well lit. All things I look at when I want to buy from a small business. I was floored when Erica told me that her store had only been open for a week!!! She was doing all the right things. And it is the reason, I already became a customer. She is directing her readership to her store to buy the stylish accessories she wears on her style blog. What impressed me even more is that this Ecuadorian diva blogs in English and in Spanish. I think it is the best business model I’ve heard of. It’s a branding slam dunk. Building a dual language community she said is her way of giving back to her family and friends who have supported her, her entire life. Which is why I want to support Lola Blue, The Closet this Small Business Saturday. I will be back to snag some new pieces from her rose gold collection! American Express believes that small businesses are vital, so they are continuing their small business Saturday campaign for the third year in a row. This year I decided to get many of my gifts from small businesses. Jewelry, clutch handbags from Love, Cortnie, handmade body products from Petunia Essentials; all from women doing marvelous things with their passion and talent. November 24 is Small Business Saturday it is about building your dreams. I hope you participate.
Tell me more in the comments about a small business you frequent, and why?