Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melanie Hwang, Owner of The Craftivity Corner, located in Markham, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Craftivity Corner is your one-stop shop for all your custom products and gift-giving needs! From signage, apparel, and drinkware to digital portraits, stickers, and cards, all products are handcrafted with love for your unique vision. If you're a fellow small business owner, busy professional, educator, or teacher, you'll find something you love on our website.
Tell us about yourself
Like many others, I was inspired to start working on my business during the pandemic because I still wanted to make gift-giving unique even if I couldn't go to the store and buy something. Eventually, other people started noticing and wanted them to.
For me, creating is my source of therapy and release. Being able to have an idea in my head and actualize it into something physical is incredibly rewarding. When I can share that feeling with a client or a student, seeing their visions actualized, it makes me want to do that for the rest of my life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, one of my most significant accomplishments is renovating my bedroom into my creative workshop. I know many would say to keep work and life separate and have clear boundaries on work hours. Still, when it concerns creativity - creativity doesn't operate on a 9-5 work day.
Sometimes I'll have an idea as I'm eating dinner and have to test it out right after. Sometimes it'll be in the middle of the night, and I'll go and see if I even have the materials to make it possible. The point is that I'm super proud of having a creative, easily accessible, safe corner of the world for me to explore and craft.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Consistency is one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner. There are days when your mind goes a mile a minute with inspiration, and you feel so excited you don't want to sit down. But there are other days when you've been staring at the same screen for 3 hours without a single idea of what to do or how to do it.
Regardless of what you're experiencing, showing up for your small business, whether that means posting a simple story asking your followers a question, commenting on another small business' posts, or even cleaning up your workspace, can keep the momentum steady until you're ready to ramp up again—just as long as you don't give up or stop altogether.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find out what you're passionate about, why you want to create this business, and who you're going to be helping by existing.
- Do your research, ask questions, and plan, plan, plan as much as possible so you can launch with confidence.
- Be adaptable and comfortable with pivoting. I rebranded my handles and colours, changed products, and explored more times than I could count to find something I felt happy with. Allowing your business to change with you as you change is not a bad thing—if anything, it makes the experience much more authentic and relatable to your audience.
Where can people find you and your business?