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How We Started Our Online Party Supplies Business AND a Giveaway!!!

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!  Congrats to Sarah and Helen!!!

The following is a guest post from Mich & Nadine, the husband+wife team behind Cupcake Makeover.  The shop is the fusion of Mich’s technical experience from blogging in the past few years with Nadine’s passion for unique and adorable designs. A mom of 2 twin girls, Nadine has been enjoying party planning for the past 7 years.  Mich has been a blogging buddy of mine for a while.  Good luck guys!

Choosing the Passion

The hardest part of starting your own business is finding something you like to do; a passion or a talent that you can monetize. That was never an issue with my wife; she is creative and equipped with the proper graphic design skills. But most importantly, she has a blast when it comes to planning our kids’ birthdays. For the past few years, she’s been asked on every birthday why she doesn’t monetize her skills by offering her services.

How could she do that when she has 2 young kids to take care of along with a job during the day?

Getting it Going

We were always part of those people who dreamt of running their own business yet always had a reason to avoid taking that first step. However, she really wanted to! She’d been itching for some way that would allow her to do what she loves and profit from it. She certainly has the skills and the talent, these were never missing. What she was missing was the technical expertise to step into the world market of the internet. This is where I stepped in as I developed this knowledge over the past few years.

She was finally able to have her store on the internet as we took the plunge and started our small business by launching an online party supplies store: Cupcake Makeover. It was the result of combining her passion with my technical background in building and running websites. It’s the perfect business marriage, one that took a few years to materialize.

Taking that step required a high level of dedication as there’s an extremely competitive market out there. Your passion for something is often not enough to start a small business unless you believe you can do better than everyone out there. This is what I meant by having a high level dedication, prior to starting a business you need to study the market to know who you’re competing against. And in the party supplies segment, the competition is disheartening.

Success

Yet that did not deter my wife from her decision, I did my part by setting up the store and after a few late nights she started rolling out her designs. She had jumped right into the fire by starting her work on a superhero party theme; this is one of the most popular (and competitive) party themes out there.   She created all the coordinating supplies for a number of superhero sets from cupcake toppers & wrappers to treat boxes, party favors to food labels and everything in between.

Then we received that first order and it was a memorable experience. The feeling is weird, making $10 dollars from your own work beats making $100 from a regular job working for someone else.  The money is just more rewarding. With the initial orders rolling in, my wife was also able to put her biggest fears to rest. She has been very worried about customer satisfaction; the recurring positive feedback from customers finally eliminated that anxiety.

Her work has paid off!

Giveaway

To celebrate, I’m sponsoring a $50 giveaway (two $25 certificates) for free stuff from http://cupcakemakeover.com/shop/!  This will run from today through September 15, 2013.  Crystal will let me know who wins.  Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7 comments to How We Started Our Online Party Supplies Business AND a Giveaway!!!

  • That’s a great job and inspiring story!! You’re right. The hardest part is figuring out a passion you can monetize.

  • christie

    The idea to sell the party goods as downloads is Brilliant! No product to buy and ship. Very scaleable. On a daily basis You pretty much just have to focus on marketing, customer service … not actually making anything. Well Done!
    ~ C

  • Squeezer

    Crystal, have you ever considered being a featured guest on the financial podcast Stacking Benjamins and telling your story about how you got started blogging and being able to quit your day job?

  • Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo

    That is the cutest store. The princess pirate theme is my favorite. And would surely be adored by my three-year old. I’m just getting started with my graphic design theme so I can really appreciate what you’ve got going on here. I wish you the very best of success.

  • @Savvy, that is indeed the hardest part! Sometimes one has to test many “waters” before you find the right sector!

    @Christie, Thanks! I downloadable party good has its advantage but it also has it’s fair share of disadvatages compared to physically shipping the product. For now, I’m sticking to this format as I have hundreds of items on my to-do list!

    @Taynia, I’m happy you liked the store and thank you for your feedback :) I wish you the best with your graphic design theme and good luck winning the princess pirate set!

  • Love the website. Great idea! I sure miss those days. My girls are in college and are both away on their birthdays. Love your designs.

  • @Betsy, Thank you for thekind feedback:) I find my kids growing up too fast, it scares me is they will be in college before I know it!