In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.
Today, we're catching up with Rhonda Francis, one part of the triplet-Makers behind Fairy Fastener. Rhonda, Terri, and Lou put their identical problem-solving heads together to solve an everyday issue—how to put on necklaces and bracelets all by yourself. These entrepreneurial ladies call themselves the Fairies—and their jewelry clasp helpers Fairy Fasteners. We recently chatted with Rhonda to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
How do you get around creative blocks?
We have been fortunate to know and be introduced to some wonderfully creative and talented people. It takes a village to raise a child, much like the creative development of an idea. We're not afraid to ask for input and guidance. It's amazing how supportive people have been.
Best creative advice that you ever received?
Build prototypes, test them. Conduct test market product reviews.
What three personality traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
That's a funny question, because our company was founded by triplet sisters. My brother always said I had a third of a brain. :)
I feel that the strongest traits for all three of us are, being passionate, commitment to our ideas and to each other, and accepting and embracing risk.
What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
It will be much harder then you think, but you will get past those awkward and uncomfortable moments. You can't do it alone. Choose people to take on responsibilities that are not your strengths. Don't think that you can manage every aspect of a start up. Look at the big picture and develop a solid business plan before you make large financial commitments. Know your target market and develop strategies for them.
What has surprised you most about starting a business?
I have learned more then I thought I could, would, or should. I amaze myself, my partners, and my family on my ability, tenacity, and endurance to develop a brand that my sisters and I are proud to sell.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
I would advise myself to be proactive, steadfast, and expect that there will be many highs and lows ahead. Don't be afraid to take on new challenges and problems to solve.
How has business grown since your launch on The Grommet? How has our Community played a role?
The Grommet community has given our company the validation we sought and hoped for. Orders have given us the cash flow to manufacture new inventory. The Grommet, I believe, is a leader in many areas. They have shown Fairy Fastener innovative ways to promote our brand while giving us credibility and a buying audience. Well done!
To learn more about Fairy Fastener, watch our video here.