Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're share this blog series in which we can continue telling the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.
In our fifth installment we're catching up with Maker Val Viera. Val is the founder of Sprigs which makes smart, stylish accessories for on the go comfort and convenience (the Sprigs Phone Bangees are one of our most popular Grommets). Val is sharing a her advice on starting a business and giving a peek at what it has taken to build a successful company.
What additional advice would you give other Makers out there?
Listen to your instincts. That sounds so vague and trite. So let me be more specific. When your mind starts saying, “I’m not sure I trust what this person is saying…” put up a huge post-it note in your brain that says “NO!” The semi-blind optimism I mentioned above is only useful if it’s reined in by your self-protective instincts. Many entrepreneurs like myself are ready to see the best in everyone and every situation – but dreamers and creatives can be trampled in the business world. Surround yourself with practical, careful people until you can develop those muscles yourself. The best entrepreneur is open and available to great things happening – while being smart not to be led down a path that could be bad for the business, the brand, or the staff. Maybe call it “eyes opened optimism!”
How does a Maker stay competitive with so many new products being made everyday?
As soon as you feel like you’ve “made it”, RUN! Run toward the future and your next product launch, because when you start feeling like you’re at the top, you’re vulnerable to losing sight of what’s happening all around you. And nothing lasts forever, without constant vigilance!
What has been the most rewarding part of business for you?
Creating something that wasn’t there before. Watching a tiny germ of an idea grow, take shape, get launched, and be accepted and even craved by others. I can’t think of anything more satisfying on a professional level than taking an idea to market and having it succeed. It’s the work equivalent of having a baby and raising an amazing human being.
Our Community wants to know that their support of you and your product has made a difference. How have things changed for your business since you launched on The Grommet?
The exposure from the Grommet has been incredible. I’ve gotten calls from childhood friends, retailers, magazines, all who’ve seen us on The Grommet. It’s amazing the reach it has. We are also so honored to be among all the other great products that the Grommet curates, the team has such vision and talent in presenting ideas. I really look to The Grommet as the leaders in online marketing. Thank you to Val for taking the time to share with us. To learn more about Val and her products, watch our video here. For more in this series visit these recent posts: Meet the Maker: Sativa Turner and Meet the Maker: Tippy Tippens ...