Welcome to my "Friday Feature" blog series highlighting female creative small business owners! I hope these posts will give you insight into what these women do and what their lives look like. I also hope you'll find these posts helpful if you're in the creative industry, you run a small business, or you're thinking about starting a small business. You can catch up on the "Friday Feature" series here:
Please introduce yourself and your business.
Hi my name is Julie Poole and I own Juliepatoolie’s in Burlington.
Why did you start your creative small business?
I started my business five years ago because I saw a need in Burlington and wanted to fill that. I wanted to be a different type of invitation business. Today’s bride wants something that fits the atmosphere that she has created and wants the invitation to be an extension and statement piece of her wedding. Typically you go in and flip through albums and pick ABC, 123 - I enjoy sitting down with brides one-on-one and creating unique invitations.
What does an average day look like for you? What things/responsibilities are you juggling?
An average day for me starts out following up with any messages left the day before then I jump into either quoting or designing for all sorts of events including wedding, anniversary, birthday, baby, etc. In between designing I am helping clients that come into the shop. I’m a one woman show so I’m also doing all of the day to day business chores as well.
What has been a struggle for you as a creative small business owner?
One struggle that I deal with is creating a good work-life balance. It is so hard as a one person business to get everything done and still try to have a normal social life, without feeling guilty every minute that I’m not at the shop doing something.
What has been a joy for you as a creative small business owner?
It is always a joy hearing from clients and being able to be small part of their big day. I love working with them and watching their face as they see the final product.
What productivity tips do you have for my readers?
I will probably need to take my own advice more than anyone - but I think setting a schedule for your day is a good tip. This is something I have just recently tried to put in place. It is so easy for me to see the mail alert and want to immediately jump over and answer it - but that slows me down and distracts me from what I am currently doing so I have tried to create a routine for the day as far as checking emails, voicemails and updating social media.
What resources or tools have helped you in your business?
I would say other business owners - most people are willing to help you with networking or referring you to someone who can help you with a specific problem. One of the best things I did when I opened my business was call another business similar to mine on the West Coast (California) - they were willing to share some of their knowledge on vendors, tips they learned and how they set up their store. Since we were not competitors they felt they could share everything with me. That was a wonderful resource for me and actually made me think twice about some of the vendors I was going to use.
We’ll end on a light note: What is your favorite clothing store?
I love TJ MAXX - I have a problem - I probably go three-four times a week. You never know what you are going to find!