$100 Startup – Small Business Success Story “Flowers from Fatima”
“Flowers From Fatima: A Budding Small Business”
Fatima Spencer, the owner of Flowers from Fatima, firmly believes that ‘Where there are flowers, there is life’. As a young entrepreneur, she was able to make her online boutique bloom from a tiny bud to a pretty flower.
In the competitive and hectic world of small business, we caught up with Fatima and asked her to divulge how Flowers From Fatima blossomed its way into success.
Growing up in a family blessed with creativity and love for Mother Nature, Fatima was able to transform what started out as a neighborhood beautification project into a growing small business.
Before the demise of her beloved father, he pursued a program to help turn their neighborhood into a nature-inspired paradise. It was then that Fatima ‘fell in love with flowers’. She started to design her own hair accessories using various flowers.
The unique and pretty hair accessories, which she wore to College everyday, gained attention among her friends. That’s when she, with a little push from her brother, decided to make this wonderful hobby into a small business.
Flowers From Fatima made its flourishing debut on December 2009. We decided to catch up with Fatima to ask her a few questions about her budding business.
SBS: There are thousands of ideas for small businesses out there, why did you choose to start this particular business? How did you end up in this field?
Fatima: I’ve always had an affinity for fashion and I consider myself to be creative with arts and crafts, so it was natural that I chose to pursue my dream as a fashion designer.
SBS: With recent changes in marketing trends and strategies, how do you manage your business’s advertisement and marketing? Do you think it’s effective?
Fatima: Flowers From Fatima is an ONLINE boutique, so most of the business operations are handled over the Internet. I dedicate a great deal of time toward traditional email campaigns to keep my fans up-to-date on Flowers From Fatima, while gaining new friends and customers through targeted campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. This has been extremely effective for Flowers From Fatima.
SBS: How did you come up with this particular concept? Do you ever run out of ideas?
Fatima: Women have been wearing flowers in their hair for MANY years. I just adopted the style and made it my own. Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” I’m always coming up with new and innovative ideas for my line.
SBS: What else are you passionate about? If you did not start this business, do you think you would pursue any of your other interests?
Fatima: I’ve always been passionate about music. I actually make instrumentals using industry-standard studio equipment and programs. If I didn’t start Flowers From Fatima, I am quite sure that I would be pouring my soul into music!
SBS: What are some of your short term and long term goals? How do you keep track of them?
Fatima: As far as short-term goals, I am planning on doubling my month-to-month revenue. I would like to see a healthy profit as Flowers From Fatima matures.
My long-term goals include having my accessories carried in major retail stores across the country and starting a non-profit organization that encourages women to embrace their natural beauty. I have a vision board hanging right over my computer.
I write EVERYTHING down and internalize it. My goals are etched in my memory and the ones that I’ve completed are physically visible in my life.
SBS: Can you share a little bit about the process of making your products? How do you handle the pressure and stress?
Fatima: I spend at least 25% of each day, designing products. I take the slow moments as they come and spend that time designing duplicates of popular products to have ready to go as the sales come in. It is true that we are never given more than we can handle. I use my time effectively to minimize stress.
SBS: Where do you see yourself and your business five or ten years from now?
Fatima: In 5 years, I really hope to see myself in a more prosperous position with Flowers From Fatima. I want to be able to get more involved with charitable causes. I also hope to be able to create jobs for the beautiful people in my life who support my mission to uplift and inspire women.
SBS: What are some essential lessons that you have learned as a small business owner? How has it helped you with your business so far?
Fatima: Persistence, patience, and positivity are among the biggest lessons that I’ve learned, thus far. It is important to NEVER give up on that which you believe in. I am reaping what I’ve sown MONTHS ago and I wouldn’t attribute my successes to anything other than patience, diligence, and positive thinking.
SBS: Of course, every business has its ups and downs. What has been the biggest challenge/s for you so far and how did you overcome it?
Fatima: My biggest challenge up to this point has been enduring the “dry spells” that occasionally arise in sales, as a fairly new business. Each year, Flowers From Fatima gained more momentum than the previous, but certain periods, like the wintertime, used to take a toll on my spring and summer blooms.
Last year, I designed more fitting styles for the winter season and invested even greater energy into the business during those months to keep Flowers From Fatima blossoming all year round.
Sustaining the business and making sure to roll in the money is no picnic for any small business. Starting up with less than $100 to ‘fund the website and supplies’, Fatima was able to earn double every year as well as establish a strong customer base. She mentioned that her loyal customers not only supported her, but challenged her to be a better fashion designer and businesswoman.
Flowers From Fatima stemmed from a good cause – Fatima’s father’s dream to make their neighborhood beautiful. Now that it is slowly growing, Fatima hopes to continue that cause and get more involved in charities. It might be a long shot, but with her perseverance and dedication who’s to say she can’t do it?
Fatima is a talented, skilled and ingenious young entrepreneur who proved that $100 can help you launch your own business and make it big someday. Her passion for fashion designing and her penchant for natural beauty made her handmade flower accessories bloom beautifully into a booming small business.
Small Business Sense wants to thank Fatima for taking the time out of her busy schedule to conduct this interview. We truly wish her all of the best in her future endeavors.