Did you know that two-thirds of people that want to start a business don’t because they don’t think they’ll succeed? Well, that’s why we introduced Maker’s Row Gold! This new plan gives entrepreneurs the support and resources they need to actually start their business.
To show entrepreneurs that it is possible to start a successful business, we talked to some of our users about their brand, journey to success, and what they accomplished in a year.
Our first installment is with Ami Beck (who we featured in this article)!
Describe your brand in one line:
Leather bags for Men and Women that are built with integrity, passion, and longevity.
How did your brand start?
In my Grandma’s basement in January 2014! I had just graduated from Stephens College in December ‘13. I bought a big ass machine and a bunch of clearance leather hides and started patterning my very first designs, many of which are still sold today.
What do you consider your biggest achievement for your brand?
Every single sale, every piece of recognition, every paycheck I’m able to give my employee, and every consecutive month I’m in business feels like an achievement. I’m creating a career for myself based around HANDBAGS. To be honest, anyway you spin it feels like a win. I love, love, love what I do. And the ability to grow my brand day in and day out is the biggest achievement I could ask for.
Is there a year that your brand really took off or that you got a lot accomplished for your brand?
Well, my business is still a baby, I’ve only been in business for 2.5 years. But I would say the turning point was showing a 9 piece collection in Kansas City Fashion Week in March 2015. It was my “coming out” announcement to my city, my way of saying ‘I am here, and this is what I’m doing’. I think the game changed for me at that point. I realized I could do it, I realized I had a lot of support, and everything kind of spiraled after that, allowing me to take it on full time just a few months later in October of 2015.
Do you have any goals for the upcoming year?
So many! We have many things in the works! Our first big project is well under way. We are launching our first Men’s and Travel collection in the Spring, which will be showcased in MAGIC in Vegas from Feb 21st – 23rd. I have never shown as a vendor in a trade show before, and we are going big for this one. I’ve partnered with a US factory, and the samples are well under way for our Dopp Kit, Duffel, Laptop Bag and new Wallet. I am eager to pick-up large wholesale accounts and get some experience under my belt as far as working with buyers. It will be a new experience for me, as the majority or our sales are direct at this point. We are currently only in two retail stores in KC. So that is step one, and I’ll keep you posted from there.
Any words of encouragement for entrepreneurs that aren’t sure if they can actually start a business?
Having a business absolutely kicks your ass. Every day. It makes you cry and breakdown and laugh and jump up and down and live on pins and needles, alternating between complete fear and complete excitement. So if you have a killer product or idea and are ready for the ride of your life…. Do it. Jump in. But absolutely buckle your seatbelt because it won’t be easy.