Name: Shanon Ravacio
Name of business venture: AtelierniShasha
Role: Self-employed Crafter
What made you choose to become an entrepreneur?
As a kid, I've always enjoyed designing and crafting things, and selling my own crafts and products to friends. After college, I went to work for companies that I know I will be building real-world entrepreneurship skills with, for my future venture. This process of preparing myself took a long time but it was all worth it.
Tell us about your business. What inspired you to come up with the products?
I make miniature clothing mainly, and sell these creations online to my community of fashion-doll collectors. As a doll collector who enjoys styling my dolls and taking pictures of them, I know how it is like to be frustrated with not having well-made fashions and accessories to use. I started with making tiny garments just for my own dolls, but eventually opened my Etsy shop to share my creations with others.
What are the skills required to become an entrepreneur?
To run a simple, small craft business on my own, I needed to learn several technical skills in order to create quality products. Marketing authentically, which to me just means sharing what I do every day with my community, as well as creating inspiring, helpful information like how-to videos and articles on my blog, is I think very important in running a craft business. I also see organisational skills to be essential for good customer relationships.
I trusted my passion as well as my engineering background to kind of guide me through. I just did what was needed. I created my own patterns, starting with the basic shapes and eventually developing more fun patterns as my skills improved.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in creating the products? How do you deal with them?
In the beginning, my biggest challenge was creating my own sewing patterns. I was not trained as a sewing-pattern maker or seamstress; neither did I take any fashion industry-related course. But I trusted my passion as well as my engineering background to kind of guide me through. I just did what was needed. I created my own patterns, starting with the basic shapes and eventually developing more fun patterns as my skills improved. The knowledge of creating doll clothing patterns is probably my most treasured skill in this little venture because it is now easier to dream up new designs.
What other plans do you have in your pipeline?
I will be releasing digital sewing patterns and small online courses for those who would love to create their own doll garments. I am hoping that with this simple skill, doll collectors will enjoy their hobby even more through creative pursuits. I am excited to do these new projects because I will then be tapping on some of the skills I have learned working as a writer and an editor in the past.
What advice do you have for people who wish to become entrepreneurs?
Pursue it because it is the thing that you want to do every single day. When you see it as an integral part of the life you designed for yourself, the challenges won't seem too hard to undertake.
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Proud father of two lovely kids, who at times pushed me to seriously consider editing out the word “lovely” from this sentence. (I am not alone in this.)