Tell me if this sounds like you:
1. You have decided to start your own business.
Perhaps you need the extra income, or you want to make an impact on the world using a gift you possess. Maybe, you just want out of the corporate world or need something to do to pass your time.
2. You are creative person.
Now that you have decided to start your business, you are constantly coming up with new ideas for products. You see things in shops and on Etsy that you KNOW you could make… and do it better. So, you just try making and selling everything you can!
3. You are not making as much as you want.
You’ve stocked your shop with a little something for everyone. That way, everybody will have a reason to buy from you. You have worked really hard to make your products the best quality out there. You know that people will love what you make. You just don’t understand why you are not selling more.
4. You feel overwhelmed and scattered.
To compensate for not selling as much as you would like, you work harder. You produce more products, hoping something will stick. You can’t seem to stay on one idea long enough to make any ground on it before switching to a new product or concept for your business. And yet still, your sales are down. You need direction.
Let me tell you, this was us!
We were floundering in our business, trying to figure out who we were and what our purpose was. And then, it happened. We fell into our niche market and our business changed forever.
Today, we want to take you back in time to when our niche market first revealed itself. We want to share our story of defining our business concept with you in the hopes that it will encourage you to niche down and change the game in your own business as well.
How We Niched Down to Create Kitsch ‘n Whimsy
The year was 2005 and I was a senior in high school. Throughout my upbringing, my mother had always had a handmade business where she made everything from children’s clothing to kid’s bedroom furniture. In this particular year, she had a budding business making children’s room decor and upholstered furniture.
It was my 18th birthday and my mother was struggling to come up with ideas for a special birthday present for me. Unfortunately, my birthday just happens to be days after Christmas. It always makes coming up with gift ideas a little harder since you have to think of everything all at once.
I was leaving for college in the fall, so my mom decided to go with something a little more practical. She opted to get me cooking utensils, pans, cookbooks, and a funky, hand sewn apron to cook in. I LOVED my apron… and so did all of my girlfriends!
This got mom wondering if other women would also like a fun, funky apron to cook in. After researching the web, she soon found out that the apron industry was missing out on a huge market – young women. So, she got to work designing her very own women’s apron that resembled a cute summer dress and brought a few with her to her next art show. To her surprise and delight, every single apron sold!
As the years continued on and I joined in the business, we continued to sell more aprons and less of everything else… until we became known as the apron ladies. This helped us make the executive decision to niche down and sell only aprons – particularly aprons designed for young women (along with kitchen products to go with them).
Once we became known for our cute women’s aprons, we noticed another market being missed by the industry: kids. Kids clothing had always been a big passion of ours, so it was an easy decision to branch into kids aprons. We designed a kids apron to match our women’s apron and found a new niche for our business.
Again, we were surprised and delighted to find that our kids aprons sold EVEN BETTER than our women’s, especially once we added our matching chef’s hats! We knew we had hit the jackpot!
To this day, we are super thankful that we accidentally found our niche. Within the last few years, we have become known for our high quality kids aprons and have had the pleasure of being able to sell them around the world! Our aprons have even been featured in a Children’s Cooking YouTube Show from Australia (Charli’s Crafty Kitchen).
Niching down made a huge difference for our business. We went from floundering and struggling to make sales to feeling confident in who we are, our purpose, and finding more success in our business than we ever could have imagined.
In defining our niche, we were able to focus our creative energy. While we may have worried that we would stifle our creative juices, in reality we exploded them! Today, we continue to develop our products within our apron (and more specifically kids apron) niche. We are excited to branch our company into a super niche in the coming year (children’s costume aprons) and to see our business grow even more.
In looking back over our company’s evolution, I can’t stress enough how much niching down our product offer really had a big, positive effect on our business. If you were to ask us, “should I niche down?”, our answer would be: a thousand times YES!
If you are that creative business owner that is struggling, overwhelmed, and scattered, please take a moment today to really think about what you are the absolute best at. What product is your best product? What product sells more than all the others? What are your buyers telling you?
We want to urge and encourage you to take 5 minutes to listen to your market and to your heart.
Decide on a direction - just ONE direction - and be the absolute best at that one thing.
Niche down your business and reap the rewards of having a focused company providing your absolute best. Go kill it!
We hope we have provided you with inspiration and motivation today. If you have a minute, tell us your focused direction in the comments below. Let us join in your journey and be a support system for you. Or, let us know what questions you have – doubts, fears, or confusions. We would love to help out and answer what we can!
In our post for next week, we will be talking about enemy #1: distractions. We are going to talk about how distractions hold us back and how to overcome them. We can’t wait to chat again next week!