Tell us about your small business, what type of products do you offer?:
I started this business in 2013 after being involved in a deadly motor vehicle collision on the advice of my therapist. What I offered morphed as I found my groove and for eight years I was heavily focused on selling blanks, permanent and heat transfer vinyls for crafters. In 2020, my health physically and mentally required my business to shift once again, and I started phasing out of the blanks industry and purchased my first commercial print system. Since then, my focus has been printed tumbler supplies for tumbler creators. This includes patterned vinyl, tumbler wraps and decals. I have 10 different vinyl options for the above, including both removable and permanent vinyls, matte and gloss vinyls and four different holographic vinyls. I also have 12 different sizes for pinstriping/striping on 29 different vinyls, including speciality vinyls like carbon fiber. Most recently, I launched Instant Downloads on the website, which include our pinstriping in all sizes, as well as our newly released tumbler templates. My current favourite pattern is 517578, and my favourite product currently is pinstriping.
How do you stay connected with your customers and maintain strong relationships with them?
It’s incredibly tough to stay connected with my customers and maintain strong relationships. I have always struggled here as I feel like I suck at the juggling act of free time off, family/kids and being the default parent, business, social media, household duties, etc. I have found the best way for me personally is to continue to respond on social media (which, admittedly, I need to get a lot better with) and going live on TikTok/Facebook. Since our move this past June, I have felt this juggling act to be extraordinarily difficult to do without burning out. My goal this year is to get a lot better here. Going live to interact with watchers is definitely my favourite!
What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own small business based on your experiences?
I have a lot of advice, but a few pieces are the most important if you ask me.
First - find perseverance. You need to have the ability to push through the hard and crappy times to see the good times. And there will be adversity you have to face. It’s guaranteed. But, if you want it to work, find a way to persevere.
Second - put boundaries in place from the start. These boundaries can include not working without payment up front, X amount of time off a day/week/year (and sticking to it!), not allowing customers to dictate how you run your business, etc.
Third and most important - Sell something you have passion for. If you do not have passion for it, it won't sell well and you won't have drive to make the business work.
Where can our glitter lovers connect with you?
My website is brightswan.ca, but glitter lovers can also find me on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram as @brightswanblanks. I have started posting some videos to YouTube, with the handle @brightswan.
What is your favourite CGC glitter or product?
My current favourite CGC glitter is Ocean. It's absolutely STUNNING in all lights, and I must say, photos do not do it justice. Charlee-Rose is a close second.