Was this business your vision/passion, or did you kind of ‘fall’ into it?
Decorating has always been a passion of mine, but around 2000, starting my own business became a vision. So many people I talked to told me that they weren’t really needing anything new in the home, they just wished they could have someone tell them what to do with what they already had and loved. I thought, “Perfect! I can do that!!”
How did you finance your business?
Fortunately, I didn’t have much for start up costs. Just some advertising that I did by placing brochures in hair salons & spas. I knew women “talked” and word would hopefully spread.
How many employees do you have? I am the sole owner/operator.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was getting the word out about Hidden Treasures without spending a ton on advertising. But quickly, word of mouth began to spread. But I did realize that you still need to keep advertising of some kind. Keep your name and face out there.
When did you realize you had finally ‘made it’?
I probably realized I made it, when I started being asked to do tv spots, magazine articles and things of that nature.
What is your vision for the future of your business?
I’m very happy with how business has been. As my children get older my business gets busier and busier, which has worked out amazingly! My vision is for this to continue!
What makes your business different/unique selling proposition?
I think what makes Hidden Treasures unique is that I can shop anywhere in town or Fargo(if I happen to be there) for my clients. This way I can accommodate any budget I’m asked to stay in. My clients don’t have to buy “my products” to get my business. It’s very flexible.
What business idea do you wish you had thought of?
One business idea I wished I would have thought of is Pinterest! How cool, fun and easy is that! Why didn’t I think of that!!
What is the most fun you have at work? What do you most enjoy….
Everything about my job is fun! It truly is a joy and a blessing for me to get to do what I love to do! I work with the most amazing clients and have great flexibility as far as my hours are concerned. What I probably love to do the most is go into a home, see that they already have a lot of great things to work with, and then add to it. I love seeing my clients reaction when I take treasures that they already own, and give them a totally different and cohesive look. Then if I need to, go out and find the finishing pieces! I also LOVE to declutter and organize as well!!
What do you wish you had known before you opened the doors?
The only thing I can think that I’d wished I’d known before starting up, is that there will be times that are extremely busy but also times that are very slow. BUT, it always picks up again! So enjoy it all!
What is your proudest moment as a business owner?
My proudest moment would have to be when I was asked to decorate a certain office building in town that has a lot of traffic through it! I’ve decorated several offices, but this was different. I received a lot of compliments on that! Also, being the decorator at my church brings me lots of joy! That’s done voluntarily of course.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to start a business?
My advice to someone wanting to get a business started would be to find other small (or large) business owners and ask questions. Maybe get in a networking group to start spreading the word. Keep getting your name out there. And mostly, if you know if your heart that this is the right thing for you to do, then DON’T GIVE UP!!
Call Ali at 323.0111