My second business showcase interview was with Ashley Summerlin, ages 24 from Columbus, Ohio USA. Ashley owns Columbus Crayon Company.
Ashley made a statement to briefly descrobe her business:
“We sell crayons in fun shapes you can’t find in the store! We upcycle all of our crayons using a mix of crayons we collect from partnerships with local schools.”
Here is my interview with Ashley…
What made you decide to setup your business?
I am a preschool teacher and wanted to make some prizes for students that would be fun and yet practical.
What do you do and what products do you sell?
I sell of 50 shapes of crayons in about 20 different colors. I take all of the crayons we collect and peel and sort them by color. Once I have enough sorted I melt them down and pour the wax into different molds to cool. The result is a high-quality crayon in a really fun shape!
Who are your biggest competitors?
There are only a couple other shops in Etsy that make crayons, but I would say they are my biggest competitors.
How do you advertise your business?
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy to advertise primarily.
How would you recommend your business to potential customers?
I think that Columbus Crayon Company brings a fun new element to coloring that kids and adults both really enjoy. They make for great party favors or little gifts or even just something to have around the house.
Did you have any problems when starting your business? If so, how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest problem is getting the name out there. I am definitely still working on that, but I think trying to get it out there is the key to success.
Do you recruit? If so, what are the benefits?
I offer deals to people willing to promote my products. When you sign up as a promoter, you get a code for 40% off one pack of crayons and a code to give out to those you promote to. For every 10 times the code is used you get a $10 gift card for the shop.
How do you decide on your designs?
I just go based off what is cute and seems to be popular with kids currently.
What has been your favourite piece to work on?
I really enjoy doing custom orders for birthday parties. I’ve had a few where I got to be really creative and make some really fun crayon sets.
Are there any offers on your products running at the moment?
I have quite a few sets on sale right now as well as a coupon special. There is a 10% discount off of $10 if you use coupon code SUMMERFUN.
What has the experience of owning a business been like for you?
Really fun at times and also very overwhelming at times. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I started, so I had a huge learning curve. I’m really glad I decided to take the leap though.
Here are the store and social media links for Columbus Crayon Company
Thank you for answering my questions Ashley. It has been a pleasure interviewing and getting to know you. I wish you well in your business venture.