Wow! Month 8 of Sunday Showcase is here. It has been fantastic doing these business features and I hope that it continues to grow.
For my first showcase this month I interviewed Colleen Lynch. Based in Round Lake, Illinois USA, Colleen, aged 44, owns Rusty Hill Farms.
Rusty Hill Farms is a handmade decor business.
Here is my interview with Colleen.
When did you start your business?
I’ve been on Etsy since last year and just last week launched a new product line within our shop.
What made you decide to set up your business?
Well, I have to give Pinterest the credit for that one. I saw a picture of a horseshoe hanging on a door at Christmas time and was inspired to make some for friends and family. They were so well received; the idea took on a mind of its own and I jumped into making a unique product and quality packaging.
What do you do and what products do you sell?
We make hand make one-of-kind pieces of decor. Our horseshoes are a way of bringing a little luck in a decorative manner into many different decors. Our new frame and sign collection also offers a unique way to display the special moments and memories of life.
What products seem to be your best sellers?
Our wedding themed and baby themed horseshoes do quite well. These horseshoes offer such a unique and one of a kind piece for gift giving; that I have people enjoy all the different themes we offer.
Who are your biggest competitors?
There are a number Etsy stores that carry similar items but we all do our product a bit differently, so just being found is the toughest part of the business.
How do you advertise your business?
I promote my items through Etsy and social media. You can find us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. We are now attending local flea markets and craft fairs to get the word out and get the product into people’s hands.
How would you recommend your business to potential customers?
If people are looking for unique gifts to give or for themselves; we’ve got it. For me, to give a gift that no one has seen before, with a sentiment of luck or rustic charm included ~ it’s a win-win!
Did you have any problems when starting your business? If so, how did you overcome them?
I like to jump in, but I wanted to make sure I did so in a professional and quality manner. I did a ton of research, developed the product & packaging, and hit the ground running. I will say, everything has definitely evolved and I’ve changed some logos and things, but all in all, it has been a great learning experience. I recently changed the name from Bit of Luck Designs to Rusty Hill Farms. It’s the little things that you don’t think of!
How do you decide on your designs?
I spend a lot of time in antique malls and at flea markets ~ so there is always inspiration all around. For the horseshoes; I look at any small objects, think if they can hang on a horseshoe and how they would look in someone’s home. If I can figure out a way to hang the object and think it will work ~ I go for it. I’ve had a couple of fails but love so much of what I find. The frames are inspired by the photos and mementoes I have seen in life. When making a frame, I picture what ticket stub, special saying, or beautiful picture might go into it and let that take the lead.
What has been your favourite piece to work on?
I love the horseshoes and frames equally ~ it’s wonderful to have two different products to work on. It keeps my mind busy and active. I am never bored! I think the horseshoe with the little bicycle and flowers may be my favorite!
Are there any offers on your products running at the moment?
Currently, I am running a Facebook promotion of 10% off to all my followers ~ and would like to offer one to your readers as well! 10% off any order with coupon code: Nikkipedia
What has the experience of owning a business been like for you?
It’s been a great learning experience. Having a creative/artistic mind and needing to master the technological aspect have provided hours of learning experiences. I’ve met great people along the way and have filled my own home with small business purchases.
Where do you see your business in the future? What dreams do you have for your business?
I’d love to get into more retailers! The horseshoes are one of those products, that if you haven’t seen one, you might not think to look for one. For me getting in front of people is the goal! A dream would be to do this full-time!
Below you can find the Rusty Hill Farms store and social media links:
Thank you for answering my questions, Colleen. It has been a pleasure interviewing and getting to know you. I wish you well in your business venture.