If you have been following our Instagram you have seen our love for B.Stamped and the custom hand stamped jewelry & keepsakes they provide. The person behind these lovely creations is Brittany Kollmer: a nurse turned work at home mom with an amazing talent.
Brittany was born and raised in New Jersey, and still lives in her hometown. She is a mom of one with one on the way. Brittany has always enjoyed crafting and DIY projects — in high school she learned how to crochet. Brittany crafted most of the decorations for her wedding in 2010. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was a registered nurse focusing on maternal health care.
How did you get started with B. Stamped? B.
How long have you been in business?
I had my official opening on Etsy on March 1, 2014.
What was your “a-ha” moment that inspired you to start your business?
At first, the products I created were for friends and family. But then, it began spreading by word-of-mouth, and that’s when I realized it was more than just a hobby. I follow a number of small business owners in a similar situation, and they all inspired me to start my own business.
What keeps you inspired daily?
The products we make are all customized and personalized — it’s not just a piece of jewelry, it’s tied to a memory or a significant person in my customer’s life. It inspires me everyday to know that the work I produce is meaningful for each and every customer.
What marketing strategies do you find to be the most effective?
I’ve always emphasized the importance of customer service in my business — these products are keepsakes, and often carry a lot of meaning for the recipient. I do my best to make sure every piece of the customer journey — from clicking on the website all the way to putting on the jewelry for the first time — is a positive experience. Social media has been a critical part of marketing. Specifically, I’ve been able to grow my business and cross-promote others successfully through Instagram. With social media, everything is crowd-sourced, so I know the more positive experiences that customers have, the more they’ll tell their friends and the more my business will grow.
What was your best business decision?
My best business decision was to hire on additional help, especially during the holidays when I couldn’t fill orders quick enough! Also, upgrading the equipment was a necessity in order to become more efficient and make the highest-quality products possible.
How do you balance being a mom and an entrepreneur?
I don’t know if “balance” is the right word — maybe juggle? I’m passionate about my work, so I give it 100%. But, being a mom and spending time with my son is where my heart is, so I give that 100%, too. I get a lot of advice from other moms who are successful entrepreneurs. The most important thing is keeping my priorities in line – I focus on being a mom first, entrepreneur second.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being my own boss and being able to grow my business in my own way. I’ve worked with many causes that are important to me, and I feel that B.Stamped is a real reflection of my values and what’s important in my life.
Describe your ideal workday.
My ideal workday is to wake up early, fill some orders before my son wakes up, then spend as much quality time with him and fill orders when he’s napping and after he’s asleep at night. My main focus is still to be a mom first, so I try to “fit” the business into my family’s schedule as best I can.
What have been some of your major successes?
In less than a year, we’ve grown to ship to more than 28 countries and typically sell 1,000-2,000 keepsakes a month. We exponentially expanded within the first few months, and now have our own online shop: www.bstamped.com
What have been some of your major challenges?
The biggest challenge has been the ability to juggle my family and my workload. I originally intended this to be a part-time job, but now it’s become a full-time job (and then some!). The success has been great, but keeping up with an expanding business — along with an expanding family — means I have to make some sacrifices in both areas to make it work.
How do you balance motherhood and family life and your business?
Again, I’d use the word “juggle” instead of “balance.” Sometimes I’m more heavily focused on one area than the other. Fortunately, my husband is very supportive and helps me with my business. He is also a wonderful father, and loves spending quality time with our son when he gets home from work each day, which gives me a little bit extra time for the business.
Do you have any must-have products as a mother?
My must-haves are essential oils — I use them to help me relax and stay sane while catching up on work and life.
Do you have help running your business, photographer, book keeper, designer?
I’m thankful to have a community of great supporters who offer to help me by creating logos and photographing my products. Their support has been invaluable. I have experience bookkeeping for my husband’s landscape architecture business, and am an amateur photographer in my free time, so I was able to hone my skills and DIY a lot of aspects of the business.
What is your favorite family activity, vacation or past time?
We enjoy camping at the beach — it’s something we’ve made time to do every summer since my son was born. It really helps us to have quality time, since we have to cook together and work together to make it a successful trip.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Do your homework! Passion and creativity are just one piece to the business — a business plan, accounting skills and understanding the logistical side of a business are equally important.
What is next for your business?
We just launched our website at the beginning of April 2015, so our hope is to continue to grow and ship to even more countries, and to increase our staffing and resources through 2016.