March 23rd, 2017
Are you looking to start a home based business? With a full time job and family, becoming an entrepreneur can seem like a daunting endeavor. For example, how do you run a home-based business with five children?
Nate and Timmi VanDoren are doing just that. Since 2012 the Oak Lawn, IL couple has made 4,000 bars of soap and have customers as far away as Ireland and the UK through the online seller site, Etsy.
But finding something they were passionate about wasn’t an overnight process. The couple knew they wanted to be entrepreneurs but didn’t find their calling right away. They discovered soap making after some other business ideas did not work out. Rather than be discouraged, they took the experiences in stride. “Every business we have owned has prepared us for the one we’re in now.” Timmi says, “we both love to learn.”
"One thing you may want to consider when starting a business is that the whole family is going to be involved. Nate says, “When you have a home business, you don’t clock out.” A good example of this is working overtime during the week and coming home to pack orders well after midnight. Where does that extra energy come from? Nate says, “You have to love what you do.”
What about the competition? Timmi says, “the more soap makers the better, because that means more people are using handmade soaps and that’s good for all of us.”
That is a very interesting perspective and speaks to the couple’s niche in their brand. For Nate and Timmi, it’s all about quality and being knowledgeable of their products, including doing four months of research before opening their online store, Ivy Coreen.
Timmi says, “ People are treating themselves to these little luxuries and we pride ourselves on giving them a great experience by using high quality ingredients.”
And finally, success. How did they know when they made it? Nate says “Our first feeling of success was our first sale online. I remember thinking, somebody wants to buy something fromus and we don’t know them! It was amazing.”
The couple’s final words of advice for would be home based entrepreneurs? Find something you love, start small and pay cash. So if it doesn’t work out you can walk away.”