BUSINESS OWNER: Katie Cloud-Paulsen
MAIN PRODUCTS/SERVICES: Restyling/restoring vintage and antique furniture, crafting hand-poured soy candles, and other fragrant goods for your home and body.
LOCATION: Anthon, IA
Short description of your business: I have been restoring and painting furniture for 14 years from my home workshop. I had a brick and mortar store in Moville for a few years, where I displayed my pieces and sold my hand-poured, soy candles. The candle business has taken off for me this last year. I am currently selling them on-line while we renovate the new shop in Anthon. I am also selling them wholesale across the United States to other small businesses. We plan to open the new store in the summer 2021. It will have a larger space full of vintage and antique furniture, home décor, and other great finds, in addition to my candle line for sale.
What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day? I had my daughter when I was 26 and wanted to be able to spend more time with her. I quit my job of nine years and started painting and restoring commissioned pieces to pay my bills and fuel my soul! I have such a passion for old furniture and forgotten things. I don’t know why, but it’s strong! I love what I do and I get to use my creativity every single day so each day I look forward to getting up and starting right where I left off the day before whether it be making candles and products, working on furniture, or helping my dad renovate our building!
What’s unique about your business? What makes my business unique is everything is done by hand. The furniture, the finding/picking, and the making of all the products. Every single thing touches my hands and is carefully looked over because I’m a crazy perfectionist!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business? For me, the greatest challenge is organization! I need to work on that still, but it has become easier overtime. Also, realizing I cannot do everything myself and knowing it is okay to ask for help.
What has been your greatest reward? My greatest reward has been being able to help support my family and it is also so rewarding that my customers continue to support me time and time again!
Why is it important for the community to support start-ups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them? It is important because it shows you care about your local community! Small shops help create jobs for locals and stimulate the local economy. It keeps small towns alive. Sharing your experiences and spreading the word about small businesses is extremely helpful.
What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when starting your business? How much time it really takes! Running my own business is one of the best things I have ever done, but it is hard work. Work that at times requires making sacrifices.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business? Write down your goals! Dream big, believe in yourself, and never give up! Set your mind to succeed and achieve your goals. Surround yourself with positive, like minded people. Ask questions and for help when you need it!
How can the community continue to help your business? Support my business by spreading the word, sharing on social media, swinging by with family and friends, and shopping with me!
What are some future goals for your company? Future goals, gosh I have a lot! I want to sell my candles wholesale to a business in each state! Another goal is to have workshops in the candle studio, and to host other small businesses at my shop so they can teach workshops too! I am also planning to have a different popup business each month setup while we are open! I want to help share all the talent there is around us! We are also planning a local market for 2021, but I can’t share all the details just yet!