It's time for our second blog feature. I'm working on doing one of these a month, and i've got a great line up for you so far! Please let me introduce to you Mina from Bohemian Vintage!
Mina has her own etsy shop, you can check out here. And she has parties in the middle of the week like Etsy Tuesdays and Bohemian Wednesdays! How fun!
Thanks for sharing your questions for Mina. I'll let her tell you a little more about herself.
1.) Are you persian? haha, mina is a persian name! Nope. Not Persian! : ) My parents are Nicaraguan. My name is actually short for Guillermina... my horrid middle name. It's Whilemina in Spanish.
2.) What do you do? I have two degrees. One in Education and one in Law. I am using the Education degree right now. I teach American History; American Government and Economics to 10th, 11th and 12th graders. I was actually a teacher before I got my law degree and loved it. So, when I graduated law school, I realized it wasn't really something I had a passion for, so I didn't continue my pursuit of it. Somewhere in between all of that , I started the Bohemian Vintage blog as a fun way to journal about things I like and enjoy. From the blog grew a business and a creative side of me I never knew existed. : ) Many interior decorating projects have organically come out of it. Just over time. I worked in an Antiques boutique on Sundays while I was in law school (just part time) and that's kind of where I started to get my experience with putting things together and learning about vintage design and decorating. So, now I do it as a side job, if you will. So! To answer the question... no... I don't blog full time. I wish. : )
3.)What advice do you have for aspiring business-owners? Have plenty of capital to start and stay afloat for at least 2 years!!! That's if you plan on opening up a brick and mortar shop. Don't borrow money from a bank if you can help it and start it online if you can. Starting it online is a great way to test the waters and get to know who your audience is. It's also good because you get to keep your day job while you do it. So, it's not so scary. If you want to jump in with both feet, however... my advice is to stay organized with you accounting (Not even kidding... this can be so frustrating), get your legalities in order (licenses, sales tax, etc...), have excellent signage and USE social media to the fullest!! Also, if it's applicable to your business... host events in your community. People like events. There's no better marketing than word of mouth.
4.)What inspired you to start your blog? Honestly? I've been keeping journals since I was 12 years old. So, I have pretty much every week of my life journaled! I looooove to write. So, the idea of an online journal really intrigued me. But, I didn't want to have an online "diary"!! You know?? Um... terrifying!! So, I thought... "okay... maybe I can write about something I like or know about." And I was really into interiors at the time, so that's what I went with.
5.) How did you get your store up and running? I started it online with some things I had around the house. Within the week, however, I went to the local thrift shop and junk shop and started getting things to sell. I kept an inventory notebook that listed the price I paid for it and the price I listed it for. When it sold, I would jot down how much it sold for. It later went on to be a spreadsheet on Excel. My parents are both accountants for small businesses, so they consulted with me a lot about setting up a tax id and all that boring stuff that you should do. I already had the blog up when the shop started, so I referenced the shop on the blog and announced its opening. I used social media a lot to promote it as well. I was also always mindful of taking decent pictures. Not that they were professional by any means. There are some pretty scary ones on there. But, that was important to me. That etsy shop closed down in 2009. It was Mina180. : )
6.)What are your hobbies? I love thrifting, antiquing, reading, listening to music and being outside on bright sunny days. I love taking pictures too.
7.) What inspires you? Love inspires me. The amazing things people will do for it. When I prepare my home to look beautiful for people to stop in and see us, I do it with love. When I teach my wonderful and amazing students, I do it with love. When I sit down at night and blog, I sincerely do it with love. So, I feel that much of what I do in my life is driven by a strong love for that particular situation. It keeps me inpspired and it keeps me happy. Most of all... it keeps me humbled. Humbled because it's amazing to me that love can drive so many people to do so many things. Just that one emotion.
8.) Where is your favorite place you have traveled? Savannah, GA. I just fell in love with that town! The architecture is so beautiful and filled with character. There was jazz playing on the streets and people eating at outside cafes in the summer heat. The energy was incredible. I just loved it.
Mina, thank you so much for participating in our Blog Feauture!
Now go over and check out Bohemian Vintage!