Starting From Scratch
Special Report: Starting From Scratch
A tiny fashion statement made entirely of chocolate.
"They're like Ďah they're handbags! How cute!í" Aliya Wali of Choco Choco House said.
A Christmas tradition turned into a thriving business.
"It's kind of a holiday smell," Nanaís Candles Lauralee Johnson said.
Starting your own business can be tough. But these two local women say they've found success starting from scratch.
First ingredient? Inspiration.
"I said to my husband, I have an idea!" Johnson said.
For Lauralee Johnson of Boston, that came from an old family recipe.
"I'm going to sell nana's spiced pecans on the web," Johnson said.
And Alyia Wali of Cambridge foresaw her future in chocolate.
"I saw this pattern in the chocolate that looked like leather. And I was like "chocolate handbags!" Wali said.
Once you have your idea, you need to create a business plan that covers all the bases.
"Just breaking it down into little pieces and solving each little piece," Johnson said.
And be prepared for some roadblocks along the way.
"It was trial and error. And it was pretty difficult in the beginning," Wali said.
For customers, you need to be creative. Especially when there's no cash for advertising.
"I really tried to rely on my friends and family spreading the word," Johnson said.
"I just put together a press release and certain magazines picked them up and then it snowballed from there," Wali said.
In fact, Aliya accidentally created such a buzz that she couldn't keep up with the orders at first.
"It was just mad craziness," Wali said.
Some final touches to making your small business thrive?
- Maintain a professional website
- Donít try to grow too fast
- Set aside time to take care of business matters
- Try to keep it fun
"It's not fun anymore, there's no point in doing it," Johnson said.
It hasn't always been easy, but Lauralee and Aliya say they've found a recipe for success that works for them.