Ask An Entrepreneur Answers By: Michelle Emery, Creator of Forever Whoopies, Fairfield, Maine
I have had an Etsy shop since November 2010. But I have donated and sold my whoopie pie ornaments and varsity jacket ornaments locally well before this time.
2) Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
Creating ornaments has been a hobby since I was a little girl.
I became known as the Whoopie Pie lady in my town, baking whoopie pies for all sorts of local events. It was only a natural fit to create my whoopie pie ornament. Over time, designing a variety of ornaments to reflect specialty interests, like hockey and baseball. But also, primarily because both of my kids, my son and my daughter have been into sports since they could walk. I’ve always supported their teams and I would often make huge batches of whoopie pies for their fundraisers and booster events. I also used to bake custom wedding cakes and cupcake towers. I soon started replacing cupcakes with whoopie pies for events like wedding and baby showers and it was a huge hit.
Along with my whoopie pie ornament, I have created the varsity jacket ornament. They became a great local hit and I thought I should add this to my listings on my Etsy page. Each one is made to order to be specific to your school or event. They are a huge hit and something kids and parents can remember that time in their life forever. The varsity jackets were also a great way for anyone to support their kid’s team spirit!
3) What makes business/product unique?
My whoopie pie ornaments are unique and special to Maine.Whoopie pies are the official “treat” of Maine and people love to send the ornaments to friends and family members who have moved away.
My varsity jacket ornaments are unique because each buyer chooses their own colors of the jacket and can add the personal details to match their child’s own jacket, like their number on the sleeve and name on the back.
4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
This is something that has evolved over time, it makes me happy to share my passion and put a smile on someone’s face.
My “day” job is a lot of talking, writing, and paperwork but it doesn’t allow me to express myself creatively. When I am creating – whether it is baking in my kitchen or crafting in my studio – I am truly happy and expressing myself. I’ve always dreamt of owning my own business but as a full-time working mom, I didn’t think it was possible. Starting my Etsy site allowed me to get my business up and running and still take care of my family. By working for myself I can insure things are done “my way” right down to the last detail.
5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
This happens from October to December of every year, the sales go crazy and I am out straight.
6) Every female professional should have …
7) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
Martha Stewart, we have the same passions of cooking and crafting.
8) What is your business motto? It’s all in the details.
9) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
Create what makes you happy. Be realistic. Do not over-promise. Maintain quality control. Even if it’s a small trinket, people want something that is going to last
10) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
I have a Silhouette Cameo that I use for everything. Etsy has given me the opportunity to share my creations with the world.
11) What is your goal for the next year?
My goal next year is to continue to get my name out there, increasing sales slowly.
12) When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
I hope they say that my whoopie pie ornaments look good enough to eat and that my whoopie pies are the best they’ve ever eaten!