Over the next few weeks we will be profiling entrepreneurs in our program. The stories you read are real entrepreneurs in the Upstate SC community.
Javela | Gifted Hands Artisan Soap
What is your business?
Gifted Hands Artisan Soap, a natural, handcrafted bath & body company that specializes in small bath soap-making using high quality, skin-loving ingredients.
Why did you start your business?
My business was started out of a need to rid my home of harsh, unnecessary chemicals due to a hormonal health issue I was facing, but has grown into a business that has not only helped me heal but has provided healing to my growing clientele who also suffer from a variety of different skin and hormonal aliments.
What is your greatest challenge in business?
I believe my greatest challenge is the same for most small business owners, that is to grow my presences in the marketplace enough to maintain my relationship with repeat clientele, while also making connections with new clientele.
How did the Business Entrepreneur Academy help you start/grow your business?
The Academy was instrumental is helping me overcome my fear of connecting with other entrepreneurs, as well as clients. It helped me understand that we all fundamentally have the same questions and issues. I am not alone.
What advice would you give to other people who want to start a business?
Know your why? Owning your own business is not easy. If you don’t have a clear picture of your why, when things get tough, you will quit. Get connected with other like-minded people by taking an entrepreneurship course just like the one offered at Mill Village Community. Even if you have fear, step out and pursue your dream. You won’t regret that decision. Lastly, make sure you stay connected to the one who placed the dream with in you. Trust in the Lord to lead you on your journey.
What do you wish you knew before starting a business?
I wish I knew about the openness of the community of support that is out there. Other entrepreneurs just like me. Grinding it out. In a lot of ways making those connections have been more beneficial than any monetary insight I may have gained. For me, stepping outside of my comfort zone and making those connections has been the key to unlocking many doors I thought were closed to me.
You will also be able to see (and smell!) Gifted Hands Artisan Soaps at the Compassionate Greenville fundraiser with Home2Suites on November 3 benefiting Nasha Lending and Mill Community Ministries. Get your tickets today!