As Tania grew more banal of her full-time job and hunting for new positions weren ’ thymine successful, she last decided it was time to create her own luck. After writing her resignation letter ( through tears ), Tania became a full-time entrepreneur. Along with a more meet career came obstacles and sacrifices and with a new mortgage on her plate and no cash reserves to call on at the time, Tania kept her new career a unavowed from her family knowing they may find her decisiveness irresponsible .
But thanks to an unassailable drive and countless nights of churn cabbage for dinner, three years belated Tania has seen her commercial enterprise develop beyond her wildest dream. With a thriving customer root, beautiful brand, and press mentions everywhere from InStyle to Good Housekeeping, it ’ south clear that this is alone the beginning for olive+piper. If you want to know precisely how Tania spent her $ 2,000 when she started out, how she handles the buy process for her shop class, and what she would change if she were to do it all all over again, keep recitation !
Name: Tania Yan
Current Title/Company: Owner, olive + piper
Education: Cell Biology and Genetics, BSc from University of British Columbia
What was your first job out of college, and how did you land that position?
I was a receptionist at an Internet marketing party ! I graduated in sciences and searched for a job in my field, but there weren ’ t a fortune and they were all really…. bore. In one of my interviews, they asked me how long a particular section of DNA for a particular organism was. Blech. So I started applying to random jobs for the sake of having a job. I ended up getting one in on-line marketing and it introduced me to a new diligence I ’ ve never thought approximately .
I worked there for a pair of years and learned a wholly draw about the getting a commercial enterprise on-line in the early days and the strategies on marketing it—this is when Twitter merely started becoming popular sol there were less options ! I had a few different roles in the company : receptionist, customer service congressman and then as an teacher for one of the on-line courses .
How does a cell biology and genetics major end up launching an accessory business? What drove you this type of business?
It was a combination of my work feel shaping my sake in the eCommerce, my sexual love for jewelry and accessories ( I worked part-time at Aldo Accessories and literally exhausted my entire pay check there ) and my curio about starting my own business. There is a draw less gamble starting an eComm business than a brick and mortar, which I decidedly did not have the capital or feel to do but I did have some cognition in on-line commercialize, embark and logistics, and a love for manner. I besides thought jewelry would be a well product to start with since it ’ s small and easier to store than dress or shoes .
You launched your business with $2000—an impressive feat, especially when you’re talking about a product based company. How did you allocate those initial funds?
When I started olive + piper, it was a hobby and I had a job so I saved up a fiddling from my day occupation and invested it toward my on-line project. Most of the money was spent on inventory, and very little of it on actually setting up the web site. There are so many bang-up eComm platforms out there for us immediately that you very don ’ t need to hire a vane developer to build a website—especially if you ’ re a small business. I besides make all of my own web graphics and photograph and edit all the photos so I didn ’ t need to invest in help there either .
If you had to do it all over again, would you invest the money the same way? Anything you would change?
Honestly, I was identical economical with the amount I spent and where I spent it. It was equitable enough to get a decent excerpt of product at first gear quantities, and the monthly fee to keep my locate running. I think a lot of people get consumed in building the perfect looking web site from the start, but when you ’ re equitable starting out whether your accent color is tap or blue international relations and security network ’ thyroxine crucial. adenine retentive as you ’ re portraying the stigmatize picture you want, focus on testing the product to see how it performs. And if you need help with setting up your site and graphics or photography, look for the best deal—ask friends, collaborate—just don ’ t blindly throw money at it .
when you ’ re just starting out whether your emphasis coloring material is pink or blue international relations and security network ’ t authoritative. ampere long as you ’ re portraying the brand effigy you want, focus on testing the product out to see how it performs .
With a $2000 budget to launch a jewelry business, you have to get creative! How did you handle marketing when you were first starting out?
Luckily for us, we have so many rid ad channels via social media—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, etc. that you don ’ t have to have an ad budget for most businesses. For olive + piper, social and ocular channels are a great suit. We have a presence on all the platforms mentioned and focus on building a community and fan base there. Collaborating with influencers and complimentary brands are besides worth exploring .
Tell us a bit about the buying process. How do you select the pieces you sell and where do you find wholesalers?
The buy work is always changing and being fine-tuned—I still have a batch to learn about my customers and finding the best items for them. The pieces I choose are based what ’ s presently in style, staples that every woman should have, what ’ sulfur done well with my customers in the past and what hasn ’ triiodothyronine, and besides what I personally love .
Our wholesalers are everywhere—we reference products from wholesalers in North America and besides overseas. We started designing some of our products this year, which has besides been ace fun and a wholly new experience for us. It ’ second great because we can very create things we very love and want to wear and have control over the different components that go into it .
When you first started olive + piper, you had a full-time job and initially viewed o+p as a hobby. How did that transition to you quitting your day job?
I ’ megabyte probably not the best function model for this. I was getting tired of my day job and very didn ’ triiodothyronine tactile property that it was a good burst for me anymore, so I started casually applying to jobs. There wasn ’ t a lot out there, and all the positions that I very wanted, I never heard from. ( Their loss, right ? ) meter was running out and so was my patience. One day, I just decided that that was it. I couldn ’ thymine do it anymore, so I handed in my resignation ( I cried when I wrote it ) and that was it .
I was unemployed with a stigmatize new mortgage, no excess savings and olive + piper. And to top it off, I hid it from my parents because they would have freaked out about how irresponsible I was being. I would decidedly advise anyone that ’ randomness thinking about taking the leap to be more creditworthy and map everything out—do you have enough saved up in case your gross can ’ thymine hold you ? What ’ s the plan for your clientele ? How much time will leaving your job give you and what will you be spending that time doing ? Prepare yourself for the challenges—with your business and personally—because they will come .
I was unemployed with a brand new mortgage, no extra savings and olive + piper. And to top it off, I hid this from my parents because they would have badly freaked out about how irresponsible I was being.
Read more: Episode 128 – “Dis-Kabob-Ulated”
Financially, what was the transition like? Did you have a certain amount of reserves set up before you took the leap to becoming a full-time entrepreneur?
I think you should decidedly have some reserves before you take the leap. Forecast how much your gross will go up with the extra time you ’ re spending on your occupation, and how long it will take you to achieve that, and visualize out how much extra you need to support yourself ( in the event that things don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate go as planned ) .
I didn ’ t have any reserves because it was unplanned. I needed to save every penny I had to make certain I could pay my mortgage and utilities and there were very rocky times. I remember once I in truth wanted a new notebook ( to write all my amazing ideas in ! ), but I couldn ’ triiodothyronine buy one so I spray painted gold stripes on the cover of an old, unused one and pretended it was something new. I besides had nights where I ate boil cabbage for dinner. Yum .
Let’s talk a little bit about olive + piper’s operations. How many people are on your team? Do you work together in an office or do you work remotely? What do your daily duties typically entail?
early than myself, there is one other person on my team who helps out with much everything and we work together in my home function. Being a small business, everyone in truth has their hands in everything, but my effect duties include bribe and plan, creating and executing digital market campaigns, creating all our graphics, photographing new products and looks for the site, running our affiliate platform, and of course, searching for new business opportunities and strategies to grow olive + piper. The days of my week are scheduled so that I do sealed tasks on specific days .
Is there anything you wish you had known when you were first starting out? Anything that was easier or more challenging than you expected?
I wish I knew more entrepreneurs or talked to people who were on that way. No one tells you how much of a mental challenge it can be .
I had a little bit of feel in a lot of aspects that helped me start olive + piper, but I besides didn ’ thymine know a draw about what happens after or even what to expect. I truly loved beginning my company—thinking of a name, buying products, uploading them, creating policies, and signing up for all social accounts. But then it ’ s like, now what ? And then the real work starts and it never stops .
You have moments where bang-up ideas come to you and early ones where your brain is literally empty and you have no solutions for your problems. It ’ sulfur besides thus easy to get consumed in what you ’ re doing and overwhelmed by how a lot there is. It ’ randomness hard to get back on track sometimes and you spiral down. When you find yourself there, catch. Stop, be life, do something else, and recharge .
It ’ sulfur difficult to get back on cut sometimes, and you spiral down. When you find yourself there, diaphragm. Stop, live life, do something else and recharge .
What advice would you give your 23-year-old self?
To be more confident in yourself and actually get out there, talk to people and get what you want. I ’ megabyte a bite of an invaginate and I can be shy when I ’ meter around newfangled people or new experiences. It took me a while to get more comfortable with reaching out and approaching people, which cost me time. Get over yourself and go for it, because other people are .
Tania Yan is The Everygirl…
Favorite way to celebrate a career success?
Literally jumping for gladden. preferably followed by a nice dinner and field glass of wine and some ice cream .
If you could have lunch any woman, who would it be and what would you order?
Oprah. I hope she loves to eat, because I very do ! I ’ vitamin d regulate everything on the menu to make indisputable we have a truly long lunch. possibly sushi, brunch, or pasta. With a side of inspiration, advice, and a selfie, please !
My alarm goes away at 7:30 a.m. I get quick for the day with a cold splash of water on my confront, followed by a vegetable and yield smoothie and some kisses from my puppy Oliver. The it ’ s on to the computer .
Cookies. I love cookies. And ice cream. And chips besides.
Read more: Episode 128 – “Dis-Kabob-Ulated”
Perfect day off?
I love to get up early ( and not be tired ), have breakfast or lunch at a new place I ’ ve never tried followed by a stroll ( or a little shopping ? ) and a cozy nox in with a movie .