Meet Ashley Pasquan from Adam Rabbit!
You started your company, Adam Rabbit with $40 in your pocket and are now killin it in the jewelry scene. Can you tell us how you got started, what inspired you to start your own company?
I have always had the desire to make and sell things. When I was a kid I would go door to door attempting to sell soap that I made with a craft kit. I also tried my hand at writing a neighborhood gossip magazine, that one didn’t go over too well. A few years ago I decided I wanted to be really good at something. I taught myself to sew. I wasn’t really good at it and started to realize why my jr, high home economics teacher gave me the only D that has ever made it on to a transcript of mine. Through sewing, I discovered I actually liked making jewelry to go with the dresses more. That day I found the $40 in my purse seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally start making and selling the jewelry I wanted to buy myself, but couldn’t find in the places I was shopping.
Whats the hardest and best thing about starting your own company and being the boss?
The hardest part for me has been finding a balance between my job as a special education teacher, Adam Rabbit, and personal life. I had no idea that listing some of the jewelry I made online would turn into this emotional roller coaster. One time I ran out of twine during the Christmas rush and cried to my dad for 45 minutes. Another time I was so excited that Etsy Wholesale was interviewing me I almost crashed my car. Although it is still a struggle, having clear goals and a great support system of people who are willing to listen to those 45 minute phone calls, has made this possible. The best part is definitely the freedom and possibilities. The feeling of making all of the decisions in your business is extremely empowering.
There are so many awesome online platforms for startups today- can you tell us why Etsy was a good fit for you and any advice for our readers who might be thinking of starting their own store?
I always thought of Etsy as one of the OG’s of handmade and didn’t consider any other websites. When I first wanted to start an Etsy shop a few people told me jewelry is an over saturated market and difficult to make sales, but with around 25 million members, there is room for everyone to have successful shops. My advice for anyone considering opening a shop is to do your research. I spent countless hours in the forums learning everything I could about selling online and it is starting to pay off. I would also start by focusing on photography and overall branding.
Whats the best piece of business advice you have learned along the way?
Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you.