Sunday, August 25, 2013

Savvy Small Business Sunday | Meet Kelle Stewart

Kelle is a cool girl that I meant one Sunday afternoon along my stroll through the farmers market in Hampton.  She had a natural products booth set up and was standing along side it with a big smile on her face.  I stopped to check out her items and immediately noticed she had a very welcoming personality! We conversed about her products and she shared that she had recently opened her own studio.  I was excited to learn more about what she does.  If you would like to know as well, read on to find out more...

What is the name of your business?
I have an all-natural home goods and hair care brand called Silk/Paper/Flower and I also own Bloom Wellness Studio.

What does the business do?
Silk/Paper/Flower is my all-natural, handmade home goods and hair care brand. I basically make products to make your life easier but I make them in a healthy, natural way without harmful chemicals and artificial preservatives. I also use recycled packaging whenever possible to reduce the company's carbon footprint.
At Bloom I am the lead natural hair stylist and we also plan to start having workshops on hair care, natural health, spirituality and empowerment.

When did you start your business?
I have been doing this business on and off ever since I lived in Brooklyn more than ten years ago... I lived down the street from the first Carol's Daughter flagship store in Fort Greene. I remember when her labels were done on a home printer just like mine :-) The only problem was that I really couldn't afford her products even back then. I was living this natural lifestyle, avoiding chemicals in my food and my cosmetics but I needed to do it in a more economical way. So I had to learn how to make the products myself. When I started becoming more domestic, my products branched out to the home care side of things as well. The hair care products came about in the same way, out of necessity. My very first job was in sales so it has always felt very natural to find ways to share the product with other women as well :-)
Why did you choose to start your own business?
I started the business because it felt selfish to keep these things all to myself. It's kind of like how if you cook this big, beautiful meal, so you want to share it with other people as well! I have come to realize that my products are my art and the packaging, the labels and even the way the products are made are a reflection of me so it's very fulfilling when women have a positive response to them. The business is also a really great way to meet amazing women. The people who want to buy these kinds of products are usually thoughtful and considerate in other areas of their lives so that is a real blessing. I am so inspired by the women who have come into my life as a result of this company.

What advice do you have for someone else trying to start his or her own small business?
I would seek a way to be of service. I am a former teacher, a profession that is synonymous with self-sacrifice. I want my products and services to be a comforting, soothing source of relief for women who give to everyone except themselves. And I want them to be healthier while doing it and not causing themselves long-term harm from chemicals in the process. If you start out with serving others in mind, I think that it will resonate with your clients and your customers.

Is there anything else you would like for our readers to know about you?
 You can come shop for products at the Olde Towne Farmers Market in Portsmouth, Va. from 9-1 and at the Peninsula Town Center Farmers Market in Hampton, Va. from 11-3 on Sundays. You can also "Like" on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and receive special promotions and discounts! Also thank you for reading about my company and Deanna is the best :-)

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