Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophie and Stephanie Santiago.
Hi Sophie and Stephanie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Bella & Koko is our Etsy shop that is run by us, crafting twins Stephanie & Sophie Santiago. When Sophie had her daughter in 2018, we started crafting small projects for her. We created personalized items that we knew would be looked back on and cherished forever. Quickly our hobby grew into making things for family & friends, then eventually we decided to open our own Etsy shop!
Becoming a small business owner was always our first goal starting out as we knew it would give us a creative outlet and more financial freedom. Our shop has allowed Sophie the opportunity to work from home and spend more quality time with her daughter Bella. It has given Stephanie a creative outlet. Although it didn’t come easily, we believe consistency and our desire to learn and grow helped us get this far.
We believe a key to our success has been our desire to continue improving and learning. We are constantly looking at what our next step should be. Currently, we are finding ways we can help others make their small business dreams come true! Our ultimate goal is to become more successful and learn how to make all types of crafts that way we can teach others who would like to do something similar.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The process hasn’t been a smooth road at all, but we both know we have each other to keep pushing us forward. Starting has been our biggest obstacle so far! There is so much competition and finding a way to stand out from others is still something we are trying to learn. There is also so much information online about where to start, and it can be overwhelming. Because of this, we started sharing tips and tricks on Instagram so other crafters could see not where to start an Etsy, but where to start in general. We find it important to teach others how to have fun with their creations and we love giving advice or assistance when we can help.
It has been a struggle balancing everyday life. It’s a process and we just adapt to find a way that works. I credit a lot of our growth from doing research, making mistakes, and just trusting that if what I am creating brings me joy, then there are some people out there that this will bring joy to as well!
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Our main shop features mainly drinkware and paper party crafts that are customizable to whatever you’d like! We offer a lot of drinkware for bridal showers, weddings , birthdays, anniversaries and all other types of celebrations! We also offer party goods such as banners, cake toppers, centerpieces and photo props. We open our Instagram to all types of personalized orders and we also have our Etsy shop for items we have previously created!
What really sets us apart is that if you are having a hard time coming up with what you would like or want us to help you create something just send us your inspiration and we’ll work closely with you to make sure you are happy with the final product. We are just as excited as you are to create something you love!
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I would say that our business has had its share of both good and bad luck! We have been so lucky to have the support of our friends and family . Our work has been featured in a popular blog which luckily brought in a significant increase of traffic and business. We are so grateful for that opportunity. This has definitely taught us the importance of marketing and how to reach different audiences, we believe every opportunity we’ve had has brought in a great learning experience.
On the other side, there is always the struggle of trying to provide amazing customer service. Since we do offer to mail our creations all over the world, making sure they arrive in a timely matter and are not damaged is our biggest priority! Sometimes bad luck does tend to fall on us and we have to figure out a way to make it up to our customers.
- Glass Beer Cans $10.00
- Cake Toppers $25.00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Bellaandkoko
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shopbellakoko/