Today we’d like to introduce you to Grace Cecilio and Joe Felt.
Grace and Joe knew they wanted to start a business together. They kept coming up with ideas but none seemed like they would be real possibilities. Nonetheless, they didn’t give up, still dreaming of starting a business together. Ironically, their start came on one of Grace’s business trips. She traveled to Texas for work and on the flight back to San Diego, she sat next to a podcaster that helped people start and grow eCommerce businesses.
Was this the opportunity they had been waiting for? Joe was skeptical, especially since a short two-hour flight wasn’t enough time for Grace to have him explain all the potentials eCommerce could have. She told Joe they had to listen to the podcasts so he could see if this might be the business opportunity for them. Joe and Grace listened to a couple podcasts together and both agreed that this could be a viable business opportunity. They listened to more podcasts, did numerous hours of research, sorted through the requirements to start the business.
After months of research and taking their initial investment out of their savings, they were ready to offer customers high-quality home goods. The business started in November with a relatively small order of products, and sales went as good as they could hope for. Was this just because it was the gift-giving holiday season? They re-ordered and got ready for the rest of the year, knowing they had a lot more work ahead of them.
Grace and Joe learned that they each had their own talents to offer the business. Joe enjoys numbers, so he deals with the financials, advertising, and forecasting. Grace has a talent for social media, photography, and creating unique content for Home Euphoria products. Each of these categories is vital to the company as a whole and it seems that this was the perfect business for Grace and Joe to start together since they complement each other so well.
We have been in business for only two years, but have grown each year. We have also grown from our starter product to offering twelve products that are perfect for the home entertainers and gift-givers. The continued success of the business has been a solid foundation of communication between Grace and Joe, along with continued hard work, research, and adapting to changing business conditions.
We started off thinking we had a chance to start a legitimate business but thought it was only a dream. Now, we know we have what it takes to own and run our own business. We have each found what parts of the business we enjoy and applied our unique skill sets to help grow the business to what it is today. We couldn’t be happier with the decision we made and can definitely say it has brought us closer together. We started this business together as a dating couple and we are now engaged and set to get married in June.
Great, 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?
Like most other new business owners, it wasn’t a smooth road to get to where we are today. There was definitely a learning curve and we certainly made mistakes along the way. From running out of inventory to making mistakes in hiring part-time employees, each mistake was a learning experience and helped us understand our business better.
Upon our first expansion to our second product, we realized that we severely underestimated our shipping costs along with not calculating our demand correctly. This was a hard pill to swallow as we lost a good amount of money. We didn’t let it deter us from our goals, instead, we learned from it and made sure we took a lot more time to calculate our costs and demand for future products.
The biggest thing for us is that we didn’t blame each other, learned from our mistakes, and moved on to accomplish our goals for the expansion of the business.
Please tell us more about your business.
We are an eCommerce company that specializes in home goods and are known for providing unique, high-quality products that don’t sacrifice quality for profit. We are most proud of simply starting our business and growing it to what it is today in only two years. I think the thing that sets us apart is that we are a small, family-owned business that truly cares about our products and our customer service. We go through multiple rounds of redesign and quality inspection on each of our products until it is a product that we want to use and would pay for.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Joe worked for a local business during high school and college in his Wisconsin hometown. This was his start to give him the spark to become a business owner. However, he decided he needed to pursue his education. Once he finished school, he moved to San Diego and shortly after, he suffered a devastating injury in a ski accident. He tore his MCL and torn one of his quad muscles completely in half, resulting in his inability to work for three months and facing a long recovery.
Since he had just started his career and now was making a salary, he decided to make this an opportunity, not a tragedy, making sure to read books about investment, buying a house, and general entrepreneurship. This is when he got serious about becoming an entrepreneur and upon retrospect. Upon retrospect, what looked like a devastating injury, actually was a blessing in disguise, and Joe wouldn’t change it if he had a chance.
Grace’s grandmothers (mom and dad’s side) both had their own businesses back in the Philippines where she was born and raised. One created ornate ceramic displays and the other owned a ready to wear women’s fashion boutique where she also tailored on the side. She was inspired by their grit and confidence. After she moved to the US, she always aspired to be an entrepreneur but never had the guts until she realized that the perfect time to pull the trigger doesn’t exist. She was as ready as she can be and excited to undertake this adventure…uncertainty and all.
- Website: www.homeuphoria.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: homeuphoria
- Facebook: homeuphoria
- Other: Pintrest: homeuphoria