For my blog this week I decided to interview a “local feminist” and business owner, Grace Mayer. She started her own company that is based right here in Harrisonburg and offers a variety of products. I wanted to ask her some questions about her business and what it takes to be a women in the business industry.
How did you get your idea for the business?
G: I am really into crafts and creating unique things, so one day I decided to do some research to see how I could do what I enjoy and make a business out of it.
What services/ products do you offer?
G: I offer a variety of jewelry pieces, from earrings to hair clips, and home décor items such as small boxes and trinket dishes.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
G: I wanted to use a little play on my initials which are GEM, so I went on a random search generator and came up with the hidden gem.
How do you promote/advertise your business?
G: I have found that it is easiest to use social media platforms, especially Instagram.
What made you choose Harrisonburg for your main location?
G: It is where I live, so I have more connections here. Plus the demand for my products are higher in this area due to the demographics and the people interested in what I am selling.
What is unique about your business?
G: I hand-make every one of my products, which allows the customer to choose exactly what type of product they want and how they want it to look based off of their style and personality.
What made you choose this type of business?
G: Well, for one thing, it is fun, but it also allows me to use my creativity to find new ways to explore the business world and meet customers needs.
Does your company help the community where it is located?
G: I would say that everyone who buys one of my products feels like they have something unique only to them, which is great for increasing self esteem/ self image.
If you had one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
G: Invest in branding!! Put your company out there—tell anyone and everyone you can about it.
Do you have any competition in this business area?
Yes—lots of other people on Instagram and Etsy sell jewelry and home decor products.
What are the biggest issues you encounter running this business?
G: I would say the most challenging thing is finding time to craft my orders. Between school, other responsibilities, and trying to stay sane during this crazy time, it is certainly a challenge I have. I also find it can sometimes be difficult to stand apart from other similar businesses.
What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in 2021?
G: Pros– You get to be your own boss. Additionally, I have found that there is a lot of respect for women who own their own businesses.
Cons– I would have to say everything going on with the pandemic.
Biggest regret (if any)?
G: I would say not starting earlier, especially with all the free time the pandemic gave me earlier on.
What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses?
G: Choose something that you like to do and are interested in, so it isn’t just a chore but something you actually enjoy doing it.
What is the dream– the end game?
G: I would say to be successful and have a larger customer base, but more importantly,
bring happiness and satisfaction to people who buy my products.
Here are some questions I asked just for fun:
What did you have for breakfast?
G: Scrambled eggs, toast and coffee—of course
What is you favorite thing to do in your free time?
G: At the moment I would have to say watching Netflix
Is there anything else you would like to add?
G: Thank you! Oh and also follow @hidden.gem.co on Instagram to browse some of my products!
Photo from @hidden.gem.co on instagram