When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone who had gone through it and my health was very poor by the time I was diagnosed.
I wanted to find a way to make people smile and feel like they were part of a community, all while having a way to raise awareness and support research.
It was then that the idea for my company, Celiac Cutie, was formed. Along this journey of a new business venture, I’ve learned a lot about the power of creating a company that inspires a community to come together.
Through my first t-shirts, I discovered that if you made someone laugh, you open the door to connecting with them or having a conversation.
I can truly say that the greatest accomplishment as a company is to hear the feedback from customers that we made a difference in their journey. Knowing that a customer feels stronger or proud of themselves when they are wearing Celiac Cutie is the best possible reward.
Starting a new business is no easy feat. With it has come many moments of self-doubt and learning. I have days that I completely doubt everything I’ve done and stress that I’m not making a difference or I’m not profitable enough to sustain growth.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way on this journey of starting Celiac Cutie.
It’s All About Learning
I have to remind myself that as an entrepreneur, you are always learning. You WILL make mistakes but you will also do things that are so great you surprise yourself.
Remember when it is always about learning, nothing is a failure. The only way to truly grow as a person and as an entrepreneur is to sometimes accept that mistakes will be made and we are only human. You can grow from every mistake if you take the time to really evaluate what happened.
Listen to stories of people who you admire and pay attention to the early years (no one is an overnight success) and focus on what you have accomplished. By turning off the negativity inside your own head, you can stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. There will be hiccups along the way, but it is the attitude you have toward those bumps in the road that truly make a difference.
Listen to Feedback
When you have a company that is supported by a tight-knit community, it’s important to make sure that they know their thoughts and feedback are heard. Our customers have been asking for products other than t-shirts and I am taking this into consideration.
Of course it needs to stay in line with the company values, but I also want to give them the opportunity to share their thoughts. I plan on including them in the process by testing out slogans to see what resonates and what they want to see.
By giving customers an opportunity to be a part of the process, it solidifies even more the sense of community and that their input is valued.
Remember the Reason You Started
Take time to remember why you started, to celebrate your successes and to dream big for your future!
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but when I think about how Celiac Disease has affected my life and how my brand has brought empowerment to others, I am reminded of the reason I started this business in the first place.
Taking a moment to circle back around and reflect on the inspiration of the company is a great way to do a reset and continue on toward the original goals.
All in all, I am extremely grateful for this journey I’m on with my community of Celiac Cutie customers. It is all about learning from mistakes, continuing to grow, and ensuring my supporters always feel heard.
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