Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Interview With Erin Kelly

What skills and attitudes are required to be successful in online sales? Do successful business owners always believe in themselves, or do they ever consider quitting? I had the opportunity to ask Erin Kelly, founder of Karmin Hair Tools, a few questions about how she climbed the ladder to business success and what keeps her there. Here’s what she shared with me:

Q 1. What key factors made you decide to start your own business?

Erin: Several years ago my brother and I started selling items on eBay. We received a shipment of hair straighteners through a trade and decided to sell them on eBay too. They quickly became our top selling item. This was when the flat iron was becoming a popular, must have tool for home users and not just for salon professionals. We saw a great potential here and decided to start our own brand of hairstyling tools called Karmin. With this, we needed a website to market it on and it all grew from there. I currently own and run three websites, marketing to Canada, the US, and the UK.

Q 2. Why are you great at what you?

Erin: I enjoy what I do and that in a way makes me better at it. Not every aspect of running a business is enjoyable (adding new products to a website is a daunting task!) However, the enjoyable tasks outweigh the daunting ones. I would have to say that I excel most in the social and creative aspects of my business.

Q 3. How much of your talent is learned or innate?

Erin: It is definitely both. As far as the marketing aspect goes, it has taken a lot of learning, as there are constantly new ways to get my business out there and to reach my potential customers. As for the customer service, social, and communication aspects of my business, I would say it comes naturally; I have always been outgoing and enjoy talking with and helping others.

Q 4. Were you ever afraid of starting your business, was there a point you almost changed your mind/quit/or gave up?

Erin: Afraid no, quit never, but yes, there were definitely times at the beginning where I would think to myself, “Is all of this work worth it?” It turns out it sure was and continues to be. If you want to run a successful business of any type it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of hours, and a lot of commitment, but in the end – it is worth it. There is nothing better than the sense of accomplishment, well besides getting to be my own boss and work from home!

Q 5. What has been the secret to your success?

Erin: A positive attitude is key! Believing in yourself and your goals is important and what will make you a successful business owner. I also found that surrounding myself with like-minded people, and reaching out to successful business owners was a great way to stay on track and continue to believe that I too, could do this.

Q 6. What have you learned about yourself through all of this?

Erin: I have more patience and determination than I thought in the beginning. Thinking about the last 6 years I realize how hard I have worked to get where I am and how much further there is to still go!

Erin Kelly is the owner of Rylees.ca and co-founder of Karmin Hair Tools. The Karmin brand is currently sold online and has become one of the most popular brands of hair tools around the world. You can find Erin and keep up with her business ventures on Google+ under Erin Kelly.