Welcome to Episode 83 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Sara Jennetten of Blank Mason, in Park Ridge, Illinois. With a newly proposed lease in her hand, Sara literally started her business the month the pandemic hit. She made an impressively quick pivot to the Internet and has not looked back. Her brand is all about the personalization and customization of scent.
In this episode, you'll love hearing not only how Sara pivoted quickly to get her business off the ground in the middle of COVID-19, but also, how she has complemented her core line of fragrance offerings by adding a “choose your own fragrance” option so customers can select a scent formula that appeals uniquely to them. Enjoy my interview with Sara NOW!
Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast
Episode Show Notes
Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that interests you most:
- About the Blank Mason brand and the pandemic pivot from brick and mortar to e-commerce. (starting at 2:15)
- Why a candle business? (starting at 4:43)
- The importance of customization and DIY. (starting at 5:56)
- The in-depth story of pivoting during the pandemic. (starting at 6:23)
- Customizing the website using WordPress and WooCommerce. (starting at 9:06)
- How Sara's eye for color and aesthetic helped her design her brand. (starting 11:33)
- Sara's approach to brand building by strategically focusing on what makes her brand unique. (starting at 14:20)
- Sara's plan to return to her original brick and mortar business model, including her approach to the experience she will deliver to her customers. (starting at 15:30)
- Sara's sales channels. (starting at 20:07)
- Sara's favorite social media channels, including use of Reels. (starting at 23:43)
- New products in the making. (starting at 25:00)
- Sara's right hand team members. (starting at 26:13)
- Aromatic cement beads! Cement! (starting at 25:46)
- Popular fragrances. (starting at 29:05)
- What Sara sees in the future for makers and creative entrepreneurs. (starting at 30:17)
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Sara and I mentioned the following resources.
- Blank Mason website
- Blank Mason on Facebook
- Blank Mason on Instagram
- Website hosting: WordPress
- E-Commerce platform: WooCommerce
Important entrepreneurial insights from Sara
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Sara and I discussed in this episode.
1. The power of learning to do tech things yourself
Sara's technical service providers not only help her design and maintain her website, but they also teach her how to perform some of the maintenance and updates herself. This empowers Sara, and is one of the main reasons she selected WordPress over Shopify. With her WordPress site, she has more control and ownership, and can use plugins and learn how to customize and organize them herself without having to pay a monthly fee for the privilege.
2. Give your customers an experience
Don't you love the part where Sara emphasized the point that it is so important to give your customers, not just a great product, but also a unique experience? She talked about how, when she opens her brick and mortar, she will have “scent specialists” to guide and empower customers to learn about scent in an engaging environment. The experience is one of the important components of the brand that will draw friends and family back to it over and over again.
3. The future of the maker world
Sara looked into the future to describe platforms that showcase the making process in a format that allows buyers to participate in the creation of the products, and then buy what they helped create right there on the spot. Can you imagine being able to do that? Well, maybe you can already. After all, almost anything is possible with technology these days! What a great concept to not only buy a product, but to participate in a meaningful way in its creation. That sounds so exciting to me!
Enter to win a $45 gift card to a Blank Mason virtual “create-your-own-candle” experience
Want to enter to win a $45 gift card to a Blank Mason virtual “create-your-own-candle” experience?!
The winner will be able to create their one of a kind custom candle:
1. Choose a scent
2. Pick a mason
3. Customize with your choice of botanicals and/or crystals
If you don't win, don't worry! You can buy this experience here.
Check out our Instagram for instructions on how to enter to win!
Binge Indie Business Podcast Episodes
Subscribe to Indie Business Podcast
Rate Indie Business Podcast, Tell Your Friends and Comment
If you enjoy the Indie Business Podcast, please rate my show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to subscribe there to receive automatic episodes as they are released.