Maker Stories: Episode 63: Kayla Fioravanti of Ology Essentials and Work+Shop Create [Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 63 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Kayla Fioravanti of Ology Essentials and Work+Shop Create outside Nashville, Tennessee. For many of you, this may be a re-introduction, since Kayla has been a guest on Indie Business Podcast a few years back when her business was going in a different direction. If you missed it, you can listen to that episode here. Today, Kayla is in the midst of a massive shift, and this episode will be useful to you if your business (and your life!) is encountering shifts of its own. I highly recommend that you listen to my previous interview with Kayla so you can get a really good foundation for how she got where she is today.

Kayla is a serial entrepreneur, having sold one business several years ago, and then taking a little break while her children were in their early teen years, and today, launching two new brands at the same time. Kayla has a wealth of insight and experience, and she drops some really great golden nuggets in this episode. Enjoy my interview with Kayla NOW!

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Episode Show Notes

Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:

  1. Basic introduction to the brands Kayla is currently managing. (starting at 2:57)
  2. What does it feel like to raise a baby (your business), and then when someone else buys it, let it go completely, and what did Kayla do next? (starting at 7:00)
  3. Just because you had one successful business, does not mean you know how to build a brand new one in a different field. (starting at 12:00)
  4. How attending Maker Mastermind Live and going through the Indie Method helped Kayla begin to build her new brands. (starting at 14:00)
  5. A typical day in Kayla's life, and the things she does that are foundational and super important (hint: blogging, engaging via social media) . (starting at 16:00)
  6. Kayla's take on the importance of having a geographical physical component to your business, and how they all fit together and provide entrepreneurial leverage — each for the other. (starting at 20:00)
  7. Some things to consider when you enter into business partnerships. (starting at 28:00)
  8. Top mistakes new entrepreneurs make when they are getting started in business. (starting at 33:14)
  9. Tips for failing well. (starting at 38:26)
  10. Kayla shares what she sees on the horizon for Makers, Handmade, and Artisan Entrepreneurs. (starting at 42:40)
  11. Kayla's thoughts on the tension between “showing up personally” for your customers, and enjoying the freedom and flexibility that entrepreneurship produces in your life. (starting at 46:45)
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Kayla Fioravanti, Ology Essentials and Work+Shop Create

Episode 62: Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

In this episode, Kayla and I mentioned the following resources.

  1. Kayla's personal brand website: Kayla Fioravanti
  2. Kayla's aromatherapy website: Ology Essentials
  3. Kayla's retail store in Franklin, Tennessee: Work+Shop Create, visit at 1020 Westhaven Blvd., Franklin, Tennessee.
  4. Entrepreneurial training curriculum: Indie Method
  5. In-person entrepreneurial training: Maker Mastermind Live
  6. Business Kayla founded with her husband: Essential Wholesale
  7. Website designer: “Jennifer” at Eco-Office Gals

Review of a few of the important entrepreneurial lessons Kayla shared in this episode

  1. Test new websites, and then test them again!

    I love Kayla's advice that we test, test, test, and then test again a new website before it goes live. Of course, there will always be something to fix … I've launched enough websites to know that … but the big things should not go sideways because you can test them in advance. Avoid a lot of new site launch hassle by over testing rather than under testing.

  2. Be teachable.

    Kayla mentioned that one of the main reasons why investors and buyers were interested in the business she sold a few years back is because she was genuine about the mistakes she had made in business. As Kayla said, no serious investor is going to be really interested in your brand if you have always done everything right. Failure allows you to show that you are teachable, and that you can bounce back when things don't go your way. And in business, we all know that things absolutely eventually do NOT go your way.

  3. Show up for your customers.

    Kayla shared the importance of showing up in person for your customers, and not just leaving engagement to automation or even qualified assistants. You cannot have meaningful conversations with your target audience if you are not there to lead the discussions and to guide them as they make buying decisions where your brand is concerned.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.