One of the best ways to be inspired to make yourself and your business the best they can be is to learn from the success of others. That’s why we love to spotlight our members here at the blog.
Today, you’ll meet Emily Caswell, founder and president of GCDSpa in Topsham, Maine. I asked Emily to share a bit about her successful life and business (she has both)! Here's a little of what he said:
Q1 TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
I left a biotech lab job to start my own business in 1997, and worked for about 8 years doing graphic and web design for small local businesses. One Christmas I put together some sugar scrubs and bath salts with a friend, creating my own labels and packaging as I’d done for clients' products. Our families liked their gifts so much that they ordered more. I realized this was a great way to combine my design work with my lab experience, and within a year I had launched GCDSpa.com and was creating wedding favors.
While we still do lots of wedding work, from bridal showers to bachelorette parties, we’ve also expanded our designs and flavors to birthdays and baby showers. We even do divorce parties and holiday events— we’re putting together lots of holiday favors and gifts at the moment. Every day I get to do something I love, whether it’s pouring lip balm, designing new tags, or taking product photos.
I’m pretty fortunate to have a job “designing tiny thank-yous in personalized packages”!
Q2 WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SELLING PRODUCTS?
From the very beginning, personalized lip balm has been our best selling product. The most popular flavors and occasions may change from month to month (more birthday parties in the spring and weddings in the summer, for example), but our best seller is always lip balm with custom labels and tags.
Here's an example of a set of custom lip balms for a client's diva spa party.
Q3 WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I have a pretty cool husband and two teenagers who haven't figured out yet how boring their parents are, so when I'm not working, I like to spend time with them. I also love photography, writing, and baking—and combining all three whenever possible. My kids have learned to ask, “Can I eat this or do you need to take a picture of it for your blog?” (So even when I'm not working, I guess I'm sometimes working.)
In the summer I spend as much time as possible in my garden, and this past summer I also added a new fitness routine to my schedule. I completed P90X this fall and I'm looking forward to the next fitness challenge.
Q4 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE INDIE BUSINESS NETWORK?
I found out about the Indie Business Network when I needed product liability insurance back in 2006, but since then have come to rely on it for so much more. IBN keeps members updated on industry issues (including pending legislation) and the continuing education offered through calls, events, and the blog help us grow our businesses.
My favorite new benefit of IBN is the private Facebook group—yet another place to connect with colleagues, make new friends, and build collaborations.
You can learn more about Indie Business Network membership and the benefits we offer (including affordable product liability insurance, coaching, and mentoring) at this link. Learn more about our entry level Indie Protégé program here.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GCDSPA