Americans mind their own business. According to the Small Business Administration, around 32 million small businesses are currently operating in the U.S., and some 543,00 new businesses are started each month. Some of these businesses were born from hobbies that took hold and gained momentum in the marketplace. This month we’re celebrating some fabulous entrepreneurs from the Xyron community, who use tools like our Xyron Creative Station and Xyron Sticker Maker to fill their storefronts with inventive, handmade gifts, decor, and more. We encourage you to support their business and others like them on November 27th, Small Business Saturday.
Jessica Litman is the powerhouse behind The Organized Mama, the ultimate online resource to help families get organized with practical tips, tricks and tutorials anyone in the family can follow. She incorporated and launched her media company of the same name in 2016, adding videos and boosting her social media presence along the way. In 2020, she expanded again, unveiling “The Organized Business,” a coaching service that teaches online businesses how to organize every aspect of their business.. Jessica’s work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, and The Boston Globe. Her book, Home Sweet Organized Home, will arrive on bookshelves in the Spring of 2022. You can get your presale here
What inspired you to start your business and why?
I was inspired to start my business after a group of mom friends came over for a playdate with our babies. Most of the moms moved up to the suburbs from the city and were used to apartment living. When they came over, everyone was commenting on how organized things were. I didn’t think much of it until I had a girlfriend ask for help in her home. Which led to me starting my blog with tips about organizing. I thought only a few people would be interested, but it turns out that many people are interested in how to organize.
What was your very first product, and how did it sell?
The very first product I sold was my meal planners. I was getting asked by people on my email list how to plan meals for the family, so I started selling laminated meal planners on Etsy. Around the same time, I was getting asked to organize people’s homes. So I started going into people’s homes to help them organize. Now I am back to selling products online and teaching families how to organize with digital products and courses!
What have been the most significant challenges or hurdles you’ve been able to overcome? How did you overcome them?
I think the biggest hurdle has been “imposter syndrome.” As in, feeling like I’m too inexperienced to be doing what I am doing. But I love to learn new things, and I do love a challenge. So whenever I feel that feeling of not being good enough or experienced enough, I try to learn a new skill by reading an article on something or a book or watching a video. That helps me realize that everything is an ongoing learning experience.
What Xyron products do you utilize for your business, and how do you use them?
I use the Xyron Creative Station with the removable and permanent sticker refills. I use these for making custom labels. I love getting creative with the labels and turning them into a sticker for so many purposes!
What was the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of business advice I have ever received has been not to take anything personally. That goes for positive and negative comments, reviews, anything. I found this advice extremely helpful after I had a negative review on my Etsy site. But it has also come in handy with positive comments, so they don’t “go to my head.” I have to keep doing what I am doing and focus on helping others get organized. I am doing the best I can with what I know how to do. And by keeping that in the front of my mind with every product or course I sell has helped me stay focused on growing my business!
What inspires you? What keeps you motivated to push forward?
What inspires me is the messages from other parents saying how organizing has helped them be more patient with their families, helped them feel more in control, and supported their mental health. Knowing what I am putting out into the world is helping people keeps me moving forward and continuing to do what I do, even on those difficult days.
Being a business owner is hard! What keeps you up at night?
Being a business owner is hard. So when I get a new idea for a product, I end up staying up trying to figure out the best way to make my vision a reality. I try to keep a pad of paper and pen by my bed in case an idea hits me. I never remember in the morning, so I write it down on paper so my brain can let it go and I can actually sleep.
Do you have a quick “Xyron Hack” or tip for other small business owners or those looking to start their own small business?
My tip for others starting their small business is to just go for it. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. You have to start somewhere, so just start. If I had waited to write my blog until I was ready, it wouldn’t have been written. So just start with your idea and learn as you go.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
I see my business growing with more published books and more organizing content on my website! I am currently in the final stages of the publishing process for my first book, and I want to continue writing on various topics. I also see my business having a physical storefront along with a tv show. And I would love for The Organized Mama to be a top resource for families who want to get organized!