Interview with Carmen - the talented lady behind The Flair Exchange

Carmen
I am so excited to share with everyone my recent Interview with Carmen- the talented lady behind The Flair Exchange! I am a huge fan of Carmen and her work! I am sure if you enjoy party planning then you have had one of her handmade tassels displayed as your event and can totally understand my excitement for this interview so let's get started!
First off, tell me a little about yourself. Who is the lady behind The Flair Exchange?
Oh gosh, I'm so shy.Here it goes, I'm born and raised in FL. I currently live in Orlando FL, very far from the theme parks (I'm not really into them, gasp). I've been running the Flair Exchange full time for a little over a year. Before that I worked in healthcare as an Ophthalmic Technician, not as fun as party-ware. My husband and I enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling, we are partial to mountains which are in short supply here in FL, lol. A little secret about me, I prefer savory food over sweet which I'm pretty sure is a crime in the party realm. Just don't tell anyone, okay!

What made you decide to start your own business and how did up finding your niche?
The process of me becoming a business owner just kind of fell into place. I didn't start with a goal of being a business owner or making party-ware my career. I had been blogging on a personal blog for a year, sharing my recipes and little house parties. After making a few pieces of dΓ©cor for my events, friends urged me to sell it on Etsy (which was still new to me). I thought Etsy was a place to sell knitted scarves, not party supplies! Fast forward a bit, with a relocation and increase in sales The Flair Exchange became my primary source of income and full time job. I feel that my success is greatly due to the support and networks I've found via blogging. I love the online party world and am so happy to part of it!
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Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration for color palettes comes from so many things! I try to name the garlands to reflect the objects that have inspired their existence. Examples include; poolside sunshine, sweet taffy and grapefruit mimosa! Aside from the products I sell, I offer a lot of tutorials on the blog for creating your own party supplies. These are often inspired by fashion. While I don't consider myself someone that is into fashion when it comes to the way I dress myself, I love putting trends into parties. The most recent example of this would be the crepe paper bow garland. I was seeing all of these bows in magazines and on runways. There were bows on dresses, purses and headbands. These were big bows that made a statement. I wanted to create this same effect in garland form. The result was superb!
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How do you balance work and family?
Balance is such a hot topic! I work a lot, often in the evenings and on the weekends but my husband (Aaron) gets it. He knows how much it takes to run this business and is often in here folding boxes or printing labels with me. There are definitely days and nights when we do something fun together and work is pushed aside. I don't have any children, other than my fur baby (Joni) and she is just happy I can throw the ball for her on my lunch break.
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Do you have any advise for anyone is thinking or just started their own handmade business?
Yes, advice! I'll share my top 3!1. I'd suggest meeting with an accountant as soon as you've formed your LLC or Corporation. There are tons of rules you'll need to be aware of. Trust me this will save you a ton of headache if you go ahead and get informed!

2. Price your product correctly. I see tons of handmade business owners under pricing. Just make sure you've allowed for a wholesale and retail price and are making a profit with both.
3. Don't be afraid (of no). Don't let fear get the best of you, especially when you may hear no. When I've made the most daring decisions, I've received the most fulfillment.

 

One of Carmen's recent product launch is The Tissue Tassel Garland Kit which is DIY kit that is ready for assembling. Carmen was sweet enough to send me a kit to try out and it was so easy to assemble with all the instructions and details that Carmen included in the package. She truly takes pride in her product and it shows in her work.

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garlandkitsnowIf you want to try your hand on creating your own Tassel Garland, check out her shop here and use the code savenow5 to save 5% off your purchase!

Thank you so much Carmen for sharing with us a little insight on who the lady behind this successful business is and how it all got started! I am sure after this interview, you will be a huge fan of Carmen's work like I am. Be sure to keep up with what she's up to by following her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

 

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