Friday, March 9, 2007

Batteries Not Required

Batteries Not Required is a one-woman operation that started when owner Megan Risley designed a product that would be safe for children, educational in nature and not media nor electricity based, would have no assembly nor pieces to lose and is completely portable. Here Megan talks about starting out and stepping up her business:

In the Play Business
“I own and operate Batteries Not Required. I make interactive play quilts for children. I've been in business for two years. I own a website and sell from that as well as from local craft fairs.”

“My typical customer is female, [who] is a parent of a young child. My second largest demographic are older folks- typically grandparents. 85% of people who purchase my quilts buy them as gifts.”

Between Consulting and Quilting
“ [I work on my business] part time. I have a full time job as a consultant. Thankfully, I work from home and can work between 25-40 hours a week, so I can spend the rest of the time on Batteries.”

“I usually do “Batteries stuff” in the early morning when I get up, for about an hour- all computer related. I may sew and work on the quilts after 5 pm for an hour or two.”

Financing A StartUp
“[I financed my business] from my own pocket. Luckily this wasn't something that needed a lot of money to start up- I just made a few quilts and sold them and moved on from there. I keep all of my business related receipts and use Excel to track income and expenses.”

“I didn't experience many challenges in starting because my idea (the quilts) was relatively low-risk.”

The Power of Forums
“I do a lot of online marketing, joining forums, posting where I can. Posting in forums that cater to my particular market has been the best. I also took some time and contacted local papers and had a few articles done, that was helpful.”

Selling Avenues
“[I sell my products] on my website, (currently under an update), on etsy, (along with other handmade things like purses and bags) and at local craft fairs.”

“I've learned to only do [craft] shows that are established and that have run for at least a few years. It's a give and take on shows and has taken time to learn what demographic would respond best. I have about 5-6 shows I now do every year.”

Megan Risley

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