At a time when small businesses are struggling during an unforeseen Pandemic I wanted to reach out and interview some inspiring store owners to bring you some really great online stores to shop at. It’s important we all help out our fellow small business owners by showing support for their creative endeavors. You can support them by sharing this interview with your friends and family, shopping at their online store and/or following them on social media to see potential new items you might like to try. My next interview is with Natalia Beley founder of Evimero Marketplace. Natalia Beley is a wife to Rick, mom to Ryan (15) and Matthew (10) and 2 pups, #bossmom of Evimero Marketplace, lover of Jesus, an Enneagram 8, runner, tennis player, lover of donuts and a NJ native with a southern soul who calls Roswell, GA home.
Carol: Please share with us your name and business store name. Is it only located online or do you have a brick and mortar location?
Natalia: My name is Natalia Beley and I own a shop called Evimero Marketplace. It started out online only but I’m getting ready to open my first brick & mortar shop this month. Great timing, huh?
Carol: That is fantastic timing! Congratulations.
Carol: What was the creative spark that gave you the idea to launch your business?
Natalia: About 2 years ago I read a book called “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline and it really opened my eyes to the waste both in natural resources and human lives in the production of what is called “fast fashion”; the sorts of things we see in Old Navy, Zara, H & M. Every season I would go through my clothes and “donate” the ones I didn’t wear anymore and think I was doing something good when what I was really doing was just adding to the mountain of apparel waste in the world. In addition I was reminded of who the people are that are making my clothes and in what kinds of conditions these people often work in and for meager, barely sustainable wages. It made me reevaluate where I wanted my hard earned money to go and so I began on a journey to seek out and support brands that are making more thoughtful and conscientious decisions about manufacturing and production. This led me to want to open a store where I could be a small part of the solution and promote brands that were doing good in the world.
Carol: Wow, I really admire you for considering not only the people involved in making the items but the environmental impact as well. I am a huge supporter of #consciousbusiness
Carol: Can you share with us one of your customers favorite products?
Natalia: One of our best selling items has really been any jewelry by a company called Fair Anita. They are a fair trade certified company and they offer ethical working conditions to their artisan partners. They are paid 2-3x minimum wage plus offer health benefits and educational opportunities. In addition, they try hard to source all of their materials in the local communities where things are made.
Carol: What country is your business located? Do you ship outside of USA?
Natalia: We are located in Roswell, GA and at the current time we don’t ship outside of the US but maybe in the future if we can make that work.
Carol: How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
Natalia: Well I started this business right as Covid was beginning to take a stranglehold on things! I had so many events on my calendar to sell my products and they were all cancelled so that was super discouraging at first. I have really had to put on some tough skin and this has tested me to see this business survive. I cut back on expenses and got some of my event money back so that was helpful and I just really had to focus on marketing which is tough when everyone in the world is going online to sell. I just keep telling myself that if my business can get through this I think we’ll be able to survive anything!
Carol: Do you do marketing for your business?
Natalia: Yes, I couldn’t survive at all without marketing! I know that since right now I am a one-woman show I couldn’t be in every place at once so I primarily focus on Instagram because I personally love that platform so I knew if I liked it I’d be more willing to consistently show up there and I knew my customers would be there too. So far it’s been a great tool to get my name out there and I have found a supportive network especially of other small business owners to cheer me on and that I can help support.
Carol: Instagram is a great place for online stores. I personally have found some of my favorite items there.
Carol: Where do you see your company in the next two years?
Natalia: In the next 2 years I’d love to see the business flourishing and hopefully making a profit and being able to have some employees to help out. I also hope to be able to bring in more vendors so that I can showcase more of their work to my community. I also want to be a vibrant part of my downtown shopping community. I’d love to be collaborating on events that will continue to draw people to small businesses downtown. My ultimate goal is seeing people thrive through a system of mutual entrepreneurship. The name of my shop actually means “thrive” in Greek.
Carol: What small business tip would you like to pass on to someone who is at the very beginning stages daydreaming about starting their own business journey?
Natalia: I would say just go for it! Christy Wright is one of my mentors and someone I follow in business and she always says “do it scared” and that has been life changing for me. I always thought that if you were going to start something you had to have all the answers and know exactly what you were doing and that mentality really hindered me from pursuing my dreams. I don’t like messing up BUT I now know that I’m not going to always get everything right but I’m going to work hard and do my best and keep moving forward. It’s been a great lesson for my kids to see me pursuing this as well. They see that things aren’t always easy but honestly nothing good in life comes without some work. On a more practical note I would say try to stay as organized as possible right from the beginning because once you get busy it’s hard to go back and create those systems. So even if its something as simple as an excel spreadsheet and a notebook, try to keep notes and track your money. Oh and 1 more, read Profit First by Mike Michelowiz. You’ll thank me.
Carol: I agree 100% of keeping your business organized. I’ve helped many clients over the years who have struggled with this along with being able to hold themselves accountable. As a small business owner myself I can honestly saying keeping track of my expenses on a weekly bases through Google sheets has made it much easier during tax time. Spreadsheets can help a lot!
Carol: Who are your business mentors?
Natalia: Well I already mentioned Christy Wright. I really like Jasmine Star, she’s super encouraging and positive and her tips are really good in regards to anything social media related. I’ve also had some other small business owners who have helped me get started.
Carol: Do you have a team helping you out? If so, how many employees do you currently have working for you?
Natalia: Right now it’s just me (and of course my very supportive husband and 2 boys) but I dream of the day (hopefully soon) that I’ll be able to hire some others.
Carol: I’m a big believer in building my life around my business instead of the other way around. How do you balance your life and business?
Natalia: Balancing has been a bit tough these days to be honest because I’m less than 3 weeks away from opening the doors to my shop but typically I do try to make dinner time and the time after that no work time unless the boys are engaged in something else. Also I try to “turn off” by 9 so that my husband and I have some down time together. Once the shop opens I won’t be open on Sundays because that is our church and family time so although I know it may hurt me a bit financially that time is sacred to me and if Chik-fil-A can do it so can I 😉
Carol: I believe in paying it forward. Please share with us your favorite place to shop online or something fun you’ve bought online recently.
Natalia: So because I really try to support local businesses (and I buy from my vendors now) I don’t shop a ton online I actually go to the store but of course my favs near me have websites 🙂 I love love love Lily Sage Apothecary (Roswell, GA) for soaps. They smell amazing and last forever! If I can tout some of my own artisans I’d love that. Bernice London Leather (Savannah, GA) makes the most special and unique leather goods that I’ve ever seen. Oh and the 2 stores that sort of inspired mine are Clean Slate Goods in Kennett Square, PA and Rooted in New London, PA. They are both such creative and special places to find something really different.
Carol: Thank you so much for sharing your business with us! Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey.
If you missed my previous small business interview be sure to go check it out and hear all about My Favorite Happy Box!
Carol Lawrence resides in the mountains with her hubby of 34 years and four chickens. She is very active in the lives of her two granddaughters. Family is her #1 priority. She is a Best Selling Author and Biz Owner for over 10+ years. Marketing, customer service, business operations, human connection, consulting, writing, helping her clients build their businesses behind the scenes and her heart based coaching is where her passions lie.
Helping You Go From Chaos To Calm 🌻 Coaching you through your burnout and stress back to you again. Burnt out on life? Your relationships? Parenting? Your business? Together we’ll dive into why you are burnt out, how to become one with the place you are in currently in your life and craft a plan to help you move forward. Let’s rekindle your Inner Spark! Reach out for individual coaching details or sign up to be notified when her brand new online course is available for purchase.
I have a few more open interview slots for featured online business owners who are heart based that sell self care products. Must ship to the USA. Contact Carol to be considered.