Christina Patterson: Successful Woman Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Hi Christina. Wow, you are one busy lady! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to interview with me. Please tell us about yourself and your business?
Christina: My pleasure Sylvia and thank you for doing this interview. My Name is Christina Patterson and I was Born in Quebec, Canada to some wonderful (and square) parents, and didn’t take long for me to live up to the Chinese astrological sign the Monkey. Monkeys are described as erratic geniuses, remarkably inventive and original. My passion for the arts was almost as fiery as my hair and I was eager to try every medium with a special interest in sculpture.
By the time I reached my teens I was ready for an adventure. I took part in an exchange to Yamaguchi, Japan. Like a sponge I soaked in all the beauty, wonderment and magic that is Japan. My art has been forever influenced by that year abroad.
I returned to study at Fanshawe College, in London, Ontario where I received her formal training as a Graphic Designer. Currently I live with my wonderfully supportive husband on Prince Edward Island. From my home studio I create unique personalized Polymer clay sculptures. I still find time to create art in other mediums while staying active in the local art community. In addition, I am the Owner/Ceo of www.idocaketoppers.com, a business that creates hand made custom cake toppers for clients world-wide.
Sylvia: Ahhhh, Quebec… a beautiful place with gorgeous landscapes and and historical attractions. So, what does success mean to you?
Christina: Success to me is a happy client. When I receive an email from a bride that talks about how everybody at their wedding was talking about how much they loved the topper and how happy the couple was to have my topper included in their big day. To me, that’s success.
Sylvia: How do you create work-life balance?
Christina: Its certainly a work in progress. I try to make time every day to meditate, spend time with my Husband and work on personal projects. The challenge comes when the line between what’s work and what’s fun gets blurry.
Sylvia: What steps are necessary for a woman entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Christina: I think that clearly defining your goals is paramount to keeping your business moving forward. Also you need to recognize when its time to take a harsh look at your offerings and possibly dump a product or service that is under performing. As entrepreneurs, we are really passionate about our business and you need to realize that sometimes that can effect your objectivity.
Sylvia: It is important to give back. In what way do you give back to your community?
Christina: I do a lot of giveaways on my Facebook page, and this really allows me to give something back to my most loyal fan/customers. I also am very open with people about the success that I have had with social media and what it could potentially do for them.
Sylvia: What challenges and opportunities do you see in the present economic environment?
Christina: I think there are certainly a lot of challenges in this current economic environment and for me this means that I need to make every advertising/marketing dollar count. Facebook and Google Ad words have really good analytic systems so that I can really see my return on investment. I think that the economy is effecting all small business in one way or another, so you can take some comfort in the idea that we are all going through this together.
Sylvia: How do you promote/market your business?
Christina: I have tried the traditional route of print media advertising and had found that it was very expensive and with little positive impact. I now rely on a pretty hefty social media campaign coupled with Google ad words. Putting my self out in the community via blogs and forums has also really helped my word of mouth business.
Sylvia: Good to hear that social media is working for you. I can’t stress having a presence enough to my clients.
What books and resources would you recommend to other women in business?
Christina: I am currently reading Four Hour Work week by Timothy Ferriss. it’s a really great book with a lot of helpful suggestions on how to work smarter not harder.
Sylvia: What advice do you have for women who are just starting out?
Christina: Believe in yourself and your business, don’t listen the army of nay sayers out there and always make sure that your business is traveling in the direction that you want it to!
Sylvia: What is your favorite quote to live by?
Christina: Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. – Rumi
Sylvia: Love that quote! Share with us two industry or general business related tips that could help other women business owners.
Christina: Sure, they are:
- Know your value proposition: Are you the Prada of your industry or the Walmart. This becomes very import when positioning your product, identifying your competition and building a successful brand.
- Get to Know your customer: Talk and interact with them, learn all about them , this can help uncover new product ideas and services that you hadn’t even though of before. Many business’ fall into the trap of assuming they know their customer and then acting on those assumptions…big mistake.
Sylvia: I like that comparison, Prada or Walmart. You are an amazing and interesting lady. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our members and subscribers. Please share your contact information.
Christina: Thank you for your time Sylvia. I think it is great to a have blogs like this that promote women in business and feel that as successful women, the knowledge that we share empowers us all.
All my relevant links:
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/iDoCakeToppers