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  • Spotlight Florida Gifts

    Spotlight Florida Gifts

    My husband and I didn't start out trying to build a business; we started by accident really.  I worked from home for a software company. which was ideal as I had 2 small children.  I really loved the job but it was isolating.  I came up with the idea of opening a kiosk at our local mall on my days off.  When I signed the lease, they asked me for my business name.   I didn't have a name so they put us down as Florida Gifts.  We didn't have a sign so I didn't think a name was needed; Florida Gifts would do.  The kiosk got me out of the house and interacting with other people. 

    My dad was a salesman for an import company so I purchased some merchandise and opened the kiosk.  I didn't expect to be successful especially since I had to pay full rent even though we were only open 3 days a week.  We did pretty well and it was a fun way to get out.  We are in Florida so when it started getting hot, we decided to close up for the rest of the year.  I was going to store the merchandise until the next season but I decided at the last second to instead put it online.  I quickly sold out most of the leftover merchandise so I decided to buy more.  Over time online became nearly a full-time job so I decided to quit my job at the software company and start my own website.  

    My dad was not a believer.  Maybe it was not so much as he didn't believe in me but that he wanted me to stay on that safe path.  He could not fathom that I would quit my good job with retirement and benefits to start a website.  He had little faith.  Yes, he did pay for my education but I knew my husband and I could make a go of this.  If not, back to work I would go but that thought never entered my head.  He didn't remember that he once quit a steady job at GM with a wife and 3 kids at home to work at a novelty gift importer. 

    When we started our business, we were not much different than others that started a business.

    69 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs start their businesses at home  

    • 25 percent identify as female.
    • 40-49 years old: 25 percent.
    • 82 percent of successful business owners did not doubt they had the right qualifications and proper experience to run a company.

    It was not much longer after I quit my job that my husband joined me.  Fast forward a few years and my daughter also works with us full time.  My son worked with us a short time but it was just not his passion.  Of course, it was not that he didn't enjoy working for his parents.... I mean we are amazing! Just ask my daughter...

    I look back on the time I spent working for someone else.  That used to be the norm, get a company job and stay there for 30 years.  That is so uncommon now.  I wish we had gone in business for ourselves long ago but I realize that was our path to becoming successful business owners.

     

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