Please state your name and a little about your current status.
Hi, I am Kim Hawkins, the president of www.EventsWholesale.com. The EventsWholesale.com is an online discount event and wedding planning supply company in business since 2006. We sell wedding centerpieces, tablecloths, vases, candles, event props, and more.
How did you start your company/business as a startup?
I started my company back in 2006 when I had a full-time job so that I could work from home and start a family. I originally started selling items on eBay, and my goal was to get enough part-time income coming in to quit my day job so that I could stay home with my children. I started from scratch and invested very little money under a hundred dollars in fact) to get started, and then I would just reinvest the profit off of what I sold. Very quickly the business grew into more than a full-time job. Within two years, my husband was able to quit his day job to help with the business. The business has grown throughout the years. Today, we have seven employees and we are still growing.
What struggle did you go through to reach your current status now?
My biggest mistake during our initial growth as a company was with our first employee who worked for us for several years. We trained her on everything having to do with running an e-commerce business and gave her supplier and customer information without a second thought. She had complete knowledge of confidential business practices as well as all of our advertising keyword information. Little did we know that one day she would go out on her own and start a competing online business!
How did you manage to cope up with those struggles?
Moving forward, we always have all of our employees sign a non-compete/non-disclosure agreement to protect our business and prevent this from happening again.
Who inspired you to move forward and influenced you in all your achievements now?
My inspiration was reading about someone who started a wedding favors business from her basement. She investing only a couple of hundred dollars in products and a website and ended up with a multi-million dollar company. This story inspired me to start my own business because I saw that given the right products and strategy, anyone (even the average person) can build a successful business even without a lot of start-up capital.
What piece of advice will you share with those who would like to follow your footsteps?
I would advise any new business owner to get legal advice about confidentiality and non-compete agreements before hiring anyone. I also advise anyone who is looking to start up an e-commerce company to first look for a niche that you are passionate about. Find suppliers in that industry. Then, get your feet wet first by selling through a third-party site such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy to test the waters before investing a lot of money in inventory or a web site.
How can people follow your journey? Please list your social media URLs