Published Author Category Frontier RTP

The 5th Annual RTP Mistletoe Market is just a few days away and I am back with my final blog of the series! These vendors all stumbled upon their small businesses through their passions. From photography to e-toys and spunky hand-drawn cards, there will be plenty to see and experience with these creatives at the Mistletoe Market. Come check out their work while you sip complimentary beverages from Fullsteam Brewery and RTP Uncorked.

Don’t forget, we have partnered with the American Dance Festival to bring an element of entertainment to the event. At 5:15p or 6:00p, head to the Home Base and catch a performance from Soul Struck, a hip hop dance troupe.

Company: Elements in Focus

Mastermind: Jill Denbow

Q: Give me a 3 sentence elevator pitch about your business.

A: Elements in Focus is a Fine Art Photography Studio located in Cary, North Carolina, specializing in nature and cityscapes. Photographer Jill Denbow captures scenes from nature and cities locally and around the globe, featuring her photography in a wide variety of products, including matted, canvas, and metal prints, boxed notecard sets, prints in acrylic frames, as well as other hand-crafted items. In addition to bringing beauty to your home or office, Jill is trying to bring back the art of the hand-written note. 

Q: What is the most popular product among your customers or your personal favorite?

A: My boxed sets of professionally printed notecards. Each set has 8 cards and 8 envelopes, some with all the same image and some as sets with 2 each of 4 separate images that are part of a theme. The box is perfect for gift-giving, with a clear cover and gold bow, or just for keeping the cards & envelopes in one place. My customers love them and usually come back and buy more when they run out or buy them as gifts.

Q: Tell us a story about an experience that left you feeling like you had succeeded with your business.

A: I was at the Downtown Cary Food & Flea and someone came to my booth and was looking at my work. She was talking with her friend and looked up at my banner, looked at me and said “I know you. Do you have a photo of a dragonfly?” I do, but it’s on my website and not in print. She realized that her friend had shown her my website. It made me feel good that someone liked my work enough to share it with her friend.

Company: Fun-e-Toys

Mastermind: Roshni Pattah 

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?

A:  I am a computer science engineer and mother of two with a love for crafting. Two years back I worked on a project based on an e-wearable concept that combined crafting and coding which literally blew my mind. I started using the same concept in various other projects like lighted bookmarks using felt fabric, lighted Christmas tree with music using felt fabric. I opened up an Etsy shop and also attended a few craft fairs where the responses from the audience were amazing.

Q: What is the most popular product among your customers or your personal favorite?

A: Our lighted bookmarks were a big hit at the craft fairs I attended last year. Our Christmas tree made of fabric sold out too last year. Our Christmas tree is popular because it is a great way to child-proof your real Christmas tree.

Q:  Tell us a story about a time things didn’t go according to plan with your business. What did you learn?

A: I did not realize the importance and the amount of effort needed on the marketing side of the business. This is something I am still working on.

Company: SKP ink

Mastermind: Sarah Plonk

Q: Give me a 3 sentence elevator pitch about your business.

A: SKP ink is a spunky little shop based out of Raleigh, NC filled with hand-drawn creations for your enjoyment. Sarah & Drew are the silly fools behind this bad joke business. Their motto is Bad Jokes By Good People and all items are made by these two in their home.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

A: If you are thinking about taking the leap, go all in. I quit my day job early on and had no idea what I was doing but have continued to stumble forward ever since!

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?A: Our business came about on accident – after Sarah drew a couple of cute things for her kitchen she then turned a couple into greeting cards and put them up on Etsy for sale. Eventually, this snowballed into where they are today! Take chances in life my friends!