Interview with Tracie Fitch – Owner of Little Sprouts Resale & Consignment Boutique

Interview with Tracie FitchTell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

I’m a Mom of (2), to a 20 year old and a 2 year old, a Wife to a wonderful, supportive husband, and businesswoman who loves to talk, shop, and meet new people.

My entrepreneurial journey began in 2001.

After working as an administrative assistant for several years, a boss at one of the companies I worked for approached me after I created their company newsletter and mentioned how talented I was creatively. I never thought of myself as the creative type and didn’t really care for art or computers while in high school. As it turns out, I WAS pretty talented! But, working for this company was a temporary assignment, so I began to pursue further work opportunities in the creative field while attending my local community college studying Graphic Design/Web Design.

Over the years, I worked for several Print Magazines and Newspapers as well as Advertising Agencies, did a lot of research and gained valuable experience and knowledge that led me to start my own Graphic and Web Design business from home designing websites for small businesses and retail boutiques.

After 17 years of having our first baby (girl), we found out we were pregnant with our second baby (a boy) in 2010 and of course didn’t save any baby items (for obvious reasons – LOL!)  We had to start from scratch and purchase everything needed for our newest bundle of joy! Along with our new arrival, the demands and time constraints of my current business, and the slowing economy, I was looking for additional ways to supplement our income and still have the flexibility to continue working from home.

I have always been a shopaholic and love finding a bargain, but quickly realized how expensive things were and knew we couldn’t keep up with the growing demands of our new “little sprout” while still supporting our first daughter in college. We wanted to still dress our little one stylishly in the latest brand name and designer clothing and have the latest accessories, but didn’t like dealing with all the hassles going out week after week and being disappointed with our shopping and consigning experience. And we wanted to create an easier way and help other moms do the same!

So Little Sprouts Resale Boutique, an online children’s resale boutique, was born at littlesproutsresale.com!

Little Sprouts Resale & Consignment Boutique is an Eco-Friendly, Online kids designer consignment boutique allowing moms to shop, sell & consign their designer, gently pre-loved items without leaving home and get paid cash upfront!

What did you do before launching your own business?

Well like I mentioned in the beginning, before I started Little Sprouts Resale Boutique, I had been designing websites for the past 12 years and the economy started to slow, business started to slow and we were about to welcome a surprise blessing into this world and needed additional ways to supplement our income that was less time-consuming and demanding and after our recent experiences, pursued our newest online adventure. I still design websites part-time while focusing my efforts on my online children’s resale boutique.

How did you fund your business?

My first business, Fitch Advertising, was funded by the support of my husband and I working full-time jobs outside the home and then I transitioned to working from home full-time with a small amount of savings to initially invest.

Little Sprouts Resale Boutique was initially funded by selling my son’s clothing and accessories online as well as with the support of my husband and my part-time web design business.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?  

I really don’t know the exact number of hours I work in a week as every week is different. I do try to set aside minimum number of hours to dedicate to my growing business.  It feels like I work hundreds of hours because I am always busy, but in reality it is probably more like 25-30 hours.

Most of my work time is spent in my home office as this business is strictly online and most of my customers are out-of-state.  I am slowly gaining local customers, which makes it easier to interact in person, but I am also very grateful for long distance customers because I think it provides for better product availability for everyone. And Skype and Business Chat also makes it easier to get to know the customers I can’t meet locally.

How would you rate your success?

Being motivated, very knowledgeable, having a plan and making it work is considered success, and I feel that I have accomplished all of the above, so I would say I am very successful. 🙂 

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?

I think my biggest struggle was learning how to sell myself and solve people’s problems rather than just trying to sell a product or service.  People don’t want to be sold. They want to relate personally to you, your story and how you can help them.  And once I realized that, everything else just fell into place and started working.  Time is also a struggle to accomplish “all” my ambitions in one day.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

My advice would be that before becoming an entrepreneur, be sure to love what it is that you want to do, become very knowledgeable about that business,  surround yourself with help from family, friends, business-minded people and positive role models, and plan on a back-up and budget for ongoing marketing activities or learn creative ways to market for free.

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?

I am a very big-fan of utilizing many smartphone apps to manage everyday business activities to stay focused and keep up with my to-do lists.

As far as managing personal and business activities at the same time, it is a big challenge and I honestly don’t know how it all gets done. Especially with a toddler wanting to “help” mommy on the computer while working, taking a business call when said toddler is having a meltdown, while taking another call from my daughter at college needing to chat or when mommy needs to “play” and cherish the moments instead of work.

I do keep a stash of exciting, new and forgotten “toys” to pull out when necessary, and I manage to squeeze “work” hours during naps, evenings when my husband is home from work and sometimes in the mornings before the little one awakes.  It is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs that I am blessed to have.

Connect with Tracie Fitch and Little Sprouts Resale… 

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