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Business Profile: Maxwell Designs, Terrace BC CANADA | Northern BC Business
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Business Profile: Maxwell Designs, Terrace BC CANADA

 

striker3-2Feature Company: Maxwell Designs, Terrace BC CANADA

Website: http://maxwelldesigns.ca

Email: info@maxwelldesigns.ca

Company Principle(s): Maggie Chilton

 

 

How did you start?

I started my business shortly after moving to Terrace. I was 4 months pregnant with my first child and was getting organized for his much anticipated arrival.

In choosing a diaper bag I really wanted one that didn’t look like a diaper bag. I didn’t want one that was made of plastic or vinyl and I wasn’t keen on cute animal prints or Disney characters. I wanted one that I could use well past the diaper years. I searched high and low and couldn’t find anything that remotely resembled what I wanted. After after talking things over with a friend, I set about making my own bag. The rest is history.

There have been a few variations of my current bag but it is at a point now where I am very happy and satisfied that I have all the elements needed to make my bags very functional, user friendly and above all, Mummy and baby approved.

What are you doing to be new and innovative?

There are a few other players in the eco-friendly diaper bag market but I have tried to take mine to the next level and make them both eye catching and modern. I use lots of colours and provide a unique service where you can “Make Your Own” bag. This way, there won’t be hundreds of other people with the same bag as you.

Who has been your most unique customer?

All my customers are unique as 95% of them want to choose their own fabric. I have sold very few of the same bag so far.

How important is technology in your business?

Technology is not a huge factor for me. I use a basic sewing machine (that doesn’t mean to say that if I had the money I wouldn’t buy an expensive machine with all the bells and whistles!). I do rely on other companies to promote my business online, make labels, print business cards, and provide marketing supplies.

Where is your most remote customer? How did you find them?

I’ve filled orders from South Korea and Ireland. They found me online through Google web searches – searching for “best diaper bag”

What about financial challenges?

Really, my financial challenges relate to the outlay of fabric. To satisfy a lot of different tastes, I keep a large inventory of fabric. Sometimes I think I have too many choices but it’s helping sales – a number of customers have bought more than one bag because they couldn’t decide on one particular fabric.

How do you market yourself?

I’ve built an eye-catching website and worked hard to get it noticed on Google, Yahoo and looked for every opportunity to get in the public eye. I’ve put my business in as many forums as possible, I’ve posted articles of interest, and entered competitions … I’ve worked hard to get noticed not only locally but nationally and internationally. If you want your business to succeed you can never stop marketing!

What was your best mistake?

I’d say it was my very first sewing machine which I purchased for about $150. It really didn’t do a great job and it was very frustrating but it was all I could afford at the time. Later, I bought a second machine so that I could produce a more professional product. I was so frustrated with my first purchase that I listed it for sale. There was a lot of interest I had a lot of interest in it and so I dug it out and started to play around to make sure it worked. It was then that I realized that it did appliqués – something my new machine didn’t do. So I started making fleece hats with appliqués on them and sold them at a Craft Fair – they were a huge hit!

Do you use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook or MySpace? Which do you find better for business?

I have been on Twitter but I find it way too time consuming, I never used to use Facebook until a few months ago and I have never looked back! I can stay in touch and find out what my retailers are doing and see them promote my products, which is fantastic. Plus, I get to chat to friends at the same time so it’s not like work.

Do you Skype?

I only Skype to my Mum in the UK!

Craigslist or Kijiji?

I place ads on Kijiji – I have had a lot of business because of it, especially from Ontario.

Do you have a favorite website for business ideas?

All my retailers have great websites. They provide a lot of inspiration and insight into what is popular in the current market.

Do you have favorite time wasting website?

I love fabric. I can waste hours and hours on my fabric suppliers sites.

What do you see for your future?

The future of Maxwell Designs looks great! My retailers are growing all the time. I am linking with other websites who share the same goals as I do and I am always listening to what my customers want and trying to meet and exceed their expectations – one day I hope to own my own store and be a household name.

How can we find you?

email: info@maxwelldesigns.ca

web: http://maxwelldesigns.ca

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Terrace-BC/Maxwell-Designs/155818713793?ref=ts


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