Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Danielle Geneson, founder of Flourish Leather Co.

I’ve been in the handmade community for what feels like 100 years now. It’s actually 6, but 6 years in small business time is more like 60. So okay, maybe not 100 years. But 60! And in that time, I’ve met some incredible people. Today’s small business spotlight, the founder of Flourish Leather Co., is one of those people.

Mustard yellow dress for girls

SHOP: the cuteheads Marigold dress

I really have no idea how or why Danielle, founder of Flourish Leather Co., and I met, but we did. Through Instagram, we’ve come to know each other and support each other, and I’ve always admired her deep commitment to her brand and how she really KNOWS her brand. If you have a brand, or you’ve ever worked for one, then you know just how hard that is to do. She designs the raddest leather jewelry and accessories (even guitar straps!). Her jewelry is absolutely gorgeous. I especially love the double strand cuffs!

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Danielle reached out to me about providing a dress for her family photoshoot, and the results — as you can see here — are completely magical! The Marigold dress was a perfect choice for this fun, carefree shoot, and I love the joy on her daughter’s face.

girls yellow dress

I love her authentic voice, and I love that she’s so supportive of other small shops. I’m excited to share her story with you, and you’re going her advice to those wanting to start their own small businesses.

Small Business Spotlight: Danielle Geneson, founder of Flourish Leather Co.

Meet Danielle Geneson below.

Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Danielle Geneson, founder of Flourish Leather Co.

Glad to chat with you! First, tell us where we can find you online.

You can find us at Flourish Leather Co and on Instagram, we’re @flourishleatherco.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Many moons ago I was working at a leather supply store and it gave me the idea that I could sell products online for myself. I really was just interested in the idea of being able to afford Starbucks but with much time & effort it grew and grew into a full-time gig!

What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?

I am constantly seeing different leathers, designs, and other jewelry shops so I work hard to make sure I’m putting new items on the market that have not been developed by other companies! I like the simplicity of leather, how light it is, and easy to match with any style! It’s very versatile and our low prices make it an easy sell.

What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?

I worked on sale sites (eBay, Amazon) for a number of years and developed a social blog following back in 2007 era! It was many years ago that I blogged and while it was great at the time — it faded. I used my knowledge of the internet, social media, and photography (prior wedding photographer) to launch Flourish! Etsy was still relatively new to the market and we filled up our Etsy shop and watched items fly off the virtual shelves! 

What has been your biggest success to date?

Being able to have my husband home full time so we can keep our daughter home with us instead of putting her into daycare! Of course, no shame for those who work and use that kind of care for their own children. It was just a personal goal for us and we have been able to accomplish it! — Plus we have been able to accumulate VERY little debt with our company and we pride ourselves on not having crippling business debt.  

What has been your biggest challenge?

Continuing to grow! Only because we have grown at such a fast pace and the time and effort involved with growing a business, hiring employees, legal stuff, etc… is hard and makes running a business much harder than ever. (Sings, just keep swimming, just keep swimming!) 

Describe your typical work day.

AWe work 9am-4pm and have 2 employees! We work from our home basement and absolutely love the simplicity of working in a home (plus no foot-traffic or customers in the building!) — We have accumulated over 700 leathers so it smells pretty dang good where we work and we have built up a grand collection of machinery for our business. It’s definitely fun and quirky working in a basement! (Plus we can hear when our 4 year old goes down for a nap and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever!) 

Which small businesses are you inspired by?

I do draw inspiration from many companies when it comes to social media, trends, seasonal colors, etc… so it’s hard to nail it down since I’m inspired by SO many women! I would say that 2 of my very favorites are @chalkfulloflove because her social media feed is so pleasantly formulated + @prettybyjl because she hasn’t outgrown that small business feel, she makes sure to take time off to spend that quality time with her family… these things keep me grounded yet inspired.  

If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Not one thing. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had done something differently and I’m beyond grateful for the place we are right now!

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start her own creative business?

It takes many years to become established, followed, liked. Even then, you still grapple with wanting to be better, be bigger, never stop. It’s a hard balance but you have to shut-off your phone, email, texts… you have to turn it off and live your life when work time is over. The world won’t burn down if you don’t get that exchange request answered and it’s never a smart idea to answer a hot-headed customer question immediately (hello we are humans over here!)

So – biggest advice!
1. Take your time, build your business right. Don’t expect results overnight, ever ever.
2. Leave work and then LEAVE work mentally.
3. Give give give! Give your products away to everyone and anyone when you’re first starting. This spreads the word + you are generous and that is attractive!

Read more about Danielle at Flourish Leather Co. Follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/flourishleatherco

Tell us YOUR small business success story for a chance to be featured in the small business spotlight! For a chance to be featured in one of our small business posts, email info {at} cuteheads [dot] com & tell us about your business.

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About Esther

The Cuteness: sharing daily inspiration, kids fashion, work/life balance + small business how to's from mom & business owner Esther Freedman