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Why It’s Never Been Easier To Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur

What’s your favourite Oscar-nominated movie about a best-selling mop?

Either you’re entirely perplexed by this question (films about mops?) or you’ve seen the movie Joy, the rags-to-riches true story of self-made millionaire Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop

In short: down and out divorced mum invents special mop, mop becomes a bestseller on QVC, divorced mum becomes multi-millionaire.

Whilst it may not sound like the most riveting of film plots, it’s a surprisingly gripping and inspirational tale, with genuine lessons for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, plus a healthy sprinkling of Hollywood feel-good. 

“It’s about a woman and her dreams, and all of the blood, sweat and tears and the joy but also the ugliness that goes into success,” remarked Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the titular Joy. 

 

 

Joy shines a light on the curious world of TV shopping channels, the underdog entrepreneurs who supply much of the product line, and the battle to get those products to market.

While the UK never took to teleshopping in the same way as the US, it was still a game changer in the retail world, opening up a whole new marketplace for entrepreneurs like Joy Mangano to exploit.

The 90s heydey of teleshopping was captured hilariously in an episode of Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends. This featured a memorable appearance from eccentric geriatric fitness guru, Dr Win; a man with such a ferocious entrepreneurial drive his house is covered top to bottom with notes for half-baked business ideas and inventions: scrawled on chairs, lampshades, the walls, you name it.

 

 

Today, teleshopping still survives as a niche industry, well and truly overtaken by ecommerce, and the rise of marketplace websites like Etsy, eBay and Not On The High Street.

These sites are now the go-to place for both hobbyists, and full-time artists and designers, to showcase their talents, and serve the growing public demand for unique, often handmade, artisan products. The perfect arena to unleash your inner entrepreneur.   

Unlike the movie Joy, where the process of launching her Miracle Mop proves expensive and risk-laden, marketplace websites provide a cheap and easy way to dip your toes in entrepreneurial waters. Nor do you need to be a Dr Win-style extrovert or maverick to launch your product. 

Even better, marketplace websites serve to relight a creative fire in us, too often dimmed by the consuming nature of full-time work.

How many of us have left behind our talents and passions due to time restraints? Sites like Etsy drive us back to these pursuits, incentivising our efforts with the reward of money, exposure and success. 

In the run-up to Valentines Day, we spoke to Andy Cordina, founder of Bettie Confetti, who started selling homemade cards and prints through her Etsy shop in 2014.

 

Bettie Confetti

 

She was spurred on by friends who noted her artistic flair when handcrafting confetti for her own wedding. 

“I opened up the Etsy shop in January 2014 and was looking at about 20 or 30 card orders a week, all of them handmade. Fast forward two years and I’m doing about that every day. In busy times, I do almost 100 orders every day.”

Andy’s is a persuasive case for anyone considering starting their own online shop or business, showing that being creative and being a business person – often at odds – can, in fact, work in tandem. 

If you’re toying with the idea, we’ll let Bettie have the final world… 

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of commuting and working somewhere you’ve been a long time. It sometimes felt impossible to walk away from a steady income, nice pension and great work colleagues. But, at the end of the day, you only get one life so why spend so much of it doing something that you don’t absolutely love doing?” 

 

Huw Moxon is the Digital Marketing Manager for Informi

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