Enterprising Mables: Punkhouse (Mabel Rivera)
Web page: punkhouseshop.com
What does your business do?
We sell décor, artwork and gifts for music lovers. It’s basically a place to sell the things we make.
When and why did you start your business?
I had been selling a few of my pieces thru Etsy but was getting zero orders because it’s honestly so hard to get noticed on there these days. So I asked my friend Dominic to help me build a website instead. We had so much time on our hands because of COVID and I was running out of space in my apartment to hang the projects I was making to kill my boredom. I started sharing them online to friends and people have been really supportive.
Is it your full time job?
It’s definitely not my full time job. I don’t know if it ever can be considering that most of the things we sell are one off art pieces. But I’m having fun doing it even if it is a pretty small endeavor.
Do you have any business partners? If so, how did you come together and how do you make decisions?
My business partner is my friend Dominic. He takes care of the technical side of things because I have no idea about that stuff. He’s a great graphic designer too so that helps with branding and merch. So far there hasn’t been too many radical decisions that have had to be made but we can talk to each other about anything and get on the same page usually.
Are there other people that work for your business or that support your business and if so, how many and what do they do?
So far it’s just me and Dom taking orders and sending them out. It’s a tiny operation. But we’ve gotten so much good support and word of mouth from our friends online.
How do you market your business?
Marketing is super hard for a Gen Xer like me. I have a hard time promoting myself on social media because it’s just not really my thing but I am trying to get better at it. Right now I run the Punkhouse shop Instagram account and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fun it is to post.
What has been most rewarding about your business?
I think the idea that something I made made someone stoked enough to buy it and put it up in their home is so cool. And also getting great responses from other music fans about my fan art pieces that I post is very rewarding. I recently posted my Jawbreaker inspired shadowbox and Adam (the drummer himself) wrote me to tell me he liked it.
What has been the biggest challenge involving your business?
I think the biggest challenge is promoting myself. I hate doing that in general but trying to get people to notice your stuff and buy things feels so foreign to me. I’m not a sales person at all.
What future plans do you have for your business?
I have ideas every day about new projects and cute products. So stay tuned for those but no big moves just yet.
What advice would you have for someone else wanting to do something similar to what you have done?
I’d say stop stopping yourself. If you find it hard to get yourself motivated, find someone that believes in you and will help with that part of it. Or any part of it that you find difficult to do alone. It took me way too long to just start the website. After we got it up I realized how easy it actually is.
Anything else you would like to mention?
I’d just like to thank all the well wishers and people who have ordered stuff from us. Online shout outs and posts are such a huge help when you’re trying to get your business noticed in the world.
This is one in a series of posts about Mable Syndrome ladies who have their own business ventures. More to come soon! If you are a woman in the Mable community and have a business and would like to be included, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org