Affairs are going very well, even better than my expectations!
Shifting from hobby to business
Since she was a young girl, Anastasia Molodtseva, enjoyed making pretty things with paper and all sorts of craft items. Soon it became a hobby and she was making handmade cards for family and friends.
Taking the HP LIFE course offered by an ORT training centre for women in Russia, Anastasia came away with the IT and business skills and “enough knowledge, strength and confidence to organize her work”. She purchased professional tools and materials for scrapbooking and used the Internet to place an ad on social network and local sites. In the first month, she had 50 orders!
Sounds easy but as Anastasia says: “I draw a parallel between what I make and the selling flowers process in Blossom (one of the HP LIFE online games). Just like in the game, things may not turn out right the first time: you advertise, you are bombarded with orders, you're in a hurry, not enough time, you get tired ... but I can say for sure - mistakes that I had done in the game, helped to avoid many errors in reality!”
The skills acquired and tools used during the HP LIFE course have helped Anastasia to organize her business finances, pricing and customer base. To show her wonderful products, she currently uses a web-based photo album and runs a blog. Anastasia believes, “(the) skills of working the Internet - is my big plus, I'm learning ins and outs on the theme sites, ordering materials in online stores. I have not created a website yet, it is in the near future.”
Her blog allows her to engage in feedback with customers and participate in contests. Already one card has won a Challenge blog contest, others are being entered and others have been included in works of notable scrapbooking artists. For Anastasia, this validates all her hard work over time and signals that she is a professional business person.
Busy with creating cards, managing customer and supplier relationships, overseeing finances, she believes the business will provide additional income almost equal to the average salary in the Ivanovo area in Russia. Anastasia is about to provide cards to a shop and writing an article about her business story for another popular blog site; “...affairs are going very well, even better than my expectations!”