1. Tell me about yourself and your business. What inspired you to start your business?
My name is Shanna Johnson. I have a bachelors of science degree in Marriage and Family Studies, from BYU-Idaho. I am a mom of a very energetic toddler who I have been blessed to stay at home with the past 2 years. However, while being at home I have missed working, showing my creativity, and having my own personal identity. Throughout my life I have always enjoyed creating a variety of things; meals, desserts, jewelry, crafts, books, art, and many more. A combination of my passion for these hobbies and being inspired by friends who are also business owners is what lead me to wanting to start my own business. I wanted to be able to create wonderful products to help bring joy to others. So in 2019 I opened my business, Small Town Treasures, where I sell jewelry, home decor, handmade toys, and other unique items.
When I am not making jewelry or playing with our toddler, I love to go on adventures as a family. Some of our favorite activities are: gold prospecting, geocaching, hiking, and metal detecting. Being outdoors and finding small treasures has always been something that brings me true joy. This aspect of my life is so important to me that I have added what I can of that to my business. Our saying is, "Let the treasure hunt begin." When anyone visits our website we want them to be able to find what they are looking for, but also find small treasures they didn't expect. This is where our decorations, toys, and others come into play. They appear randomly on our website and social media pages in a very limited quantity. In the future we also plan to sell individual rocks and gems, that we aren’t turning into jewelry. These rocks and gems will come from our own adventures as well as from other local small businesses we work with.
Many of our products are handmade, and those that are not have been found/created through treasure hunts in various ways. During the Spring-Fall seasons we will be searching high and low for rocks and gems that we polish up to make beautiful jewelry that adds a personal adventure to each item. In the future we also plan to sell individual rocks and gems, that we aren’t turning into jewelry. These rocks and gems will come from our own adventures as well as from other local small businesses we work with.
Every day is an adventure and a chance to find treasures special to your family and you individually. We strive to help others find the true beauty in the world, but we also strive to help others find the beauty in themselves. True beauty comes from inside a person and who they are. However, one thing we have learned personally is that true beauty grows strongly when you have confidence, and that is something we hope our jewelry is able to do, bring some extra confidence to others as it has done for me.
2. Talk about challenges in your business and how you overcame them.
Starting a business always has it's challenges and it is so important to learn how to overcome them. One of my biggest challenges I have faced while starting the business is marking and growing a customer base. In the past I have not been a very social person, so starting out my business I had a very minimal support system, so it made it difficult to get the word out about my business. I'm still working on overcoming this fully, however, one thing I found immensely helpful was to join networking groups on social media websites. These groups are so amazing to help get the word out, get advice, and even trade services to improve your products, photos, and websites.
Having a support system is one key to growing a business. While a support system can help getting word out on social media and events, they also play a large role in keeping you motivated. There were many days I felt like giving up because it is so much work to start a business, especially with a toddler at home. However, my husband being my biggest supporter wouldn't let me. He kept me motivated and helped me focus on my goals and remind me of why Small Town Treasures is important to me. I look forward to growing my support system with friends that I meet throughout my life.
3. What accomplishments have you experienced since starting your business?
My biggest accomplishment, honestly, is starting my business. It took me over 5 years to finally get up the courage to start it. I took a few months to build up some product, then finally jumped on it. While it was tough, took a lot of work, and still has a long way to go; starting this business was such an amazing accomplishment for me. Throughout the business I have learned to build up routines and schedule my days out better so that I can have a balance of work, family, and me time.
My second accomplishment that I am proud of, is building up a talent and skill I never imagined I would have. I always admired those who created beautiful jewelry and starting this business has helped me learn more techniques and skills that I will be able to use for a very long time. Staying focused, determined, and patient has helped me accomplish this, and will help continue to grow these skills. Patience is the most important part of it though, I have had to grow that throughout these last few months as I am building up a following, learning new skills that are more difficult, and learning to improve time management.
4. What would you tell others who want to start a business and don't know where to start?
The one thing I would say is just go for it! If you want to start a business, make a plan (it doesn't even need to be anything fancy, just write it out), find a support system, and go for it. If you wait until you are ready/finish that extra project/get into a larger space/etc, it won't happen. Many businesses start out small, it is the effort you put into it that makes it grow. So make that plan, join social media networking groups, research, and start that dreams of yours.
Don't give up, even if others say you won't succeed. So many amazing products and companies were told they would never succeed, but are very successful now! Write out why you want to start your business, what it means to you, and your goals. Keep those up on a wall, fridge, bathroom mirror, in your car, just wherever it will remind you of what is important. If you get discouraged, talk it out with others who have been through that and kept going, read motivational books, watch your favorite movie, whatever you need to do to get back working hard. It is 100% worth it every time.
If you have a passion for something but there is already a large amount of companies in that field, find a way to make it work. Make a twist to bring a uniqueness and make it stand out. Just because there are multiple businesses selling a product, doesn't mean you will fail. Go to a grocery store, department store, anything really. Find a product and see how many different companies sell that same product, watch for a little while and see how each one of those will be purchased throughout the day. Everyone has their preferences and so while one person may go to another company, yours may stand out highly to others. People will buy through who they feel they can relate to, use that and help people see why your business is the best for them.
5. What are some of your 2020 goals? How do you plan to achieve your them?
I have quite a few goals for 2020, as Small Town Treasures opened towards the end of 2019. We have so much room to growth. Our main goal is to attend an expo/trade show/etc. We are already researching to find the best options for our business and where we hope to go. This will be an amazing goal for us once accomplished as it will help get the word out and interact with our customers in person. We plan to attend at least 1 this year and many more in the coming years after 2020.
Another goal we have is to get outdoors this spring and find unique local rocks with character as well as gems to be made into jewelry and home decor. This is something we are extremely passionate about and want to share with everyone else about how beautiful our surroundings can be. Using local rocks and gems will also bring more of a uniqueness to the jewelry of Small Town Treasures, it would allow every piece to be unique even when multiple gems are found in the same areas. During the times we are unable to find the beautiful gems we would like, we will be working with other local businesses who have access to some we don't, and will create amazing products with them together.
We have one daily goal that we will always have as part of Small Town Treasures, and that is to bring a smile to someone else. Finding joy, confidence, and true beauty is such an amazing feeling, that we want to help others experience this by how we communicate with others as well as our products. Every time we come into contact with anyone, customer or not, we strive to brighten their day.
6. Where can people find you?
Small Town Treasures can be found in a few places:
Website: https://smalltowntreasuresut.square.site/ This is the best place to see what we have in stock, find out about new products, and to place orders.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smalltowntreasuresut Our Facebook page is where we do all of our contests, interact with others, and announce new products, events we will be at, as well as tell more about ourselves/our adventures.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smalltowntreasuresut/ Our Instagram page is where we occasionally do contests, interact with others, and announce new products.
If you would like to hear more about our products feel free to reach out to us on any of these platforms, or send us an email. We are more than happy to respond and will usually respond within 1-2 days.