Posted on: August 6th, 2008 by admin No Comments

I am Emily J Rubin Persons, owner of J. Fleet Designs, mother of 3 happy boys (12, 8, 3) and wife to a wonderful man.

I started my business in 1995 without a business plan, without a marketing plan, and without a financial plan. I didn’t even know too much about designing or merchandising a product line. What I did know when I started was that I had found a product that was unique and really beautiful. I quickly discovered that this type of product was not yet available in the American marketplace. I did know all about the wholesale and import business – working with factories and freight forwarding, trade show management, customer service and order processing and general operations.

I was lucky. When I began in 1995, Vietnam was a new country to deal with. Lacquerware was a category that had not been seen in the USA in many years. Most importantly, the factory I discovered produced (and still produces) a very high quality product.

Quality became the mantra to my business: quality product, quality designs and quality customer service.

Thirteen years after receiving my first order from Henri Bendels, my company is known for the great collection of serving trays, serving bowls and bath accessories. The designs are unique and beautiful and blend with many styles of d├ęcor. The quality is still the best and the customer service is top notch.

It has not been easy to build a business on my own. My husband travels a lot and my kids require a lot of my time (what kid doesn’t?). I have been able to maintain the equilibrium because I have not overextended by adding to the product line. Adding other categories (linens, wood, rattan, etc) would grow the business. However, this would require more time for travel and for day to day operations. The balance of our lives would become unbalanced.

My husband and kids love that I work from home. They love knowing I am always there and always available. While at times it is a complete juggling act to the nth degree, I love it too. I know that I am lucky to have created this world.

As I connect to the various women/mom-in-business networks, I see many who are just starting out. I would like to share my learned lessons with others. The theme for this blog will focus on the different aspects of running an import/wholesale business. Additionally, I will touch on the various and sometimes hilarious aspects of running a home based business with active children running in and out.

I look forward to this new outlet.


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