At GOBankingRates, we want to help small businesses across our country get back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. We do this by highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses across the country and highlighting what makes them special to their customers and their cities.
Small Business Spotlight 2021: Learn about our small business stories, plus nominated businesses near you
In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we feature Eden in Love, a lifestyle boutique with locations in Honolulu and Las Vegas. Owners Tanna and Bryson Dang specialize in selecting exclusive products that guarantee office-to-office envy, best gift status, and a plethora of compliments in the supermarket lineup. Here, we chat with Tanna about how her journalism background informs her retail business, the craziest business ideas she’s had – which came to fruition, and how the pandemic has definitely changed the direction of her business. business.
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Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?
Before Eden in Love, we owned a wedding business called The Wedding Cafe. We ran weekly workshops for couples and really engaged with our audience, while discussing wedding woes, vendor selection, and sharing stories from our big day. It was such a loyal group of clients who wanted to continue planning their wedding even after their wedding day! We had couples who always came to the workshops and hung out at the store, but now as newlyweds. As we started to go into retail, I realized that our wives were buyers and our buyers were wives! It was a light bulb moment when our best retail buyers were all former brides. We quickly realized the value of cross-pollinating our audiences and the magic of creating evangelists for our business.
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What did you take away from past experiences or jobs that you knew you wanted to be part of your new business?
I’m a journalism major so I live and breathe for good content. I firmly believe that everything has a story and it is our job as business owners to share those stories with our unique voice. I use retail as a platform to advocate for causes and things that I really love. Every email, social media post, subject line, web description, and flyer receives Eden-fied so we can strive to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience at all touchpoints.
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What has been the most rewarding part of owning a business?
I remember seeing a notebook that said, “Trust your crazy ideas” on it. I burst out laughing because being a business owner gives me the opportunity to do so. Trusting my crazy ideas led us to adopt a village in Sri Lanka, to open a store and create a new community in Las Vegas, to start an obi belt business with the aim of selling in all 50 states, to take my team on a surprise trip to Disneyland and have ridiculous Black Friday sales with four hour lines just to check out! Whenever I think an idea is crazy, I listen to my instincts. How many other people can say that their gut serves as a board of directors? Creative ability, by far, has been the ultimate reward for owning a business.
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How has the pandemic affected your business?
As a business owner, the ability to pivot quickly and cleanly can either make or break you. So when the pandemic hit, we were already ready to shift to another gear. We went from physical traders to a robust online machine in a matter of days. The closure forced us to reinvent our business and the way we wanted to connect with our community. We learned a lot, very quickly, about how to adapt and thrive (not just survive!) In this new environment. This meant a transparent message to our customers, our team and others at all times. We didn’t know what the future had in store for us, but we knew we were determined to find out. A year and a half later our team is lighter but stronger, we have expanded our customer base serving people all over the United States online, and we ended up having the best year 2020 regardless of all odds. That said, the pandemic opened our eyes to the opportunities offered by our online store and decided to go 100% online in 2022.
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How can people continue to support your business during this time?
Easy! 1) Buy online. We would love to share our products with you! 2) Read our emails and be part of our community. 3) Follow us on Instagram and see how this small business in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is determined to change the world.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
During the pandemic, so much was taken away – our ability to open up, our people, the way we connect, the way we operate on a daily basis. And at that point, I had to get disjointed and creative. In all fairness, the best ideas are born when we think outside the box due to limited resources. So I would say to anyone who wants to start a business to stay messy and stay hungry. Dig deep, think big. Be bold and trust your crazy ideas.
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This article has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Last updated: June 22, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Trusting ‘Crazy Ideas’ Helped This Honolulu Store Thrive