What is your full name, title, and business name?
Jennifer Sanger, Business Owner – Jamison & Bexley
Give us a summary of your business in 200 words or less.
Jamison and Bexley is an online boutique that offers children’s clothing for newborns and kids about the age of 7. The clothes are reasonably priced for everyday children.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I came up with the business when I was pregnant with my second child, Jamison. I have a degree in fashion and I was tired of seeing the same kids clothing every time she went to the mall.
What was the turning point for the business? Was there a moment when you knew you had something special?
The turning point for my business was when the pandemic started. I quit my corporate job and Jamison & Bexley became my main focus and hustle.
What does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur and business owner?
I like being my own boss and I want to be able to provide my children with generational wealth. I also want to give my children the motivation necessary for them to believe they can be whatever they want to be.
What does the city of Columbus mean to your business?
For myself and my business, Columbus provides excellent opportunity, especially for small businesses. I love how welcoming the city is to new and existing entrepreneurs.
Are you from Columbus? If not, please explain what brought you to here and ultimately what made you stay.
I am originally from Philadelphia but then I moved to Columbus because it was ranked as the third largest city for fashion in the United States. At the time, I was very interested in pursuing the fashion industry.
What’s the number one piece of advice you’d give to anyone wanting to start a business?
Just do it, don’t let your inner voice talk you out of it. Do the research and figure out what you need to do to start the business. Find a mentor and ask them questions to help guide you in the right direction. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not making money at first because that is almost all entrepreneurs at the start. Just give everything and work towards building your business.
What do you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before starting your business?
I wish I knew it wasn’t an overnight success story, it is more of a slow and steady wins the race kind of thing.
What’s the most challenging part of your business (i.e, what keeps you up at night)?
Trying to reach customers outside of the Columbus bubble. As of right now, my business is spreading through word of mouth and facebook primarily. Another challenging thing is trying to please everyone while trying to stay true to the main reason why I built this company. I get many suggestions but I started it mainly for infants and toddlers. Customers want me to grow so fast but it is currently just myself operating the business and I don’t want to have too many products that nobody is buying. However, I also don’t want too little of a selection where potential customers go somewhere else to buy clothing.
Every business owner has a flaw. What’s yours?
I wish I could come off as a bit more professional. I am a very social and outgoing person so occasionally I do not come off as professional as I might like. However, that is my personality and I want to stay true to myself and who I am.
Why do you think most business owners fail? What has made you different?
I believe that most business owners fail because they give up too quickly. I refuse to fail because my 5 year old daughter is watching me build this company. If one thing doesn’t work out, I’ll find another way around it.
What was your biggest mistake and what did it cost you?
My biggest mistake was under valuing myself and the company. I priced products way too low when I first started the company. I would have people looking at the prices asking why they are so low and it would make them think my products were cheap or bad quality and in the end, I lost out on thousands of dollars.
What tool has helped you the most for your business (invoicing, accounting, shipping, plugin for website, etc.)?
I have my website on Shopify which has shipping, inventory management, and tools that help guide you do ads and other useful things that help your company grow.
When did you know it was time to expand your business, make your first hire, etc.?
I currently have one intern, Anna, that helps with my social media and newsletters. Because I struggle with communicating my vision for the company occasionally, it is hard for me to find someone that matches what I am going for or what I need help with. Anna is good at picking up on what I want accomplished. I realized I needed help when I was featured in US Weekly and my sales blew up. The amount of sales made me realize an addition to my small business would give me just a little bit more help.
What is something that you did that was a game changer for your business?
A game changer for my business was putting myself on the Jamison and Bexley website. Adding my picture and making the page a little more personal allowed customers to realize that they are supporting me and buying from me. Customers want to know who they are buying from and seeing my face on the website allowed the customers to recognize me from around the community or simply seeing my social media.