Meet Christy Nieto: This is an inspiring story of how Christy Nieto turned a life altering tragedy into a business that puts a smile on people’s faces. You know that moment when you find that perfect, one of a kind gift for someone special? Not only does it put a smile on the recipients face, it makes you feel good!
My Lucky Dragon’s creations are beyond amazing! I can say this personally as a long time customer of MLD. Her business, My Lucky Dragon has customers all over the world and I am honored to share her story with you.
What is the name of your business and your website URL?
Christy Nieto: My Lucky Dragon
How did you choose the name of your business?
Christy Nieto: I’m a Dragon. My mother was big into Asian culture, we practiced Buddhism and we are big on Chinese horoscopes. My sign is the Dragon and in the Asian culture that is the luckiest sign. So my mother would tell everyone “she is my lucky dragon”. And I love anything dragon….so the business name is My Lucky Dragon.
What inspired you to create your company?
Christy Nieto: My mother. My husband. My life and boredom.
My mother was extremely creative and my dad is an awesome artist (I have always wondered if I had a creative bone in my body).
My husband being in the Navy was ALWAYS gone so I was bored.
I had been dabbling in natural body products while I was taking care of my mom and I was in the beginning of debating the idea of making it a full fledged business.
Then, a little more than 2 years ago, my mother committed suicide while my husband was out on deployment.
I was crying on the couch one day and watching Martha Stewart and she was making bath bombs and soaps. I said “I can do that shit, fuck yea!”. I went full force, just projecting my sadness and emotions into making everything I could, hitting every craft fair that would have me.
And this is how I started. Then I decided to add my love of desserts to the mix and made my bath products look like yummy treats. The rest is history.
How and when did you start your business?
Christy Nieto: I was kind of selling my stuff but more as a hobby before my mother died. Then about a month later I just went full force, so August 1st, 2012.
Tell me about your professional background and experience.
Christy Nieto: I was a human resources director and a bookkeeper. Worst jobs ever! I don’t look back… ever LOL!
What should your customers expect when they come to you?
Christy Nieto: They should expect excellent customer service, passion, kindness and a hint of smart ass.
Is this your first time operating and managing your own business? If not, share a bit of history about another business you owned.
Christy Nieto: Previously, I owned an organization and bookkeeping business, it was actually going pretty good until the economy went to shit.
What has been the toughest lesson you have been taught about owning a business?
Christy Nieto: Lack of time and money. Having a handmade business is a little more intense than offering services. Selling products involves marketing your products, keeping up with the bookkeeping, managing the shipping and receiving. You also have to post to your online store, take pictures, Photoshop, make the stuff, packaging and do events! Sooooo much work! But still, I would do this any day over working for someone else and sitting in an office with people you don’t like for 8 to 5.
What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
Christy Nieto: That I get to say I have my own business and I get to honestly say “why yes, I do make all of this by myself”.
What are some of your specific marketing strategies?
Christy Nieto: I use a lot of social media and get referrals. I also do events which helps get my name out there.
What is your target market?
Christy Nieto: My target market is someone shopping for a unique gift.
Do you have any specific books, blogs or podcasts that you recommend to other business owners?
Christy Nieto: Right now I’m reading books on social media marketing and “how to sell on etsy” books.
Do you do much in person networking? If yes, what do you like and don’t like? If no, why not?
Christy Nieto: I really don’t think networking groups are my thing at all.
Has there been anyone in particular that helped motivate you to start your business? If yes, tell me about them and how they helped you.
Christy Nieto: Like I said, my mother’s death is what pushed me to start. My husband is the one that keeps me going, he’s my biggest supporter.
What are your long-term goals for your business?
Christy Nieto: To keep growing and to get wholesale orders.
How can people find you on social media?
Share some fun facts about you!
Christy Nieto: I was the most non girly person in the world until I started making soaps… now I’m just a little girly. I’ve always been a tomboy, hunting and fishing with my dad, I’ve just always related more to dudes than women. My mother always wished I was more feminine. I guess when she passed I subconsciously got girly for her? I don’t know it’s weird.
Oh, and I listen to rap music while I’m creating and making my products.
Tell me a story about one of your favorite projects and or client/customer.
Christy Nieto: My favorite clients and orders are custom orders. I love to make special things, especially things that are out of my element because it forces me to learn something new.
If you are interested in being featured in this “Entrepreneur Spotlight” series contact Sarah (Nance) Conteh today!