Tell us about your business.I started my business, somewhat as a hobby, in 2011. I began making strictly bowties. As I figured out how to run a business, I got more confidence to expand my line. I began receiving dozens of custom requests a week, so I decided to carry more varieties to choose from. Custom wedding orders really took off after people saw that more options were available! I design, cut, sew, press & package every tie myself, taking extra care & adding personal touches. After creating my own website, a contributing writer for the New York Times found my work, and asked to include it in an article. The article ran in October of 2012, and business has been booming since. Anna Runa is now available on a number of platforms. A retail store, and a few different online outlets, including Amazon. Moving into the future, I hope to appear in more brick and mortar stores. I'd love to get my name more recognizable and available in more physical outlets.
What makes your business stand out?What makes my business unique is the customization factor. If a customer searches and searches and does not find what they are looking for, they become frustrated! I can usually find a fabric to match their needs, and create a custom order for them. I can even design and print my own fabric if need be! Also, if a customer is looking for a unique size or shape, that is no problem. I can tailor to most needs! Another aspect that sets me apart, is that everything is handmade in the USA, a value becoming more and more important to customers.
What's the best business advice you've received?Don't sacrifice relationships for profit. Relationships are more important in the long run. This includes business AND client relationships.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.Nominate yourself
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
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