(Los Angeles, CA) When someone possesses the independent, entrepreneurial spirit, its impossible to suppress. This is especially true for Cindy Ince, an entrepreneur who has found a way to reconnect with her passion, despite having to give up her brick and mortar establishment due to health complications. Cindy manages online direct sales through The Trendy Cowgirl, which is her domain in The Rustic Shop.
Cindy started working in retail at the age of seventeen. She worked in photo finishing and framing shop for ten years, at which point she bought, owned and operated the company herself for seventeen more years. “That’s where my retail passion came from”, she told Au’loni. Unfortunately, she became ill, and had to close the business. “It was easier to close the business and rent out the building, than to keep it open.”
Luckily, in 2008 her husband became her donor for a kidney transplant. As a result of ongoing health complications she was not able to return to a brick and mortar location. Even with these setbacks, her entrepreneurial spirit and interest in sales would not be stopped. “I got into sales and online marketing, and just this year I found The Rustic Shop.” With her extensive background in direct sales, she decided to take on this business venture.
The Rustic Shop is the base corporation, for which Cindy is a representative. It is only seven months old, but has seen tremendous growth in it’s short existence. Cindy reports that the commission pay scale has increased twice since she’s been there! It is owned and managed by Kim Swanson Clark. There is currently a $10 fee to become an affiliate and begin your career with the company. As Cindy remembers, you choose the name you want for your domain, and receive a dedicated website. Cindy chose to buy a domain name for professional reasons, to streamline her marketing strategy, and keep consistent with her customers.
She chose The Trendy Cowgirl as her domain name based on the style of products the company offers, and her knowledge of contemporary cowgirl style. “Right now, it’s glitz and glitter. My husband and I have had horses before. My home decor has a rustic, Western and Native American theme. My personal style is not that of an old fashioned, rough cowgirl working the farm, so I thought trendy was a good fit.”
In her brief four months with the company, she has been continually impressed. Though she was skeptical at first, upon researching what seemed to be a business model that was too good to be true, she decided to take the opportunity, and has had nothing but positive experiences. She praises the large variety of goods, the absence of fees and monthly quotas, and the willingness of other representatives to help and answer questions. “The only thing the Rustic Shop asks you to do is be active in your back office every 90 days. If you are interested in doing that, you will be successful. You get out of it what you put into it, and your marketing opportunities are pretty wide open.”
Entrepreneurial Skills at Work
Cindy is very much able to apply her entrepreneurial knowledge and skill set in her work with The Rustic Shop. “In this position, what helps me is customer service and having so many years behind the counter. With my experience doing everything that an owner-operator needs to do, I know what customer service should be.” Cindy pays attention to detail in Facebook posts, and following up with clients who engage with her on social media. “I know I need to follow up, because if you don’t give good customer service, people won’t want to do business with you. I don’t see any differences between this and my last experience. Online sales still relate.”
The manner in which she ran her own business translates to her success with The Trendy Cowgirl. This is evident through the positive feedback she has received from customers. New clients praise her for being a woman of her word, and continue to be happy with the products, and her customer service. Though Cindy is no longer in a traditional entrepreneurial position, she has created her own personal brand within this company, and uses her skills to differentiate herself, and find success.
Cindy’s advice for those interested in this line of work is that “you have to treat it like your business”. With her experience in the industry she has made many observations. “So many people, especially younger people don’t realize that it is a business and that you have potential tax deductions. That could include cost of cell phone or internet, or delivery mileage, etc. Take time to investigate how to run a business. The internet is a giant library, and there is so much information out there to help you.” She also stressed the importance of not being afraid to ask questions. Her last piece of advice: “You need to give it a year. Put time in for a year, because unless you are so lucky with a post that it goes so viral, its going to take time to grow.”
Cindy is following her own advice, and devoting her time for a year. “I want to definitely put one year into it to build it, let it grow and take off, then evaluate it. At this rate, I expect that I will want to continue, as the company keeps adding new products.”
Cindy’s passion for retail and entrepreneurship is evident through her commitment to creating other avenues for herself to conduct direct sales. “I would love to be back out in a brick and mortar location but I can’t do it at this time, so this helps me stay involved with my customers. I love my customers, and being able to interact with them is great!”
Au’loni applauds Cindy’s spirit for quality business, despite the setbacks she has faced. Her dedication proves that entrepreneurship evolves with time, and through different circumstances, and we wish her the best in all her endeavors with The Trendy Cowgirl The Rustic Shop. To connect with her business, you can connect with Cindy Ince on Google+ and/or by using the links and information below.
Facebook: Trendy Cowgirl The Rustic Shop