When she noticed a gap in the DIY market, Nicole Shariat Farb decided to take matters into her own hands. Nicole was tired of trying to piece together all of the tools and resources needed for a single DIY project. She thought that there was an opportunity to create DIY kits that come straight to your door as well as a marketplace for DIY supplies and inspiration. The end result was the launch of Darby Smart and an active online DIY community. Today Nicole shares more about her journey from DIY frustration to DIY biz owner. —Stephanie
Read the full interview after the jump…
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I started Darby Smart because I was tired of #craftfailing and thought if no one is going to change this, I am! I felt this big disconnect between Pinterest and Michaels … I see these gorgeous DIYs online and then drive to Michaels to try and piece together what I needed. And, I just kept failing. I wanted a place where I could find inspiration and buy the supplies I needed all in one spot; so I decided to build a business that gave that!
When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?
I talked to a ton of folks. I would talk to the big pinners and bloggers and ask what challenges they faced. I would stand outside of Michaels (literally!) and ask shoppers what they wanted to improve. Through all that talking, I heard what people were frustrated with and focused on building a business that solved those problems.
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?
Pick somewhere to start and just do it.
What was the most difficult part of starting your business?
Finding my co-founder. I spend as much with him (Karl) as my husband. I wanted to find someone that I would work incredibly well with, had a different skill set than mine and was as passionate about this business as I was. I met with loads of people over several months and was ultra-picky. I’m glad I was.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
You can’t do it alone.
Can you name a moment of failure in your business experiences?
Trying to do many things at once. I learned that to build a great company, we need to focus on doing a few things incredibly well.
Can you name your greatest success in your business experiences?
I see successes each day as we help our designers launch their ideas and our customers succeed in DIYs. The biggest successes is building a place where people can launch, discover and buy their DIYs! Getting invited to the White House to spend time with President Obama and 100 other influencers in the Maker’s Movement was also incredibly cool!
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
1. Are you beyond passionate about this.
2. Do you think this opportunity is better than all the others that may come your way?
3. What is the bare minimum you can do to get your business off the ground. Do that and get going!