Almost every home, big or small, has something up to help make each room look a little brighter and welcoming. For those that want to think outside the frame, there is WALLTAT. While the abstract art-like decals might fit well in a living room, children are bound to enjoy something playful and fun for their own bedrooms. If you’re feeling very unique, they also offer decals for your car.
Jordan Guide, the founder of WALLTAT, launched her company in May of 2008. Drawing from her own experience in interior design, she saw a niche and jumped on it.
What inspired you to create your business, WALLTAT?
As an interior designer, I am constantly looking for new and innovative products and materials. I have always been interested in creating wall art that challenges the boundaries of the interior space and not limited by the frame. I visualize elements growing out of the baseboards, flowing up a wall onto a ceiling, or spilling around from one corner into the next. WALLTAT is the brand that came out of these creations.
I noticed you’re about to reach your 1 year anniversary. Have you accomplished all of your goals for the first year?
I wouldn’t say I have accomplished all of my goals, but as a company we are pretty close. We spent the early months working out the kinks and challenges of our process, and now we are focusing more on our marketing and sales. We still have two months to go (we started in May 2008) so it will be interesting to see how the latest marketing efforts will impact our numbers.
Having walltat.com up and fully functional was a major accomplishment; and of course, seeing orders coming in and getting customer feedback is reassuring. So overall the year is a success.
What would you like to see happen in year 2 for your company?
I want everyone to know about WALLTAT, or realistically reach as many people as possible with the WALLTAT message and product. Maybe, have Oprah give them out at her show. I think there is a certain ring to our trademark “WALLTAT” that can quickly be genericized, and become synonymous with artistic wall decals.
How many styles/designs of walltats would you say are in stock on the average day?
Due to the customizable nature of our designs, all WALLTAT products are made to order, so technically zero. We do not carry any finished inventory. We have hundreds of WALLTAT designs, each offered in 36 colors and five different sizes. With today’s technology it is not necessary to carry finished inventory.
Do you have any previous experience that has helped tie into the business?
As I mentioned earlier, my interior design background led to the creation of WALLTAT. This experience also gives me an understanding of the consumer from a dÃ©cor and budget perspective. For me it was important that WALLTAT be affordable so that it can truly be an option for our customers.
Also my experience as an independent contractor has helped in the business and organizational aspect of the company.
What lessons would you say you have learned from WALLTAT since you first decided to launch it?
Having a great product to sell is not enough. In today’s Internet marketplace, it is as important to have a website that is Search Engine Optimized (SEO). This will increase your website visibility and lead to more traffic and sales.
Have you always envisioned yourself as the entrepreneurial type? What lead you to where you are today?
Yes. I have always been into art, which is what lead me into design. The beauty about design is you have the choice of working for a company, or for yourself, so I did a bit of both. Today, I am an independently contracted interior designer for a firm, which allows me the free time in between clients (and during my nights and weekends) to get the company off the ground. I enjoy working from my home studio for both of my companies. It’s exactly the freedom I need to explore new possibilities in design and creativity.
Do you think this will be it for you, or do you hope to either expand WALLTAT or start into a new business in the future?
This is more of a beginning for me; I am 29 and have a lot of creativity that I need to get out. I love product design and will continue exploring new products, including ones within the WALLTAT brand.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve seen when it comes to running a business?
Finding vendor partners that value your business was most frustrating in the beginning. When you are a small company, you are not priority to most vendors. This is why it is important to find vendors that compatible in size and value your business.
What kind of traits do you believe every entrepreneur should have to become successful?
Patience, flexibility, resourcefulness, creative, negotiating skill, ambition, confidence, just to name a few.