We are delighted to start the week off with a fascinating interview! Today, Christine – the founder of Mai Autumn – has agreed to share some of the secrets which have made her business so successful. Her home decor company has grown approximately 20% each year since 2008, and began pulling in a profit within its first year! If you want to find out more about her excellent Etsy shop, her road to success, and the purpose of her eCommerce loan – then keep reading! 😉
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Christine! Could you start off by telling us a little about yourself and your business?
My name is Christine Lindstrom and I am the founder of Mai Autumn. Mai Autumn is a home decor company with a focus on fresh trends and modern design, based on my paintings and illustrations. I started the business in 2008 after graduating from college with a degree in fine art. Since then, it has grown approximately 20% each year, and began pulling in a profit within its first year. I have always loved bright colors and the beauty in nature, so most of my work focuses on a fun and colorful expression meant to bring joy to anyone’s home or office.
When the company first launched, the Mai Autumn Etsy shop reached the top 100 fine artist’s in the art category very quickly, and stayed there for several years. As Etsy has changed, and the company has grown, we have shifted the focus and marketing efforts of the brand to maiautumn.com, which is now the main hub for all of the products and wholesale accounts the company has.
How come you ended up starting this business and why have you chosen this particularly niche?
After attending college for fine art at Monmouth University, I started the company when noticing a scarcity in the market for colorful and bright home decor that is chic and sophisticated, while also staying connected to the grace and beauty in nature. Painting has always come naturally to me, as well as marketing a brand in a genuine way while connecting to my fan base and customers.
After interning with a luxury wedding cake designer in college, and working as a merchandiser for Anthropologie, I realized I had a skill for marketing and brand development. Putting all of these skills together, Mai Autumn was born. I find a true joy in connecting with my customers on a personal level, while helping them create a space that is welcoming and enlivening to their senses. My dream is to have a whole line of products ranging from textiles, to furniture and kitchenwares.
What do you hope to achieve with your loan and why did you choose Bitbond over a bank?
With the help of this loan, I hope to expand my line, as well as cover the current cashflow cycle when dealing with larger accounts. Many larger retailers pay on NET 30 or even up to NET 90 terms, which can delay inventory or other costs with manufacturing and overhead. We also hope to be able to design and manufacture more products this year, and these funds would help to have samples made and photographed, while also launching the new designs at trade shows or directly to our current retailers.
Bitbond seemed like a great option for this loan due to the transparency in the lending process, as well as knowing that there are very little fees going towards any sort of large bank, all while benefiting the Bitbond lenders and investors.
What is your favorite feature on Bitbond? What features do you think are missing?
I love being able to comment and communicate directly with Bitbond investors! It would be great if the site could also link directly to my Shopify site, as that is where I do most of my business.
What would you want potential investors to know about your loan?
This loan will be put towards normal operations to help keep Mai Autumn functioning smoothly, as well as help to expand the current product line and create even more opportunities for growth in the coming year. This loan may be paid early if all of these new plans can be implemented in 2017, but we wanted to be sure that it would be paid back on schedule by requesting a 36 month time frame. The company does not take many (if any) risks in terms of our budget. All of our revenue comes from organic search and brand awareness through social media. We spend about 2% of our budget on advertising now that we have grown the brand to have a solid presence on social media, as well as keeping our SEO as up to date as possible.
What do you think the future holds for bitcoin? Is it the modern-day equivalent of the internet or will it fall flat on its face?
I think bitcoin is a great concept in this economy, and I am curious to see what this generation will make of it. It is interesting to see how a global currency will fair in these uncertain times. In my opinion, I think it may actually be a more solid currency than that of any in a specific country, but it is also too soon to tell.
As a business owner does your place of work accept bitcoin? If not, what do are the chances of that changing?
After experiencing this lending platform, as well as researching more about bitcoin, I think it would be possible that we will accept bitcoin in the near future. Any opportunity to reach customers is always welcome!
Thank you for an excellent Christine! Investors only have a few days left to support Christine’s eCommerce loan.
Latest posts by Maciej Chudzinski (see all)
- Interview | Etsy seller taking his business to the next level 🔝 - December 10, 2017
- Borrower Interview | Christine from Mai Autumn wants to expand her product line - March 6, 2017
- Borrower Interview | Etsy entrepreneur taking handmade industry to the next level 🆙 - February 23, 2017