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Meet Bridgette Selmer of Her Trendy Decor in Moreno Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridgette Selmer.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Her Trendy Décor started in 2015 which is a handmade decor pillow business. After completing my undergraduate degree from the University of Phoenix-Ontario Campus; I found it very difficult to find work, so, redirected my efforts towards entrepreneurship. One morning while watching the news; there was a news story about a stay at home mother who started a home-based business making little trinkets such as socks and headbands. She was a mother of three/entrepreneur grossing $80,000 a month online through Etsy. Amazed at her success as an entrepreneur, all while being a stay at home mom, I began to research ideas of my own. I realized I’ve always had a flair for home décor, colors, textures, and textiles. It started when I was a twelve-year-old kid. I would rearrange my grandmother’s living room when she would go to the grocery store. At the age of fourteen, I would use my own money to purchase picture frames, plants, rugs, pillows, etc. I would find an array of accent pieces that were affordable to add flair and comfort to our home.  

Consequently, I thought about starting a pillow and candle company because my research showed me that people will always need décor pillows and candles. As a result, I watched a few YouTube videos on how to hand make various types of pillows and I taught myself how to hand stitch. My first project was making decor pillows using inexpensive textiles. I would hand stitch all sides of the pillow and use poly-fill which is a soft cotton used to fill them in. My first price points were making and selling inexpensive pillows for $15 each eventually led to me opening my shop on Etsy as increase in sales and demand for my product started to increase exponentially. The first year of business came with many struggles but I was able to persevere through the implementation phase of my business.  

As time progressed, I learned more and more about the design world. I became proficient in my niche market and what people were purchasing. additionally, I started investing more resources in textiles which was more unique and complementary to my target audience because of the designer and fabric quality. I spent countless hours shopping for the perfect textiles which led me to establish rapport with well-known designers. I gained access to colorful, heavy weight, textured merchandise I so desperately needed to create aesthetic pillows… Immediately, demand for my product increased and I transitioned to making high-end pillow covers which are very popular in today’s market.  As time progressed, my business started to excel, and sales incline dramatically. Her Trendy Décor transitioned to a more sophisticated appeal as more creative designs and endless combinations and features were added to our product line. This provided me with the opportunity to launch my own website called “Her Trendy Decor” ​https://www.hertrendydecor.com/​. I’ve been in business for four years now and looking forward too many more years of bringing my passion for home décor to the forefront. 

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was not a smooth road at all, yet all my shortcomings were learning experiences. I was new to the design world, new to operating a business on Etsy, and now I manage my own website. Every aspect of business had its challenges. For example, if you don’t know Etsy it is a worldwide market for artist and creators. Trying to draw customers into the shop and getting them to make purchases took diligence and patience. Searching for the proper techniques and skills to attract customers initially was a struggle. However, I kept my head high and was adamant about making my business thrive. The first year was discouraging, I wasn’t making many sales, however, I had good product. Knowing that I had good product, I relentlessly and consistently watched YouTube videos that would further my knowledge. I signed up for many seminars that would shed some light on how to market a product and attract customers. For example; implementing key terms was a contributing factor to the amount of activity received in the shop. Of course, you needed activity because you needed sales. The form in which the items were listed, and the quality of the pictures taken displaying the items, made a huge difference as well. I had to become innovative and find ways to attract customers. I was oblivious to most of these aspects initially and had to figure things out along the way.  

Once I launched my website, things ran a bit smoother. I had to learn who my target market was and once I did, I used every platform possible to market and attract customers. Learning how to price my handmade items was a challenge in the beginning. I didn’t want to price too high because I wanted people to purchase this handmade product however, I needed to be compensated for my time and work. Consequently, I learned early on that you will not please everyone you do business with and the items that you customize will not be for everyone. In that, you must be true to what you do, the work will speak for itself. I had to learn swiftly about taxes as a business owner and there were indiscretions made. I’ve lost money doing things improperly, but it was all a learning experience that made me a stronger and better businesswoman. 

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Her Trendy Decor – what should we know?
Her Trendy Decor is a business that specializes in handmade decor pillows and will eventually offer more creative decor pieces. We use high-quality designer textiles of various colors and textures to make pillow covers. The covers are made in various sizes and are made for longevity. I am most proud of the growth within the business. Her Trendy Decor has come a long way. I started out teaching myself how to hand stitch. Then I transitioned, I bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to use it. I went from being the only one sewing all the covers to hiring someone to assist. I started out having one to two orders a week to having an abundance of sales every week. I am proud of the dedication and hard work that has been put into the business. Every day the hard work is reflected when I receive direct messages from followers and admirers on social media reaching out to me stating, “they love what I do and ask how they can start business for themselves”. I have individuals reaching out stating, “how much they love the product they’ve purchased, and how they will be back for more”. When your peers and loved ones express how proud they are of you and your accomplishments in business, it’s gratifying. What sets Her Trendy Decor apart from others is 1.) We use high-quality materials. 2.) We use color and texture combinations that you will not find anywhere else. 3.) The integrity of our pillows is made to be durable, sturdy and kept for longevity 4.) Most importantly our pillows are made with love. 

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Behind every successful businesswoman, there is a team of individuals that supported her dream. I must give lots of love and credit to my partner of eleven years Charmaine Nowlin, whom I am sure I drove crazy with all my bright ideas. She advised me, she supported me one thousand percent, she assisted me when needed, did a few fabric runs, all while showing love. My father, Thomas Walker, has also been a great supporter. He advised, gave recommendations, facilitated with creating an electronic system for the business, and has been a cheerleader from the very beginning. My mother, Carrie Ford who has encouraged and motivated me to keep striving no matter how hard things become. My sisters, Valerie Gonzales, Portia Walker and My brother Thomas Walker Jr. have consistently been my cheerleaders and have rooted me on since the start of my journey. I also have loving friends who continue to have my back and for that, I will forever love and appreciate them all. 

Contact Info:  

Image Credit:
Brooklynn Morton

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1 Comment

  1. Alisa

    October 2, 2019 at 19:03

    What an inspiring, encouraging and motivating article!!!! Congratulations Bridgette Selmer! Continue to strive for all the best things life has to offer!!!

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