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Meet Jocelyn Kobayashi of Tiny Things by Jocelyn in Southeast LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jocelyn Kobayashi.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jocelyn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started Tiny Things by Jocelyn in the summer of 2019, I had just turned 20, going to school full time and working a job part-time. I always wanted to start a small business but was not sure what actually went into it, and what exactly I needed to do to start a business. All I knew was I wanted to create a product that was customizable, personalized to the buyer, and also affordable.

I looked at the resources I had around me and talked to A LOT of people asking them for advice and words of encouragement to really push me to do something like this. After months and months of thinking, I decided to invest into a small business that would sell vinyl stickers and eventually expand into other “tiny things.” I started my business off Instagram and Facebook and eventually started selling off Etsy as well. I would make all my products on a small desk in my room whenever I had free time from school and work. This started off as a small business that I did on the side and created new products only when I had the time. But then COVID happened and I was cut down from my hours at work and went to complete online schooling. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I was able to have more free time and that allowed me to really focus in on growing my business and for the first time it allowed me to work with other small businesses, and create new products that I would have never thought I could produce/sell. All because I was able to put all my thoughts and energy into making my business better than it ever has been. But I definitely could not have done that without the help of my customers, sharing and constantly purchasing when something new comes out.

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, just because I was doing this as a side business and my focus was not always on just producing and creating products. When I started, I was going to school full time; I would be going to in-person classes multiple days a week, on top of working a part-time job before school, after school, and the weekends. This made me feel overwhelmed at times because I wanted to please my customers and create great quality products, but I also needed to focus on my schooling and work. I was also really hard on myself because in the beginning of starting my business, I was not patient and not putting my entire effort on making my business as great as it could be. I always had this feeling self-doubt of maybe my products weren’t good enough, no one is going to buy my products, and maybe it’s a waste of my time and money because no one is buying. So it was really hard to get out of that mindset and realize that it takes time to grow and when the time comes, I will eventually be able to make my business what I’ve always imagined it would be.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tiny Things by Jocelyn story. Tell us more about the business.
Tiny Things by Jocelyn is a business that creates custom designs and art for people! I create stickers made out of vinyl, personalized Starbucks cups with custom designs, I create custom stickers for birthday parties, weddings, and for other small businesses. I recently started selling enamel pins, and slowly expanding in providing party favors, cups, and personalized items for weddings! I specialize mainly in vinyl stickers that are made out of semi-permanent/permanent sticker vinyl that can be placed on water bottles, computers, or even cars. That was my very first product I’ve ever sold, and something that a lot of people come to me for! I am most proud at the fact that I am able to help others create a product that they just thought of in their head and bringing it to life and being able to see where my products are getting shipped to around the United States. I would have never thought I would be able to provide a service and products for people other than my family and friends. I think one thing that sets me apart from others is that I try my best to have versatile products and also provide versatile services. People have come to me to ask if I could do a certain product or design and I try my best to accommodate their requests rather than limiting my services to only what I sell and do.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I hope to see small business, especially in the arts and crafts realm to pop up more in everyday life. I love being able to walk downtown or travel somewhere to see a bunch of small businesses create storefronts and showcase their work! For me, personally in the next 5-10 years, I hope to create a business that is able to showcase my products at craft fairs and possibly even feature in other small shops as a collaboration. If I could turn this small business into my full-time business that would always be awesome as well because creating is something that I genuinely enjoy doing. I love being able to support and be supported by a community and other small businesses.

Pricing:

  • Vinyl Name Stickers (Various Colors) $8.00
  • Customizable Starbucks Cups (Starting Price) $12.00
  • Mini Planner Stickers $2.00
  • Holographic Butterfly Stickers $4.00

Contact Info:

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