Michael Wynn | Social Community Manager
A successful entrepreneur is one who is not only passionate about the work they do, but how that work makes others feel. First-year psychology major, Janelys Soto, is no exception. The founder of Blessful Creations, a personal novelty brand, her mission is simple: to design and create products that make people happy.
“My favorite thing to create is stickers,” Soto said. “If there’s a picture that means something to you and it gets turned into a sticker, I hope it makes you happy because that makes me happy.”
As a child, Soto wanted to find a way to combine her passion for making people happy with her strong creative skills. When the pandemic forced everyone to stay home last year, she felt like there was no better time to begin creating stickers, glasses, and other products that would make people smile.
“Since I was small, I was really creative and liked to make things,” she said. “I wanted to figure out a way to make things that would put a smile on people’s faces.”
In fact, making people happy is her only business goal. Not tied to a business plan, which she feels would inhibit her creative process, Soto likes to stay focused on what others are passionate about and how she can turn those passions into creations.
“My customers have loved what I’ve made them,” Soto beamed. “They’ve sent me pictures of where they would put their stickers and I would then share it on my social media.”
Jordyn Petosa, a first-year Criminal Justice major, Legal Studies minor, and Blessful Creations customer, loves her purchases and that she is supporting a small business. Understanding that independently run businesses often do not have access to the merchandising and advertising resources that big businesses do, Petosa does all that she can to bolster the work being done by entrepreneurs.
“I’ve purchased [a] ring, a few earrings, and a couple of stickers,” Petosa said. “I think it’s a very good business. It’s small, but even though it’s small, the quality is great and there’s good communication.”
Communication is a key component of Soto’s business model. More importantly, it is something that has helped her grow both personally and professionally. Planning to one day work in the counseling field as a child therapist, she knows that effective communication is a crucial part of nearly everything she does.
“The most important quality for an entrepreneur to have is good communication skills,” she shared. “That’s something I had to learn because I’m a very shy person. When I first started, it was awkward because I had to talk with people I didn’t even know.”
Soto’s success did not come without its challenges, though. Over the course of a few months, sales started to stagnate. Despite her best efforts, her business was not growing, leaving Soto feeling unsure about whether she would continue with her business.
“For a few months, I didn’t get any sales, so I was like, ‘you know what, I’m just going to stop trying,’” Soto recalled. “But I went on vacation to North Carolina and my sister-in-law and I had a conversation and she told me not to give up because it was going to pick back up. And she was right.”
As she continues to think about ways to enhance and grow her business, which right now includes determining bulk-purchase pricing, Soto is also committed to sharing her experience with others, even inspiring her mother to start her own business
“I actually motivated my mother to start her own business,” Soto said. “We have a shared office at home. I am slowly teaching her how to use social media and we like to bounce ideas off of each other. She has actually gotten so many customers for the jewelry she creates.”