Some overnight success stories really do come true. Ask Rocksann Page, owner of Southern Belle Boutique, which specializes in personalized and monogrammed merchandise, from picture frames to water bottles, car mats, serving trays and iPad, Kindle and eReader sleeves.
What began a few years ago as a random idea grew into a business run from Rocksannâ€™s bedroom and geared toward personalized office supplies. That is, until the entrepeneur soon found herself, and her business, thrust onto the national platform after a fateful call from HGTV.
Since appearing on the cable television channel, Southern Belle Boutique has added a slew of products to its line now sold online and inside several brick and mortar stores. This June, Southern Belle experienced its biggest feat to date when Rocksann was asked to create 1,000 koozies to be placed inside the Daytime Emmy Awardsâ€™ gift bags, to be given to notable celebrities and attendees of the show.
The Voice-Tribune caught up with Rocksann to learn more about her booming business and how sheâ€™s dealing with her recent surge to success.
â€“ Ashley Anderson, Staff Writer
When did you first start your business?
It started back in 2008, but the design end of it didnâ€™t start until 2010. And, I kind of started playing around on the computer, and just started with some programs, and I was telling my husband, I said, â€œI bet I can learn to do this and Iâ€™m just going to try and see how it goes.â€ And, I stayed up every night probably for a year or more, every night until 2 or 3 in the morning learning these programs and watching videos because Iâ€™ve got three little girls, so I didnâ€™t have time to go to school to learn how to do it, so I had to teach myself.
What makes your business unique?
Everything can be personalized. … Iâ€™m right at 42 prints right now and Iâ€™m adding all the time. â€¦ I wanted to make sure that I kind of stayed with something that a woman of any age would want to use.
I have a customizer that will be launching here soon. â€¦ It will give the customer an option to go onto an item, and they can pick their patterns, their colors, their frames, their monograms and they can see exactly what it will look like before they proceed to check out.
Iâ€™m trying to get into several different market shows right now and Iâ€™m actually planning a trip to New York in March to go to the stationary show, that way I can expand my product line. â€¦ Iâ€™m in the process right now of adding a lot of new items. I went from having just a handful and now Iâ€™ve got over 40 that are on the site, and Iâ€™m continuously adding.
(Iâ€™m also) in the process of launching the childrenâ€™s line. â€¦ And hopefully after this year, my goal is to put up something that is just for men.
When did your business really take off?
Kind of my business happened overnight. I got contacted by HGTV, and then once that happened, several magazines contacted me. Itâ€™s kind of been like a ripple effect. â€¦ I still canâ€™t believe that itâ€™s really going on, Iâ€™m still kind of like in the pinch me effect, (making) sure Iâ€™m not dreaming, and Iâ€™m thinking that any minute now somebodyâ€™s going to say â€˜OK, weâ€™re really just joking.â€™
How did you become involved with the Emmys?
I got an email from a woman who does the gift bags … and she kind of is the coordinator of all the events. Sheâ€™s the one that goes through and she finds people, businesses kind of like mine, that are different. The kind of small businesses that are trying to get their names out there.
What do you hope to accomplish with your business?
If Iâ€™m doing anything, Iâ€™m showing my little girls that you can have and do and be anything you choose to be, as long as you want it bad enough, you can do it. Itâ€™s going to take hard work and persistence and determination and courage, and all of these things. And I think that was my biggest thing. … I wanted my little girls to be proud of me.
For more information on Southern Belle Boutique, visit thesouthernbelleboutique.net.