We had the good fortune of connecting with Jocelyn Juul Ting and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jocelyn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It didn’t matter where in the world I was living-Sydney, Paris, London, or Los Angeles- I would always lug back heavy, and quite fragile, Danish kitchenware as I could from my trips to Denmark. While separating from my Danish husband in 2013, I decided that I needed to make use of my Commerce Degree, but what to do? I was obviously surrounded by Danish kitchenware so it was inevitable. I thought, if I love this so much, I’m sure there would be others that would too, and who wouldn’t want a teapot that looked like a vase in a wetsuit? As I started to do research and talk to others about my idea, there was positive feedback, but of course the negative ones were the only ones that stuck and almost derailed my plans.The one I will always remember was “you’re not Danish, you can’t sell Danish kitchenware”. So even though my website was ready to launch, self-doubt and paralysis crept in. What if my website was not good enough, is it stupid that I only sell Danish kitchenware? Should I have researched colors? Are there certain colors that would make people want to buy? I thought of every excuse under the sun not to hit the ‘live’ button. One day after watching loads of ‘How to start your own business’ YouTube videos, I came across a guy that said, “Just go live, people will not just come to visit your website, this is where the real work begins,” ….so I did. Another thing he said was, your website and business can still change and evolve even once it’s up and running. Since launching, I’ve added non-Danish products such as the Larchmont Village Market bags because I can, and because Larchmont has meant so much to me since I’ve lived here. I also do pop-ups and promote my products in my Airbnb, which wasn’t in my original business plan. A very special Danish gentleman from Blonde Media also said to me while filming my ‘About’ video, that it is so much more interesting that I am not Danish selling Danish kitchenware. This made me think that it doesn’t really matter that I am not Danish, just that I’m passionate about what I sell. I guess it’s really about which angle you choose to look at it from 🙂
What should our readers know about your business?
I sell unique and stylish Danish design kitchenware and homeware online. I usually do pop-ups around the holidays at different locations including at my house where it’s more of a social event with food, drinks, and 7-10 other small business vendors. These intimate settings allow for meaningful connections with customers, my neighborhood and local businesses. I have this network of other female owned entrepreneurs and we try to support each other’s businesses through these pop-ups, but also sharing tips and cross-promoting each other. I also provide a service during the holidays whereby friends and customers can stop by to pick up last minute gifts, especially after most retailers have closed. They are welcome to come in to browse, but most just want their gifts wrapped and ready for them to do a ‘drive by’ pick-up which is very convenient for busy people in a hurry. Being able to have this personal connection with many of my customers is something that I will always be excited about. My business is definitely a labor of love as it’s a niche market, but those who love design or something a little different would love my products. Prior to launching my business, I had no experience with e-commerce, the whole process was and still is a learning curve. The challenges don’t end and my trick is google it, Youtube it or ask anyone you can think of for advice, but don’t give up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would head towards the beach, hit Abbot Kinney for a boho-chic stroll and eat at Gjelina or grab something at Gjusta to bring to the beach.I would go to El Matador Beach or Annenberg Beach House where you can do both beach and pool while enjoying a typical SoCal sunny day. Of course, no visit to LA would be complete without visiting the entertainment capital of the world, but something more unique than walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame is hiking up to the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign followed by a sunset horse ride. I also love to explore downtown, the arts district, and Grand Central Market which has been around for over a 100 years. I’m not much of a tourist when I travel so taking them to do touristy things is not my cup of tea, instead I would go to different neighborhoods for walks (of course, my neighborhood, Larchmont Village is my favorite) and just eat all over LA. LA has such a variety of neighborhoods with their own unique persona that it is just fun to check out the local sights and eateries, as well as people watch. Sqirl, Bestia, Nightshade, Croft Alley, John & Vinny’s are just a few of my favorites. I would make sure to include visits to some amazing places serving tacos because it is undeniable that LA has the best scene for this in the country, as well as all kinds of international dishes from food trucks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, my significant other who is also one of my suppliers, and of course my wide circle of friends. Without them I would not have a business, not only are their houses also full of Danish Kitchenware, some would also save bags of packing material for me. My kids are also very supportive and often provide feedback as well as help me with my product photoshoots and shipping. I usually have a podcast playing to motivate and inspire me while I’m working so I’ll just name a few: Tim Ferris, A Cuppa Happy, Oprah’s Super Soul, WSJ Secrets of Wealthy Women, and So Money are my go-to’s …. I have very long list so I’ll stop now.
Other: Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/danehus/_shop/
Eva Solo Natasha Juul Random Stranger Me