“I understand that I need to tell my story but I feel pressure to portray my brand as something bigger than it is. I am worried that store owners will be turned off knowing that it's just me in my kitchen. They want to be buying from someone who is a big deal, not someone who is unprofessional and not able to fulfill an order.”
Let’s start with a few things that we know.
Yes, it is true that store owners like someone who is professional.
Professional means something very specific: that you are clear, timely and deliver what you say you are going to.
There are many professionals that work from their kitchen tables. We happen to be two of them.
Being big doesn’t make you or your brand special.
Being you makes you special and it is your job to tell that story as best as you can with whatever tools you have.
If you choose not to do that and make yourself out to be something you’re not, you will be less equipped to tell your unique story than if you said it plain.
You are likely not that big. And the biggest shame of saying that you are is that you are not using the one advantage that you have: that you are small. As a maker, your primary advantage comes from the story behind what you make. It is why people choose to buy from you, rather than buying something less expensive from, say, a big box store.
Your story is the way you produce what you make, the specific art and design of what you do, the inspiration behind it, and what makes it special beyond what is immediately obvious at first glance. This could include your production process, your design, your sourcing, the design inspirations of each piece, perhaps why you make what you make, or a mission or ethos that the company embodies.
If you are looking for inspiration, the Jenny Lemons ‘Our Story’ page is a great example of what a well crafted version of this looks like. Jenny shares the handcrafted, personal nature of what she does in a straightforward way -- while also communicating professionalism via her excellent photos, concise writing, clear terms, and thoughtful layout.