Mad Hatter is the perfect little store. Tucked away in the small town of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, this beautiful store offers hats, teas, and other unique goodies. Check out my conversation with the store’s owner, Bobbie Asad.
1. Q: Give us a little background about yourself, and tell us about your amazing store, Mad Hatter ( http://madhatternc-com.webs.com/).
A: I worked for consulting engineering firms for 30+ years, was laid off during the recession, and needed something to do. I love hats and tea, and decided I should start my own business. It has been a learning experience every single day, and I love it!
- Q: Can you describe the transition from being laid off to starting Mad Hatter?
A: After being laid off, I went back to school for Construction Management, unfortunately at the time, there were not a lot of available jobs. Then I decided to open Mad Hatter. It is a fun shop, small and quaint, and it has been an adventure.
- Q: Your shop is located in the small town of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Is community important for the success of your business? If so, how?
A: I always considered community important, even before opening a business. I have participated in the Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club for 10+ years, and still a member. The Woman’s Club does a lot in our community, and they make a difference in so many ways. I also volunteer with Fuquay-Varina Revitalization Association in downtown, a great support for our community and downtown businesses. Since I was already a volunteer in these two organizations, I don’t really know what business would be like if I wasn’t involved in my community.
- Q: Can you tell our readers how you came up with the concept of hats and tea?
A: Hats and Teas are my two favorite things. I love hats, and love teas, and going to afternoon teas, so it was the perfect business for me.
- Q: What’s a typical day like for you as an entrepreneur?
A: Mad Hatter’s hours are 10 am – 4 pm, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. During non-busy times, I am working on promotional ideas, placing orders, and always searching for new products that will be a good fit for the shop.
The best part of the day is when customers stop in, they are why I do all this…..they are the best part of every day!
- Q: Do you have any success tips for our readers who are transitioning from employment to business ownership?
A: Look for your niche. What is your passion?
Then research, research, research prior to starting your business. Once you are up and running, promoting your business is a priority.
Most sources will tell you it takes 1-3 years to make a profit, so be prepared for this financially regardless of how great your idea is.
- Q: What’s next for the Mad Hatter?
A: I have a couple of new books in the works. One is a children’s book, and waiting for illustrations to be completed. The other is a business book, which I am very excited about and hope to have complete in the next few months.
This is a guest post that is a part of our new interview web series. Featured Entrepreneurs are interviewed and talk about their experiences, journey to success, and overcoming challenges.