What It's About
A love of meal time rituals inspires a Midwestern woman to a side hustle celebrating families joined around the dinner table.
Words of Wisdom
Melissa has found that in-person events such as farmers’ markets and word of mouth have been the best ways to get Tabled on people’s radars. Social media has also helped, and she has about 2,500 followers on Facebook, and about 1,000 on Instagram, as well as about 200 visitors per month to her website. But she says she focuses on engagement over followers, as more followers don't always equal more sales.
Notes from Chris
From a young age, Melissa remembers loving the ritual of setting the table for dinner—a chore assigned to her by her mother. She liked placing every utensil, cup, and plate in its proper place, as well as making decisions over which china should be used to prepare for the company and catch ups the meal would bring. Then, in 2016, she took a drastic break from her normal life to go on a yearlong road trip with her fiancé. She figured that, as she was already throwing caution to the wind, what better time to give the hustle a try? So, from their 1960s travel trailer in the middle of a campground in Kentucky, Melissa officially launched Tabled—a handmade seasonal tableware shop. Her company’s offerings now include napkins, table runners, tea towels, pot holders, decorated wooden spoons, trays, trivets, coasters, salt and pepper shakers. If it belongs on a table, chances are that Melissa has it. So far, Tabled nets about $500 to $1,000 each month from in-person events and online sales. But Melissa says she’s reinvesting all of this and doesn’t yet pay herself. She’s the first to admit she hasn’t fully yet cracked the code, but she says she’s growing more profitable all the time, and hoping to find new ways to push sales.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Tabled: Check out more of Melissa's tabletop products on her website!
- SquareSpace: Melissa decided to use Squarespace to setup Tabled because she found the front-end design clean and simple
- Quickbooks: The accounting software that Melissa uses to keep on track financially with Tabled
- Instructables: Melissa didn't have much experience with textiles, but she learned everything she needed for Tabled online. Instructables is great because it has resources for anyone looking to learn a new skill
- GE Engineer Sells Hand-Crafted Slate Artwork to All 50 States: A GE engineer uses his skills to make and sell hand-crafted slate artwork to all 50 states. In addition to bringing in a great side income, it’s also given him more courage and security to make decisions at his day job
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