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Interview with Claire Johnson, Owner of Iron Haven Blacksmith Shop in Austin, Texas.
1. How did you get started in the blacksmithing business, Claire?
Well, it started as a hobby. I used to work in marketing, but I always enjoyed tinkering and DIY projects. I took a few blacksmithing classes and fell in love with the craft. After a while, I decided to pursue it full-time and open my own shop.
2. What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a female business owner in a male-dominated industry?
Honestly, there have been a lot of challenges. Some customers assume I don't know what I'm talking about or don't take me seriously. There's definitely a stereotype that blacksmiths are big, burly men. But I try to prove them wrong with my work and my skillset.
3. How did you overcome those challenges and ultimately achieve success with Iron Haven?
I think it's a combination of things. I've worked hard to establish a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service. I also started selling my items on Shopify, which helped expand my customer base beyond just the local community. And of course, being involved in the local business community and networking with other entrepreneurs has also been helpful.
4. Can you tell us more about your experience using Shopify to grow your business?
Shopify has been amazing for Iron Haven. It's allowed me to sell my items online, reach customers all over the world, and streamline the shipping and payment process. It's also helped me keep track of inventory and sales. I can't imagine running my business without it now.
5. What types of items do you sell at Iron Haven?
We sell all sorts of metalwork, from decorative items like wall art and sculptures, to more practical things like tools and hardware. We also offer classes for people who are interested in learning the craft themselves.
6. What do you think sets Iron Haven apart from other blacksmithing shops?
I think our attention to detail and commitment to quality really sets us apart. We take pride in our work and want every customer to be completely satisfied with what they receive.
7. What do you hope to accomplish with Iron Haven in the future?
I'd love to continue growing the business and expanding our presence online. I also want to continue offering high-quality products and building strong relationships with our customers. And who knows, maybe one day we'll even have multiple locations!
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