This Week Entrepreneur : Fountain Pen Emporium

This Week we have an entrepreneur from UK. She is a singaporean living in UK. A great network for others in Singapore.

Lets learn from her :

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Name of store: Fountain Pen Emporium


1. What kind of business do you have?

Antiques and collectibles, we specialise in classic and vintage fountain pens.

We also carry out basic pen repairs. We are currently located in England, U.K.

2. What inspire you to become an entrepreneur?

Necessity is the mother of invention.

3. Did you need to have a certain mindset to achieve success?

Yes. To be successful, you must be extremely patient, willing to learn, stay focus

and never give up!

Always listen to your customers and remain ethical in your business dealings.

4. Have you notice a certain advantages to being an entrepreneur?

No boss looking over your shoulder and the freedom to make your own decisions

and just get on with it.

5. Is it difficult to get financing for businesses? If so, why and are there any solutions?

We started our business on a shoe string using our own personal savings. Money

from sales are ploughed back into business. We did not borrow any money from

the bank.

6. Did you have a mentor to help you get started?

No, but I have a partner – my husband who handles all customers’ enquiries and

buying of stock.

7. Approximately how much money did you invest before your business became


Our online business has low overheads, so it does not take long to become

profitable. In antique business, a lot of the money is tied up in stock.

8. What resources were most helpful to you when you were starting your business?

Online business forums, books on classic fountain pens and general antiques, plus

lots of trial and error.

9. What ways have you found to be most effective in marketing your product or service to get sales?

Website and blog. Most of our sales came from orders placed online on our website

from customers worldwide; we accept payment by credit cards and PayPal. We also

get repeat orders from existing customers this way.

In addition, we use our business blog to further promote our website.

Besides our website, we have just joined Amazon as a merchant to hopefully open

another sales channel.

10. What tips can you give others who want to embrace their dream but, don’t have

the confidence or feel they don’t have what it takes to succeed?

Do a bit of market research to gauge the competition and test the product. Target a

niche market. Try to use technology to reach potential customers outside


11. How do you manage juggling the responsibilities of being an entrepreneur?

With difficulty at times. We try to streamline all our processes and include all info

such as shipping cost on our website to cut down any unnecessary emails. We

also outsource some aspects of the business such as product photography to a

professional photographer.

12. What’s next for you?

We are looking at the possibility of a second online business. In the long run, we

would like to return to Singapore.

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