A PopUp Shop Creator With a Passion for Small Biz


Piper Toth of One Sydney Road has turned her wanderlust, her love of beautiful things and her small business background into an online shop success – most recently curated as a series of city-themed collections (from Parisian streets to Brooklyn boardwalks).  And while the pop-up strategy has helped keep the daily grind of running a retail business fresh for Piper, she’s come to realize that her true “passion path” may be actually helping the shopkeeps themselves. These small business gals (and guys) who she often celebrates in her Meet The Shopkeeps feature on her pop-up site, are exactly who she’s come to realize are her true dream customer. And that, kinda gives us goosebumps for where this creative entrepreneur’s wanderings could take her next. See how Piper’s made a go of it so far, and how she’ “braving up” to take her business vision road on a new direction.

Brick vs. Online
Perks and Pains
Celebrate Small or Big Wins
Lightbulb Moment
A Shopkeep Embracing Expertise
Shops and Passions

What’s the best investment you’ve made in your own business?
Piper: One of the best decisions I ever made was to open my store online.  Before I opened, I had been looking at actual storefronts and considering having a brick and mortar store.  I’m glad I took the time to really think about what that would entail.  Having worked from home the past two years, I now know that I love the freedom it allows me.  Had I opened a storefront, not only would I have to be there running the store, but the overhead costs would have made growing as a new small business very difficult.  Not to mention even more stress!  I think that’s such an important step when starting a business – know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. And I love that I can do in-person shows and get to be ‘shopkeep’ for the day!

What’s it like working from home?
Piper:  Working from home is pretty great.  I always suspected that there was something to working in your pajamas!  Not to mention, being able to work outside or listen to music as loud as you want.  Or even to just pack the day in.  What I didn’t expect was how difficult it can be!  The isolation takes the cake.  You’re home, all day, without anyone to talk to, bounce ideas off of or help make decisions.  Thank god for Skype and my monthly biz gals meet-ups (a local group I started). They have absolutely helped with that!

A lot of creatives have a love-hate relationship with creating their content – writing, blogging, etc. How about you?
Piper: I’m smiling as I write this because damn, if that isn’t the truth! I used to force myself to sit down and create even when I wasn’t in the mood.  Now I’ve learned that the best thing for me is to work in bursts when I’ve got the love thing going.  It’s amazing how much more I can create when I’m in the mood and enjoying it.  Then I can schedule the content or tweak it at a later date.  This helps to get through those “if I have to come up with one more thing to say, I’m going to freak out” times!  I also have found that looking around online for inspiration actually keeps me from creating.  I think it’s too easy to get information overload and feel unable to create content.  So to get reinvigorated I step away from the computer, get outside, and go back to simple times  – good ole pen and paper.  

What’s a business victory for you, as of late?
Piper: Great question!  Especially since small business owners, like me, tend to forget to celebrate the small (or big) wins.  It always seems like it’s on to the next thing with no time to stop & smell the roses.  My latest victory would have to be launching the online pop-up shops over the summer – which then led to my newsletters for the pop-up shops being featured on MailChimp!  I spend a crazy amount of time (not to mention lots of hair pulling!) creating and designing the images for both the pop-up shop and the newsletters, so to get recognition for that work was an absolute treat!

Is there a specific struggle you keep coming back to as a creative entrepreneur?
Piper: Currently my struggle is a biggie.  It’s rebranding and transitioning my business from an online store to a coaching and consulting service for creative entrepreneurs – especially in the areas of creating and designing images and content.  

It’s a hard transition to make when you’ve poured your heart and soul into your business, to turn around and start almost from scratch.  It’s a bit terrifying, yet exciting, because I know this is the work I’m meant to be doing.  And I wouldn’t have known my true passion is for entrepreneurship, helping others, and designing – had I not opened up my store in the first place.  But my store has a special place in my heart which makes it hard to finally close the doors so to speak.  Although don’t they say that when you close one door, another opens?!

But more often than not, once I take that first small step, the next steps don’t feel as hard and overwhelming.  And trust me, this is coming from someone who will procrastinate until... That’s become my new mantra “take action!”

Dream jobs are hard work. How do you “keep the dream going?”
Piper: The motivation is that I’ve found my calling, so to speak.  I actually got my college degree in Small Business Entrepreneurship – yes, there is such a degree! This whole time I thought that I wanted to open my own business.  True, but what I realized over the past two years is that I’m most passionate about helping others start and run their businesses.  And I’ve got the training and knowledge to help.  Hello, lightbulb moment!   I used to coach dance teams and it was the most fulfilling, rewarding, hard as anything, job I’ve ever had.  When I started questioning retail and why it didn’t seem to fit me, I kept going back to that time.  The answer was there the whole time – I’m at my best and most fulfilled when I’m working with and helping others.  Knowing that has changed everything for me.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.



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