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Debbie Sessions, Vintage Dancer, Clothing, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Debbie Sessions

Business Name: Vintage Dancer LLC, a platform that links vintage style clothing for online sale

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: Reno, Nevada, United States

Website http://www.vintagedancer.com
Twitter @vintagedancer
Facebook www.facebook.com/vintagedancer
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/vintagedancer/

Reason for starting
I always wanted to be a stay at home mom someday but the men I was dating at the time time did not have careers that would support a family. I came to the realization that I needed to find a career that was work from home friendly. Owning my own future seemed to be the only garantee I could get. So I tried a few things that eventually led me to online marketing. I combined by tech savvy side with an interest in historical and vintage costuming and created Vintage Dancer, an aggregate shopping portal to new vintage inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories. I use my blog to educate readers on fashion history and give a lot of advise on how to create a Gatsby look, or Mad Men style, or just where to buy retro style dresses. I then spend the rest of my day window shopping for new items to add to the site.

How do you define success?
Success if when your friends realize your business is not a hobby. The people closest to you are your worst critics but they quickly change their tune when they realize you make a livable income (or more.) Its a very uphill battle to get to that point but it is worth the climb. My husband has always been a supporter but now he too sees the benefit of being your own boss and wants to start his own business.

Biggest Success
I took a year to make my first $5. I was jumping up and down saying “finally, it worked. It just had to work and it did.” From there income grew, fans grew, the website grew, and I grew in my skills and knowledge. The best part is I am now a stay at home mom, married to price charming with a good career, and I can work as much or as little as I want (or what my baby lets me do 🙂

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My website is affected by changes in search engine rankings. One day google loves me, the next, not so much. The fluctuations make it frustrating. So I am branching out into non SEO marketing strategies to develop a brand identity. Social media plays a big part but so is just knocking on doors (email) and introducing myself to key players in my niche. The best advice I have receive years ago that I am just now putting into practice is “Just ask people.” Ask for what I need, ask for help, ask for advice, just ask. Taking the no’s is tough but the yes’s make every no easier to handle. Its goes against my shy nature to be bold but I realize that my personal fears make the biggest roadblocks to my success.

Who is your most important role model?
In the online marketing niche I look up to smartpassiveincome.com, www.clicknewz.com, and Viperchill.com. In my vintage clothing niche I watch what my partner websites like modcloth.com and unique-vintage.com do as well as my competitors. You can learn from your competitors both in how to do things and how not to do things.

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