Last time we checked in with Nicola Ford (@nicola_ford1), the CEO and founder of the online designer jewelry retailer HAUTEheadquarters (@hauteheadqtrs), she told us about the company's resolution to get organized this year. Now we're checking in on her entrepreneurial journey to see how her resolution is holding up (spoiler alert: really well).
Check out Ford's story below and her tips for sticking with your organizational goals. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
It’s been six months since our first chat with you. How's HAUTEheadquarters? Any big news on the business front?
Now for the big question: is your business still as well organized as it was in January?
Yes, it is still very organized in terms of inventory, but I will admit we could be more aggressive in our filing efforts.
Are you organizing your jewelry samples the same way as before?
The jewelry is organized by inventory for sale and inventory for press and samples. They are two different groups, but we now have SKU numbers so that has increased the organizational aspect of it all. Each SKU has a designer code and corresponding item number.
Has there been any backsliding in your dedication to organization? Why or why not?
No backsliding because our organizational efforts have become a habit now. The only slipup is we sometimes let the filing pile up for a few too many days.
You mentioned how keeping an accurate inventory prevented you from needlessly ordering extra supplies. Has your bottom line continued to benefit from getting organized?
Absolutely! That was one of the best things about being organized. We know exactly what we need and when in terms of supplies. Before we just guessed and wasted money that didn't need to be spent. Now we only order what we need.
Better organization has saved you money, so what aspects of the business have grown as a result?
I would say having a very organized inventory has helped immensely. We are not ordering things we have in stock or reordering items that we already had. In turn, that has given us the ability to use more cash to grow the inventory and to add new lines.
How are you continuing your organizational efforts on a daily and monthly basis?
We don’t hold on to items like trade magazines like we used to. We read them, scan and save what we need, and try to recycle as much as we can. We donate a lot of fashion magazines to a local library now whereas before they just stacked up in the office. Now the library sells them for 20 cents and someone gets the latest fashion magazines.
Have you observed any unexpected benefits to staying organized?
The real benefit is just the amount of time, money, and energy we save knowing where everything is.
Have you grown to enjoy organizing, or does it still feel like a chore?
I don’t consider any cleaning chore enjoyable… but it has been beneficial, which is enjoyable!
3 Tips from HAUTEheadquarters on Staying Organized for Good
- Just do it. Organizing may feel like a chore, but you'll feel better once it's done.
- Remember the benefits. Staying organized helps you save time and money, but it also makes it easier for your business to handle the additional clutter that comes with growth.
- Develop the routine. The more frequently you do something, the more routine it becomes. Stick with your organizing goals, and soon organizing will be second nature.
Want more small business success stories? Check out our Small Business Spotlight series.
About Nicola Ford
Nicola Ford is CEO and founder of HAUTEheadquarters.com, an online designer jewelry and accessories retailer committed to bringing customers the most glamorous, stylish, and fashionable jewelry available. Her online boutique offers brands such as Kenneth Jay Lane, Elizabeth Cole, and Melinda Maria, jewelry that has been featured in magazines such as People, StyleWatch, and InStyle.