Erinn Soule founded Heart & Soule Designs last year after her love for creating custom gifts, from clay caricatures to jewelry, helped her raise money for the American Cancer Society.
“The most important factor when I am designing a custom order is to get to know a little about the customer and their family or friends,” she says. “I take time to listen to what they have to say about their loved one, and it helps me to get a mental picture of who they are and what they are like. I can see the passion in people when they are giving me instructions on what they would like me to make. In a sense, they are the artists, not me. I merely capture their enthusiasm.”
Soule, who’s based in Southern California, sells her products at the newly opened Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles and through her website. The Intuit Small Business Blog recently chatted with her about how GoPayment helps her to streamline administrative tasks and spend more time interacting with customers.
ISBB: How did you get started?
Soule: I opened my business in June 2011. I had lost my aunt to breast cancer and a friend to stomach cancer, so I started participating in Relay for Life and was making my official Chick Magnets to raise funds. Once my patent went through, I opened as an official business making Memory Angels, custom-designed caricatures, and Chick Magnets. This is also when I was introduced to Intuit GoPayment. I have been using it ever since. I’m very pleased with GoPayment and will never use anything else.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love seeing people smile when they get their custom caricature of themselves or a loved one. It’s the best feeling in the world! My absolute favorite thing about what I do is the ability to capture a fond memory for my customers, and the smile they get when they see my finished product.
I love that they trust my artistic ability enough to choose me for their artwork. Many have said I have a gift in capturing the life of someone close to them, and that makes me feel really great. I was able to re-create a very important memory for someone losing their battle to cancer, and I was fortunate enough to give her children a “forever” memory in my sculpture. The smiles and tears I received was better than any payment.
Why do you like GoPayment?
It’s free, easy, and very reliable! I trust GoPayment because I trust the name Intuit. I tell my customers they can trust them also, so that the transaction is safe and secure. After all, they are the makers of TurboTax, and that’s worth trusting. GoPayment makes accepting credit cards so easy. One simple login and swipe and the payment gets processed immediately. I don’t have to do anything else, just wait for the payment to be deposited into my bank account.
The free card reader looks very professional and sleek. I have tried other readers and services before, but I really prefer GoPayment for its low transaction fees and incredible customer service. Many other services do not provide telephone customer-service help, should you need it, but GoPayment does. That is a big plus for any business.
What is your advice in terms of finding inspiration for a custom-designed gift?
When gift giving, for any occasion, it always adds a nice touch to make it personal and unique. Think about the person you are giving the gift to: What is their favorite memory, hobby, or color? Add that to the gift choice. Even if you cannot buy a gift that pertains to their personal hobby, maybe create a personal tag on the gift that displays something personal for them. It could be a child who loves cheerleading: Make the bow on the gift look like pom-poms and create a tag or card that can later be used in a scrapbook.