Member Spotlight- Hillary of Tello & Rose
What have you learned the most in running your business?
Never. Give. Up. If something breaks, fix it. If people don’t buy it, go somewhere else. If you don’t know what to do, ask around. You are the only one that can make your business successful.
Tell us about your business and the idea behind it.
The name came from a combination of our last name and my middle name, which has been handed down for many generations. I love the nostalgia! We are all about creating fun, inspiring pieces with an edgy nautical feel. We started creating pieces this year and are excited to see where it takes us…to infinity and beyond!
What’s a typical day like for you running your business?
I run my business part-time and my day usually consists of daydreaming about new pieces, going to Home Depot, and sitting on the floor trying to figure out how to make what is in my head until late at night (while my husband sleeps pleasantly on the couch).
What inspires you? What inspires you in Providence/RI?
Sun light. Old wood. Hardware. Boats. My husband (he is really good at encouraging). In Rhode Island, I love to go to Watch Hill, Narragansett and Newport. The little farms and big fields help me relax and give me room to think.
What do you feel sets Providence apart from other cities?
Providence’s overall eclectic, artistic vibe gives it a down and dirty, approachable setting. It’s not too big, or too small, and has some of the best restaurants I’ve been too (sorry, NYC).
What is your ideal work day like?
My ideal day…have a hot cup of tea first thing in the morning, get some inquiries about my items, go shopping to find vintage pieces I incorporate. Then, make some sales…because we all know a sale is the best part!
Where do you go to feel inspired? What to you do to “recharge?”
To feel inspired, I go to a beach town and walk through small shops. To get recharged, I go to church, it always helps me clear my mind and focus on what really matters.
What’s your favorite RI restaurant?
Currently, Bacaro. Love the cheese boards.
What are your favorite blogs and websites?
Why did you join the PVD Lady Project?
I was referred to it by my friend and am so glad she told me about it. It’s easy to try and conquer the world on your own little computer screen but is so much more fun when you can interact with people who are doing the same thing. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and have been inspired by their work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Persistence is necessary- Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Do you have a mentor? What has he/she taught you?
I have a bunch, all that are very close to me. The most influential one is my husband. He is in sales and is always giving me pointers on how to present myself and my products. He’s a winner.
What are your best marketing tips?
Be always on- approachable, fun, fresh. Respond promptly. Use social media, it’s your ticket. Don’t be scared, just reach out.
What is your professional background in? Where’d you go to school? Where’d you grow up?
I grew up moving around a ton (over 10 times!) for my dad’s corporate job. It helped me to have a broad view of the world and what is in it. I went to college at Bryant University and majored in communication, with a minor in marketing, which helps me all the time now. I used to work in the design and fashion industry and I absolutely loved it- it’s what propelled me to start my own business.
What’s the hardest part about running your business?
Not to get discouraged. That happens all the time, not knowing who to reach out to when you need to figure out how to do things. .
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
If you are trying to start your own business make sure you surround yourself with people that care about you and understand your vision. It will help you more than you think.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year? 5 years?
In a year, I would like to be successfully selling in at least 5 shops. I currently have one, plus my own online store.
In 5 years i want to see my pieces on people when I am in the mall. So, whatever it takes to get me there.