By Harper Henry
What inspired you to create an online store and what was your goal?
Before January 2014, I was like any other teenage girl. You know—broke and obsessed with One Direction (that's totally normal, right?). When it was time for me to replace my mangled phone case (again), I wasn't loving anything currently offered online or in stores! That's when the idea for FanMadeCases came to me. The goal was, and has always been, to create quality phone cases that fans like myself actually want. By a fan, for a fan. :)
How did you determine the product that you were going to sell and how did you plan on attracting your targeted audience?
Aside from my response above, I believe that phone cases are one of the most expressive accessories you can have. Cell phones are ever-present in today's world. The majority of us would not be caught dead without our phone in tow! How a person chooses to decorate the device they carry around 24/7 says a lot about them. I wanted to create products that conveyed my interests while being relatable to like-minded people.
As an honorary fangirl, I am a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that I had a mildly popular fanpage for One Direction. I posted a few mock-ups of my early ideas and the feedback I received was amazing. The support from fellow fans has been a huge aspect and propelling factor of my success. I am beyond grateful for them!
Do you plan on partnering with anyone in order to expand your business?
Yes! We are always open to collaborations. Our past partnerships have been a lot of fun, and we hope to do more! We encourage potential collaborators to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Has this experience shaped your perspective in any way?
I think I have gained a better understanding and respect for the business world and those who thrive in it. I also view social media and networking in a very different light. Nothing is ever as it seems!
Did your project enable you to travel to all the events that you post about?
While the majority of my travelling and concertgoing is for pleasure rather than business, I am extremely lucky to be in a position where I am able to create my own work schedule. Unconventional jobs definitely have their perks. :)
What have been your favorite events that you've attended?
I had the honor of attending One Direction's last North American stop of the On The Road Again Tour! This concert was especially fun because I got the chance to meet some customers and even hand out a few FanMadeCases.
Another favorite would definitely have to be 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball in Dallas! I was able to enjoy the show with my friend Gabi (@gxbih) who I actually met on Instagram during a collaboration. Making new friends who also support my small business is by far the *best* part of what I do.
Any advice for those who want to start their own business?
Find your niche, always be persistent, and TAKE RISKS!
Become apart of the Almighty Youth group by heading over to their page where you can enjoy all the phone cases you could ever imagine!
Megan Levi, Founder and CEO of Almighty Youth