Three Months into My Small Business Venture.

Three Months into My Small Business Venture.

Why I started My Business?

Hi, I am Ashley. I am the Owner of All Things Mental Health (Mh) by Ashley. I am mom, a mental health therapist, a newly small business owner. Helping people improve their mental health in different ways has been a passion of mine.  

The question I get asked the most often is: What does the products I did (do) make have to do with mental health.  That is a good question. Sometimes I have found that when I talk to people about mental health and taking care of their mental health, they automatically think I am going to refer them to a therapist. I understand that therapy may not be for everyone. Taking care of your mental well-being can take the form of whatever it is that makes you feel calm, at peace, and relaxed. Allows you to escape the mental stressors of the world for a short period of time.

There were many reasons why I decided to start my own business, but the main reason was because I could not find what I was looking for on the market and in my area. The first product I started making was self-care boxes/baskets. After giving gifts year after year, I found it difficult to find something new and creative to gift.  Once I started my search for premade baskets, I found that either they were very expensive $70 + or if they were reasonably priced, it was very little product in the basket. As a result, I decided to start making my own self-care boxes/baskets with different themes. Self-care is taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Self-care for myself focuses more on my mental health-being. I love pampering myself and going to the spa.

Combined with my profession and the want to promote self-care and reasonably priced baskets as gifts, All Things Mh by Ashley was created.

My First Event

Once I decided that I wanted to start my own small business. I researched what that meant and how can I promote my products outside of Facebook Marketplace. Somehow, I found out about a 100th Year Festival in my hometown. I reached out to the coordinator and signed up.  I had no idea how to prepare for an event, let alone my first event. I remember being nervous and scared. I prepared by getting my family to help me. My mom got me a table and my father helped me set up. My hope was to sell one basket. I believe I ended up selling around 12. Huge success in my book at the time. From this event, I learned about the importance of presentation, networking, and preparation.

I want to paint you a picture of what my first booth set up looked like. We can use this to compare with my last event for 2023. I had a long table with a tan plastic tablecloth. All of the baskets were lying flat on the table. I did not have any signs to warn people of the prices, no bags for customers to put their items in, and I did not bring any snacks. I also did not have any business cards, promotional cards, website, or display that detailed the name of my business.

Rebranding My Business

At this time, my business went through another shift. I decided to turn the themes I had for basket into jars. Some of the jars I would make were cookies, sewing, dog, cat, hot chocolate jars.  I also added some home décor type stuff. Shortly after, I decided that home décor stuff was not for me and refocused back on self-car baskets and jars. I still felt like something was missing. After some thinking, I found that what was missing was the lack of connection I had with the items I was selling in the baskets. They were someone else’s stuff. It was at this time I knew that in order to get true enjoyment out of my business, I needed to make my own products. That is when I decided to start my homemade self-care line of products. I first started making Slime, then Whipped Body Butters, then Body Wash, then Bar Soaps, then Bath Bombs, then Whipped Body Soap, then Whipped Body Scrub, then finally Lip Balm.  I think of self-care as anything you can do or use to improve your mental health. It is the same as going to the spa. You get pampered when you go there, right? My products allow you to pamper yourself everyday with soft skin, great smells, stress relief, and colorful products to use.

Researching Other Small Business Owners

I continued my research and found some awesome YouTubers who also have small businesses. I learned how to pick vendor events, vendor fees, the importance of marketing and networking, and how to display your booth at events, the importance of website, display signs, and offering a variety of payment options. All of this intrigued me and made me even more excited for events as they would come. Here are some specific things that I learned:

  1. You probably won’t sell out at your first event. People are still getting to know you and your product. It will take time for your business to grow as well as your customer base. It is okay.
  2. Markets/Events are important. It is important to get to know your local peers in the small business world. Networking is a great benefit for attending these events.
  3. Being on time. You do not want to be still setting up when customers are walking through.
  4. Not to leave vendor events early. It has the potential to look unprofessional. Some events specify in the contract you are not allowed to leave early.
  5. Offer different forms of payment. Sometimes you can lose money because you don’t offer a certain form of payment (ie. Credit or debit card).
  6. It is better to bring too much product than not enough.
  7. Not to put all your items flat on the table. Have the items set up with different heights to add to the experience.
  8. Be on brand. This is about having your theme of your brand be seen throughout your booth. For example, if the theme of your business is floral then it could be on brand for you to have flowers decorating your booth. Same things if your business has a specific color scheme.
  9. Table set up is important. They talk about different ways you can set up your table so that your products are seen, and it feels like your customers are coming into a store environment to shop with you.

Those are just a few of the takeaways. However, there are sooo many more that I learned.

To be transparent, I had broken almost all of these before getting educated on the dos and don’ts when attending vendor events.

It was during this time I where I start doing research into the new products I was making. I was watching soap, lip balm, whipped body butter, whipped soap, body wash, etc. makers. I tried out different recipes and added my own spin. If the recipe did not turn out good, I googled how to fix it and make edits and reedits until I had a product, I was proud to sell. It was a process but well worth it.

Last Event for 2022 and the Changes that I Made

I felt way more confident about this event. Some changes that I made were:

  1. I had two tables (set up in the T position),
  2. I had bags to put customers items in,
  3. Blue tablecloths (calming color and they hugged the table),
  4. Free snacks for customers,
  5. A sales section (to sale the old products),
  6. Website and Facebook page information to give out,
  7. Business cards,
  8. Visible price sign,
  9. Holiday decorations (it was a Christmas event),
  10. Thank you cards with a 20% coupon for first time customers,
  11. Free gift bags with skin care products for the first two people that made a purchase,
  12. I had the table set up 30+ minutes before the event started,
  13. I brought risers to put my products on to add levels to my table so that it was not all flat on the table,
  14. I had an order list in case I sold out of an item and customers still wanted to purchase it.

I took almost everything that I had learned and applied it to this event. I sold three skin care products and almost sold out of the old products (self-care baskets and jars). I took time at the event to educate customers on my homemade self- care line and how I would be making this transition in my business going forward. The local customers all agreed that this was a great business move. Side note: people love homemade items.


For this upcoming year, I plan to continue to grow my business. I will be trying out different scents as well as masculine scents. I have also been given the opportunity to be a part of small business workshop in my local region. So far, I have about 18 events/markets scheduled for 2023. I am also in the process of purchasing bigger equipment so I can make more products.

As you see, my business has taken some turns, falls, changes, loses, but I have never given up and finally figured out the direction I want my business to take.

The first year might not have been as profitable as I would have liked, I have learned a lot and will be more prepared for 2023. I wanted to take some time to talk about some of my loses because that is important when you are a small business owner. It will happen. You won’t always make a profit at every event. I attended at least six events from September 2022, when I started my business to December 2022. Most of the events, I averaged about 10 or so sales per event. However, there was one event where I only made one sale.

A YouTuber that I look up to said something like, if you are in this business to make money fast, it just doesn’t work that way. In the meantime, focus on your branding and marketing. Focus on building your local base and perfecting your products. That is exactly what I am going to do!

I look forward to bringing my All Things Mh Community with me on this journey of small business ownership, growth, and self-care.


Take Care,


Back to blog