Busy moms across the country have turned to starting a home business for extra income, and to realize their own dreams. Kim Gellman, a St. Louis housewife and mother, started her business in 1996. Her success is an inspiration to other moms, and a road map of struggles and triumphs.
An Eye for Design Leads to a Career for a Lifetime
Some people think of a bedroom as nothing more than a place to sleep. Kim Gellman sees a place where children can express their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. Through her online store, ArtisticSensations.com, kids – and their parents – can discover designer décor to dress up the bedroom of their dreams.
A mom of two boys and a former marketing manager for a restaurant chain, Gellman launched Artistic Sensations in 1996 after struggling to find the perfect touches to her own kids’ nurseries. “When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt there were limited choices in St. Louis,” she explained via email. “I wanted a nursery that was a combination of funky and traditional, and could not find items. It inspired me to start looking other cities for these items, and I found there were many more choices in New York, Chicago and LA.”
Gellman decided to take design into her own hands. She began selling 25 different nursery décor items out of her house and at hospitals, craft shows and gift fairs throughout St. Louis. After a year, a friend offered to build her a website at the time the Internet was first taking off. “I thought why not sell across the country, even the world? I sold a step stool to London my first 90 days and then a set of bedding to LA. I was hooked and caught the ‘entrepreneurial spirit.’”
Setting today’s trends
Today, Artistic Sensations features designer bedding, furniture and room décor from 50 different artists and companies, offering the hottest trends for girls and boys of all ages. In fact, according to Gellman, some of the most popular looks for the winter include peace signs, polka dots and stripes as well as animal prints in browns and crèmes.
In terms of color, pinks, chocolates and purples are popular with girls while boys favor denims, greens, oranges and browns.
By mastering the art of customer service and creating a strong network via social media, Gellman has built her business by building long-lasting relationships with vendors and customers, all while raising two active boys. To any parent wanting to start a business, the duties of running a successful company like Gellman’s seem overwhelming, but she insisted strategic planning and networking can turn a creative spark into a full-blown business.
“If you have the passion for your ideas, you can make it happen. Set realistic goals, create a business plan. Meet with other business owners. Listen and learn from everyone you come in contact with, and surround yourself with motivated, intelligent people. Just go for it!”
“sensational kids rooms”