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Sandra OSTER

Sandra OsterFounder, DecoratorTagSale.com

Describe your business in 3 sentences. What is it?
Inventory! That’s a difficult word in this economy. DecoratorTagSale.com is an e-commerce business, focused on selling high-end, custom, designer home furnishings, from elite interior designers, offered at substantially discounted prices. DecoratorTagSale.com was created as an outlet for fellow designers to sell precious goods they collected (not as a hobby), and attract the attention of a national and international audience, that was unimaginable before the Internet. This business not only appeals to consumers looking to satisfy their “inner decorator”, but to designers as well. Designers use the site to furnish their client’s homes, and gain exposure via their own “on-line boutique.”

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

I cannot stress enough, the importance of due diligence and commitment. Strategy and organization are priorities. Investigate the technologies necessary to run and grow your business. Make sure the platforms you’re using will evolve with you without a hiccup. Look at your competitors; how do you differentiate yourself? How can you create your own niche? Don’t get caught up in the “glamour” of being a business owner. It’s really hard work!

For example, if you’re starting a restaurant, don’t focus on the aesthetics of the décor and the beautiful table settings. It’s the lackluster room in the back that creates the glamorous face up front in business; cash flow, operations, logistics, inventory — all the minutia — and endless hours of hard work. Stay focused on your goal…whatever that might be! And surround yourself with people smarter than you, who are top-quality, intelligent participants, who have your best “personal” and “business” interest at heart — and want you to succeed because it is also a personal statement of their abilities and success.

What is the single biggest thing you would say an entrepreneur has to be armed with in order to succeed?

There isn’t ONE singular thing, well, an endless bank account would solve a lot! I really feel that it comes from within. A person has to possess:

* Extreme passion and desire for what they’re doing
* Willingness to learn to let go, when you must share responsibilities in order to grow
* Determination, motivation and the ability to multi-task like there’s no tomorrow
* Stamina, and endless amounts of Starbucks to get through the exorbitant amount of hours required
* Perseverance to work through every challenge
* Know your strengths and weaknesses
* The understanding that you will make mistakes
* Check your ego at the door and get ready for the ride of your life.

Is your business your passion?

Fortunately, DecoratorTagSale is just one of my many passions! The balance between my personal and commercial life are both filled with unending enthusiasm, and I think that this commitment in both arenas make for an all around positive environment! But in order for any business (my business) to be successful and not just succeed, one must have an inner passion and a dream. I have been so fortunate to have a positive attitude about life. No matter what the situation, my glass is always half full, and I like it that way! Personally, I believe each one of us is born with an innate persona. The ability to wake up every morning facing the challenges of an exciting and creatively demanding life is a “drugless high” that is born from within. The passion to push ahead for success is so energizing and positive – two key ingredients to success!

What adjectives would you use to describe how you feel most days when you wake up?

Empowered, Scared, Excited, Extremely Lucky, Apprehensive —how will I fit everything into one day? — Healthy, Positive…

Do you work from home?

As an Interior Designer, I have always been fortunate to work out of a small cottage behind my house; a creative studio for inspired design! When DecoratorTagSale.com was born, it was shaped by the same artistic dreams I held as a designer. I love working out of this space, but it takes concentrated effort and discipline to keep a focused work ethic.

What is a “day in the life” like for you?

It all begins at about 5AM and if I’m lucky, ends around midnight. My day starts in my home studio with a cup of coffee, reviewing my agenda for my interior design business, as well as for DecoratorTagSale.com — as I wear two distinctive entrepreneurial hats! Daily checking on hundreds of e-mails takes a few hours, but fortunately, at 5am there are few calls to interrupt the process!

What is the single biggest thing you would say an entrepreneur has to be armed with in order to succeed?

I think you start with a dream. And then, you dream again. Being an entrepreneur is living a parallel life with your everyday commitments. You think about your goals and you never lose focus on the reality of what you are doing and where you are heading. You need to wear heavy mental armor and battle the forces that will try to knock you down: criticism, jealously, financial roadblocks, competitors, life diminishing relationships, insecurity and isolation. Each of these elements would alone be enough to discourage creativity and take you away from your goal. As an entrepreneur, imagine all of these hitting you at once! It does happen, but if you have that dream and you believe in that dream and commit to being successful, you can fight your way through the abyss — truly!

How long did it take to get started?

You’re never done “getting started” — you’re constantly evolving, reinventing, staying competitive; every day is a new start with the pedal to the metal. We conceived the concept of DecoratorTagSale at the end of 2009 and have been “starting” every day since

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