Owen Dearing's experience with the COCC Small Business Management Program
Mug Revolution is a web-based business. The company produces handmade coffee mugs of various sizes with customization available for many different purposes; from custom logo mugs to mugs that feature a pet’s paw prints.
What makes them unique? "Focusing on one particular pottery product does set us apart from other pottery businesses. I am using social networking to help market. This has led to several orders from Ireland of all places" says owner Owen Dearing.
The idea for an online business that only sells mugs occurred when Owen received a phone call from Oxygen, the cable network co-founded by Oprah Winfrey. The network had discovered the web page for his previous business, which sold multiple types of ceramic dishes. They wanted 200 mugs for a Time-Warner conference occurring in two weeks. Owen could not fill the order, but the call stimulated the creation of Mug Revolution. "I decided to try making a website featuring my mugs. In time I was getting enough business (and not enough sleep) that I realized I had to quit my day job and commit myself fully to my passion." Owen attributes some of his success to his relationship with the COCC Small Business Development Center.
"After taking a Search Engine Optimization class, my life changed dramatically. People were able to find my website which was optimized for a niche market (handmade coffee mugs) and orders started coming in."
Partnership with the SBDC at COCC
"The Business Development Center at COCC is a gem of a resource - great instructors, great classes, and great students. It is a great way to network for one thing, but for me the main benefit was learning the nuts and bolts of setting up a business and learning how to properly charge for the items my company is selling. Having several one-on-one sessions with an advisor was fantastic - to have someone who wants to understand your business so that they can really help you and your situation is absolutely wonderful, helpful, and so valuable."
Mug Revolution’s sales were up 28% in 2009.
Owner: Owen Dearing
1645 NE Shepard Rd.