An interview with Vilma Lee-Heinzinger, owner of Facets if Isis in Palatine.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Address: 225 N. Northwest Hwy., Palatine, IL 60067
Owners: Vilma Lee-Heinzinger
Year business started: 2004
Web address: facetsofisis.com
A: Facets of Isis offers a great selection of beads: Swarovski crystals; delica beads; seed beads including miyuki; fire-polished glass; Czech glass; Venetian glass foil beads; natural stones and semiprecious beads; lampwork glass, raku, porcelain and ceramic focals; sterling silver, gold filled, and base metal beads and findings; the latest bead magazines, tools and beading supplies, and much more. Inclusive to our expansive collection of beads, baubles, and materials, Facets of Isis offers a variety of classes from beginner to advanced. These include beading basics, stringing, wire-wrapping, bead-weaving, wire crochet, and many more. If customers don't want to make their own jewelry, Facets of Isis sells finished signature original designs by local artisans and fulfills custom orders to match any outfit from day-to-day, bridal, holiday and special occasions.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: About eight years ago when a friend of mine had her commercial building vacated by tenants that moved to bigger location, my husband and I checked out the location. We fell in love with downtown Palatine, which was very cute with retail boutiques and hometown feel with the farmers market. It took me 24 hours and prayer to decide to retire from "corporate America" and pursue my dream to play with beads and baubles.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Truth be told, the most difficult obstacle was money. Even though my husband and I were financially stable, banks would provide me a small business loan. Even our own personal banks, told me that opening a bead store was too much a risk. So, I decided to "bank" on myself and used savings to follow the dream.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: What I enjoy the most about operating my business is the friends I've made. It's not uncommon for you to walk in and be greeted like that TV sitcom where "everyone knows your name." Not only have I made new friends, my customers are making friends within themselves. Often we will have a table surrounded by happy beaders just enjoying the company of other beaders and sharing ideas. Furthermore, I love to see the look of joy on my customers faces when they try on my designs. Plus, I'm very touched by how happy I can make a student feel when they learn something new that they thought they never could do. Priceless!
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I grew up poor. I hardly had any toys. What I treasured the most was my Crayola box of 64 color crayons and my Aladdin coloring book. This is where my obsession with playing with colors and drawing pretty baubles began. Never had any idea that these lessens would lead to my beading addiction and playing with colors.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Not much. I rely on the grace of God and His mercy to guide me in my decisions. Other than that, just the loud snoring by my beagle who has to sleep between my husband and I.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Before you leave a nice steady paycheck, make sure you're willing to change your lifestyle. Having your own business has many rewards but you need to be prepared to make sacrifices. Once you decide, don't give up on your dream and pray without ceasing. Having a small business is a lot of hard work. You wear many hats but the joy you get from making people happy is all worth it.
• The Daily Herald features a small suburban business every Monday. Contact Kim Mikus at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.