Business Website: https://oliviahabart.wixsite.com/livbuttons
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-habart-159553158/
A2 Entrepreneurs WCC Student Club Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/453920061797607/1
Liv Buttons is a dynamic business as we offer custom designed button-pins, graphic design services, and marketing consulting. I founded the business in April of 2018, so I‘m just shy of our one year mark! Typically, our customers are other business owners looking to market their brand using button-pins, or larger organizations looking to promote a specific event– these are our large orders. We also sell online and in local Ann Arbor businesses, so we get a lot of “everyday customers” who love one of our designs and purchase a few pins–smaller orders but higher quantity.
What drives you to be a business owner?
I’m driven to be a business owner because I fervently believe in the positive power of business. I see a lot of negative stigma surrounding capitalism and big business– especially in my generation– and it’s warranted. Business in its most common form is only focused on making an endless profit, regardless of the cost to stakeholders, including the environment, employees, communities, and many others. I started Liv Buttons as a social enterprise; I wanted to use it as an example of how to break norms and conduct business differently. Instead of solely focusing on profit, the business donates part of its profits back to the community to promote equal access to education. In the big picture, if humanity is going to tackle big problems such as global warming, business has to evolve. I want to be a business owner to embody and promote this message.
How has the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC helped with your business goals?
The Entrepreneurship Center has not only been helpful for my business, but the team has also impacted me personally. In terms of my business, the EC Center and the SBDC across the hall, have helped me focus my business idea, and have provided access to incredible information through their Lunch and Learns, workshops, and countless events; the information is highly useful, there are excellent opportunities to network, and most importantly, the events inspire my entrepreneurial spirit.
Personally, Erin Elly, Claire Abraham, Kristin Gapske, and the work-study interns have brightened my life and I’m extremely grateful for them! I am a student at Washtenaw Community College and run the A2 Entrepreneurs club there. Kristin is my club advisor and I think of her as one of my mentors. Erin is wonderful, she has helped me get in contact with UX/UI designers so I could ask questions about future career paths. Claire is amazing, she also helped me get in contact with UX/UI resources and always chats with me when I come into the center. Every week I come into the center and look forward to talking with everyone, and they’re happy to help me with any problems or questions I have. The EC is these three ladies, and they make the center a top-notch resource hub for any entrepreneur.
If you could offer one piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs or prospective entrepreneurs, what would it be?
As someone who runs my own business, and an entrepreneur club, I’ve had the chance to meet all types of people from successful business owners to everyday folks who are curious about “working for themselves”. Whoever you are, and regardless of your goals: be comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you want to learn to code, it’s no walk in the park. If you want to learn how to manage people as your business grows, it will not be simple. If you want to work on overcoming shyness, it takes an immense effort. If you have big goals, you will have to grow personally and professionally to reach them. Being uncomfortable in the short term as you learn and progress leads to compounding gains in the long term. It’s all about winning those little everyday battles because entrepreneurship is a lifestyle; everything you do matters. Although that sounds overwhelming, if you want to accomplish something big with your life, being an entrepreneur is challenging but, also exhilarating and meaningful.