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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

What are 5 keys components in a Successful SL Business- Katrina Karsin Reporting...

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Operating a business in life is hard especially trying to find a backer who will believe in your ideas and give you enough money to get off the ground.  We all know big banks usually shy away from small business loans even if you have thoroughly researched and have put together a well-thought-out business plan.  So just how do Second Life businesses succeed, do you have to have started when Second Life originally began, or can you start a business today?   I have interviewed three successful businesses who are willing to share their 5 keys components in a Successful SL Business.

To give you an idea of different types of business I have interviewed Chop Zuey jewelry store designer/owner Belle Roussel, a land rental company called Corel Estates by Kristaki Hudson CEO, and a car dealership called TX by Tech Robonaught designer/owner. All of these businesses have been in Second Life for more than five years.

Chop Zuey is a well-recognized couture jewelry brand that opened October 2, 2009 Belle Roussel ‘s story is interesting.

Katrina Karsin:  Welcome Belle it is so very nice to meet you, we know you are busy, and we appreciate you taking the time to sit with us.  Let’s begin with how did Chop Zuey come to floriation? 

Belle Roussel:  Back in 2009, I used to own clubs in SL, big clubs that were very successful.  When we had to close my last club down suddenly due to real life problems that my business partner was having at the time, I was left with many unemployed dancers.  These were people that had been with me for years -- loyal, hardworking, people, many good friends -- and I felt terrible about it.  They had no warning that we were closing; none of us did.   So, I decided I was going to open some kind of business that I could share with them to help them make money.  At the time I had no experience with building, I mean seriously, I could just about rez a prim.  And I don't know how I got Jewellery into my head, but I got to work immediately, and in two weeks, I had about 5 or 6 collections of jewelry done.  Thus, the birth of Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery.  I made it a franchise and gave it out to all my loyal and wonderful dancers who wanted to be part of it.  Some of them are still with me today working and making money with Chop Zuey.  I have since opened the Affiliate Program up to anyone in SL, and today Chop Zuey has almost 200 Franchisers.  It’s been a great experience all around and Chop Zuey is truly a family.

Katrina Karsin:  What do you believe are the five key components in a successful SL business?

Belle Roussel:  1. Relationships 2. Relationships 3. Relationships 4. Relationships 5. Relationships.

Did I say relationships?  Yes, this is the single most important element in any successful business.

The relations you make with others not only build the success of your business but defines the quality and purpose of that success.  I am proud of the fact that I have clients, co-workers, and associates that have been with me since Day 1!  That’s over 11 years in SL!

Of course, a little skill, hard work, passion, persistence, and vision go a long way as well!

Katrina Karsin:  If your customers need help, how do they contact you and/or your staff for advice?

Belle Roussel:  I try to remain as accessible to my Clients as possible.  Notecards are always best.

My Wonderful Chop Zuey Manager is Ludmilla Umarov and she is always available to help in any way she is able.

Katrina Karsin: What kind of marketing do you use to gain traffic?  For example:  Do you pay for space in a magazine or newspaper?  Are you in any discount groups like Saturday Sale?

Belle Roussel:  I do some events.  They change monthly. 

Katrina Karsin: Where or who do you draw your inspiration from for your designs and are some pieces personal to you?  Can you share the story behind it with us? 

Belle Roussel:  Ooh, everything you see in the showroom is personal to me!  All of it.  For example, 'Unrequited', 'Swimming with the Fishes', 'White Lies' & 'Black Lies' are all from The Love & Other Drugs Collection.  As you can see, I like to create thematic collections and when it comes to love you're never going to get it straight from me - there will always be a twist, a little bitter twist to make it more real.  My inspiration for this collection was to explore the other aspects of love.  The parts that are not always so pretty.  Also, to have some fun with that while still reminding us of the pain that is hiding not-to-far-below the surface of that initial infatuation, which blinds us at the beginning of most love stories.   

To always be aware of the mixed and sometimes conflicting emotions involved when it comes to love, and to put those elements into a design is a challenge, to say the least.  "Unrequited" for example, to me it looks almost like an Exaltation of the Spirit in a Body - like rays of light bursting thru the head reaching toward the heavens...The Kundalini surging thru the body desperately trying to return to its Source.  But then, on the other hand, you can also see the loneliness of the piece. How you can be separated or cut off or caged from the object of your love - or as the title of the piece suggests - to not have your love returned at all. 


Katrina Karsin:  What's the most challenging aspect of making superior jewelry pieces?

Belle Roussel:  I'd have to say getting out of your head and trying to connect to something greater than we are as individuals. Call it Cosmic Consciousness, call it your Muse, call it God.  Whatever it is, you must understand that we don't do anything alone and we are all connected to some greater power.   And the secret is, this Great Power loves to create things!  So, if you figure out how to tap into that, then your inner resources become endless and magnified greatly!

Katrina Karsin:  What, in your opinion, makes your jewelry stand out? 

Belle Roussel:  Really though, I don't think anyone would deny that Chop Zuey is a Fun, Sexy, and Sophisticated label.  I mean Chop Zuey is just Cool.  There's no denying it but that's on the surface. I think there is something unique about the Chop Zuey Brand and it does stand out.  Maybe it's about the relate-ability of the product. People have said to me they experience an emotional connection to something when they see Chop Zuey Jewellery. 

What I think makes it stand out... or what I would wish for is, that when people wear Chop Zuey, it somehow makes them feel that they belong to a family that supports and helps each other in every way possible.  It's truly been the relationships I've made along the way that have made Chop Zuey the success it is today.


Katrina Karsin:  What are your plans for the future?

Belle Roussel:  I think the question is, what are SL's plans for the future.  It has changed so much over recent years.  The mesh revolution has brought in a new level of designer with different priorities, and this has totally changed the dynamic of how we interact in SL.  Meaning, SL used to be about building up your group, your family, your relationships.  Now, it seems to be very much about the 'self'.  I see a lot of people much more isolated in SL and not focusing on others and the people in their SL life or how they might be able to serve others.  This is sad to me and I hope it will change for the better. But for me, I will continue to do what I love, whether in First Life, Second Life, Third Life... wherever.  I just feel Blessed for today. 

CHOP ZUEY MARKETPLACE STORE:

 https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/49263

CHOP ZUEY FLICKR: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chopzuey

CHOP ZUEY ON FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/chopzueycouturejewellery/

Next, we sit down with Kristaki Hudson CEO of Coral Estates who has been serving the SL community for 14 years!

Katrina Karsin:  What are 5 keys components in a Successful SL Business?

Kristaki Hudson:  Being fair to the customers which are choosing Coral Estates for their Second Life. 

Good pricing to make the land affordable and reachable to all. I have my own tier payment atm database and website with a virtual private server which is a good secure part for customers and serious. Having dedicated and talented Second Life Staff who can speak multiple languages.

Being in Second Life all these years has its advantages and listening to my residents who trusted in Coral Estates is very important to me. I also love to take pictures of the islands that I visit to put back land on sale or to visit see if all is fine so we post their creations on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, and let’s not forget our great website called http://www.coralestates.net/gallery


Katrina Karsin:  If your customers need help how do they contact you and/or your staff for advice?

Kristaki Hudson:  We have staff that has been with us for a long time who reply to our customers the same day they request anything.  Like Leah Chardin who has been with us for years.

Katrina Karsin:  What do you do with your store to keep people coming back?

Kristaki Hudson:  I keep it clean, no dust...:) a good design and we have a great marina with boat slips around in our sailing islands and the landlords’ tricks to have good traffic always and to be well listed on Second Life.

Katrina Karsin:  What kind of marketing do you use to gain traffic? 

Kristaki Hudson:  I do pay classifieds its a good Second Life Tool to use or also Contacts clients and more options that give the viewer from Linden lab.

For example:  Do you pay for space in a magazine or newspaper?  Are you in any discount groups like Saturday Sale?  Are you in any special shopping events like Uber? Do you collaborate with other designers in SL? 

I do sponsor events sometimes and in some places in Second Life or magazine yes always happy to share lindens in other places to promote and exchange marketing with others!

Katrina Karsin:  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Kristaki Hudson:  Yes, for sure, I invite everyone who seeks great private residential islands with waterways to visit us and to popup in our office and visit the marina. And of course, if you are looking for great talented staff with the best prices in lands in Second Life from coral estates you found the right place for your Second Life. We also won an award which is shown in office for the best estate in Second Life. So, let’s maybe find you in Coral Estates!

Kind Regards, Kristaki Hudson CEO CORAL ESTATES PRIVATE ISLANDS

Additional Information:

Group: Real Estates Rentals KH

Website: http://www.coralestates.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristaki.hudson/

Twitter: @KristakiH

Other: Flickr; https://www.flickr.com/photos/187569102@N07/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristakih/?hl=fr


Preferred Contact: Whatever way is best for our potential client!

SLURL:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coral%20Estates%20Islands/138/144/23

Online: Coral Estates <https://coralestates.net/welcome>


Coral Estates sailing islands: https://kristakihudson.wixsite.com/coralestatesislands

The next business owner we sat down with is TECH (tech robonaught) of TX a car dealership that will help you build your own car and customize it to your specifications from the shell to driving it off the lot!

Katrina Karsin:  Hi Tech it is good to see you again today we are talking about what you believe to be the 5 key components of a successful SL business? 

TECH (tech robonaught): Second Life is a long game, not a short one I work at it 7 days a week - 6 to 16 hrs a day depending.  You have to invest the time to get the return, people want to talk to a live person, not a message board.

Katrina Karsin: I imagine just like in rl, we all hate auto messages when we need something.

TECH (tech robonaught): Exactly, I have had my builders build really nice cars but then they never stay online to demo them or answer questions, and ultimately, they end up going under because they don’t want to invest the time to network.

Katrina Karsin: Oh, so networking is key in SL?

TECH (tech robonaught): Yes, build a quality product and take time to network and talk to real people.  


Katrina Karsin: How long on average does it take from making a shell to scripting to helping someone build?

TECH (tech robonaught): A shell can take anywhere from 6 hours to 40 depends on the complexity of it - I can script one up fully in a few hours, teaching someone else we cover with notecards and instructional videos on all the primary parts and functions so, really all depends on the builder’s knowledge of basic building skills.

Katrina Karsin: I see so do you regularly send a person to places like Caledon to learn the basics of building in SL?

TECH (tech robonaught): I would love to do that, unfortunately, no, we end up teaching the basics as we go a lot of times.

Katrina Karsin: Do you find most of your customers come from referrals?

TECH (tech robonaught): Many do yes, unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of ad agencies in SL or promoters so, many customers come just saying they seen one of my cars somewhere or heard about the scripts and want to try them - we have Demos for all of that. So Pretty much anything you want to buy here your able to see and touch.

Katrina Karsin: Do you know of places in SL where people congregate and race each other?

TECH (tech robonaught): Yes, the sim butted up to ours is the Gearhead Car Club sim, they congregate there almost daily to race or just drive the various tracks they have constructed. I guess I would just like to stress to new builders to just have patience and realize it’s going to take time, I want to see each and every one of them are successful and will do all I can to help them do so and I'll continue to improve and offer new products so they can keep making great stuff to sell.

Website:  TX Gear Site and Support

LM:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aleah/47/128/22

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/txgear/


There you have it five key components of running a successful Second Life business are very similar to real life!  You need to work and network, plot out your business goals and think outside the box at times.  Mainly realize it is a business and you need to be ready to invest your most precious commodity time.  Investing time, working long hours, and be willing to learn are all components of running a successful business!


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