Woman's home-based businesses productive


Luci Scott
The Arizona Republic
May. 24, 2006 12:00 AM



Raven Valdes runs two home-based companies.

Raven Designs ( is a mobile boutique in which she sells

jewelry, handbags, belts, belt buckles and tops from Los Angeles . She sells many

items in shows and some through an online catalog.

Her other business, Raven Events (, is an event-planning

company in which she promotes and/or hosts public and private parties and charity

events. In April, she co-chaired a party at a north Scottsdale home to benefit Soul

Sanctuary, a rehabilitation center and shelter. Earlier this month, she was involved

in a benefit in  Scottsdale for the American Stroke Association.

Question: How did you get started in your business?

Answer: Raven Designs started in January 1994. I used to manage large

architectural firms in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area. I got really tired of the

corporate world and wanted to combine my creative and business sides. I'm right

brain and left brain. I taught myself how to make jewelry and got to the point where

 I had a product good enough to sell. Raven Events didn't become a business until

about a year ago. Before that I was just doing it for my love of creating fun for people.


Q: What's the benefit of a home-based business?

A: It allows me flexibility. I have a 7-year-old son with autism.

I can be here for him.

Q: What's the most unexpected thing you've learned

in business?

A: That it's almost better to work alone than to work with a large group

of people because despite the fact you might have more hands involved in

getting things done, those hands can be very counterproductive. I do

have help from friends and my ex-husband does my Web site and

creates new software that I need.

Q: What was your biggest mistake in business, and

how did you overcome it?

A: Doing things for people that I didn't get commitments from in writing.

They didn't pay me or didn't live up to their part of the commitment.

Get the agreement in writing, even if it's just an e-mail.

Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

A: I spent the first five years painstakingly creating very labor-intensive

 designs, which would take me hours or even days to create. I'd have a beautiful

piece, which could cost $200 or $300 on up, but there's a small market for it.

 I've learned that I need to tap into the whole spectrum of the market.

I now also have things from $5 on up, some things I may not have made.

Q: What advice would you give?

A: Always honor your word. If you make a mistake, do whatever it takes

to make it right. Never burn your bridges.



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