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Creating Cozy Sanctuaries Anywhere

Cozy with Posey, Julia Petrus

Title / Role: Owner
Location: San Francisco, California
Formed in: 2020
What do you do?

Cozy with Posey is a unique online boutique that provides clients with a personalized shopping experience through design consultations with the owner. We know how challenging it is to find things you love when you’re browsing online and can’t talk about a product or feel the product. Cozy with Posey is here to make the experience as similar as possible to being in a physical store and being able to ask questions and understand what you are purchasing. We are looking to help our clients create a safe, peaceful, and cozy space to take care of themselves. There are other brick-and-mortar and online boutiques that sell similar products but lack the feeling of the personalized shopping experience – this is the key differentiator for Cozy with Posey. I have an extensive background in curating gift sets for different organizations and corporate events, as well as a love for items that create a cozy space. These attributes, mixed with an extensive business background lies a passion for a well–run and successful online shop.

What inspired you to start your business?

I have always really loved to travel. The idea for Cozy with Posey really came from a road trip through the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. While we were on this adventure we encountered so many fun and interesting brands and products. I knew that I wanted to feature them but I wasn't sure how. When Covid-19 hit and I lost my job I finally had the time to follow this passion. Plus I wanted to create something to help everyone cozy as they spent more time in their homes. 

What's special about your business?

We really focus on partnering with other small businesses and empowering them. I work primarily with women and minority-owned businesses so it really serves to support these communities. Additionally, we like to provide a very personalized experience. We've set up what we call cozy consultations. Essentially, it's hopping on a call or a Zoom to really talk about what you want from your gift basket or experience. We're trying our best to bring our store to a virtual experience to keep everyone safe. 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

The highs are any interaction that I get to have with our clients or people that I meet throughout my travels. During the pandemic, I've been able to do a couple of outdoor fairs and talk with clients about the company in person, which is so rewarding. I also love doing our online consultations and virtual engagement to keep in touch with our customers and their needs.

The lows have been seeing how much people really need this right now. It's humbling and sad to know that we're still sheltering and not back to normal. Business-wise, the marketing aspect has been difficult. I didn't have any background in this area so there has been a lot of trial and error. There are days when it's incredibly difficult, and you don't see any movement, so you don't know if it's working or not. 

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

My boyfriend actually found SCORE and he recommended that I reach out and find a mentor.

How SCORE helped.

Reach objectives, plan for the future, launch the business.

What's great about my mentor?

Susan really encouraged me to start my business and taught me the basics. She made me aware of what I had to do and how to get there. It was great to be able to really lean on someone who had been there. She's always so excited and supports every decision I make. At the same time, she is willing to listen but always says when she thinks I should do something differently. She always comes to each meeting with a new set of ideas.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Go for it! There are so many barriers to entry, so many things that are difficult. Once you get started you find all of these resources, you find mentors, you find people that will help you and are on your side. Do baby steps. Lean on people, Get your idea rolling, start the conversation, and pick people's brains. All the people that are successful now started somewhere. 

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

It's a great resource and that you're actually going to learn a lot from your mentors. You're going to learn a lot from them and you're going to have them with you every step of the way.  I wouldn't be where I am today without SCORE. It's all about setting small goals and enjoying every victory.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?

Recognizing that some days are harder than others but you're still making progress. You're building this from scratch and you get to drive that and own that. I have to remind myself sometimes that I'm an owner. Just pick somewhere and get started from there.

1165 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170
(415) 764-4964

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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