By DAVID FOLSE II
Tammany West news
COVINGTON — For anyone growing up, they will tell you the kitchen table was an important place, for not just eating.
Just ask Jessica Royal. She started a small business from it.
The owner of Royal Creations on Kirkland Street in Covington, Royal is approaching the two-year anniversary of her personalization store.
“My husband was in the Navy and served for nine years,” she said. “Then he went to Iraq for a year after we had just had our youngest two children. When he wrapped up his time in Iraq, I told him it was my turn to do something.
“I made a couple of calls to some friends and then we started this thing,” she continued. “It started on the kitchen table and then it just took off.”
Royal said it didn’t take long for her thriving small business to outgrow her entire house.
“As soon as the kids were old enough to go to school, we moved into the toy room and I outgrew it as well,” she said. “When that happened we realized it was time to get a business location and stand on my own. My husband has a job now which allows him to help with the kids and now it is my turn to do my thing.”
Admittedly nervous making the move out of her house, Royal said the risk was very much still worth it.
“Absolutely I was nervous,” she said. “I was nervous because it was me; I’m the face of this business and nobody else. Nobody is telling me what to do. My degree is in education, not business. Luckily I have someone who takes care of our numbers.
“The biggest thing which has gotten me through this is I love what I do,” Royal said. “I absolutely love it. It is the best thing ever. This is not a job to me. This is my home away from home and my happy place. I don’t mind coming in on a Sunday and working and I wake up at 2 a.m. with ideas and designs in my head.”
For any perspective customers that walk into Royal Creations, Royal has a simple message.
“We can personalize anything,” she said. “We do it here in this building. The other thing is we strive to do everything with a personal angle, whether it is the design or the ideas themselves. We take your pictures and turn them into keepsakes. We specialize in personalization, not just embroidery.”
With any small business, word of mouth advertising and customer satisfaction is key. Royal said happy customers have led to an explosion of new customers throughout the area.
“We are getting there,” she said. “I can remember being at the kitchen table and I knew the name and story of every one we helped and produce items for. Now we are starting to see people come in and you get the ‘so and so sent me’ and ‘so and so said this is the place I should go to get this done.’ We are getting a lot of word-of-mouth business. It just continues to grow from there.”
With the Christmas season quickly approaching, Royal said her store can provide the ideal gift for anyone at a reasonable price.
“I’m a mom so I know how it is to live in the world and just get by sometimes,” she said. “We market to the right people and we get it. We have set up this place to be affordable. I love it when people come in here and by 5-6 gifts and when you tell them their total they are surprised. We are at a reasonable price, personal, and at a relatively quick turnaround.”
Located at 323 Kirkland Street in Covington, Royal Creations is open Mon.-Fri. from 10 am -3 pm and Sat. from 10 am – 1 pm. They are also on Facebook at Royal Creations by Jessica Royal, or you can call them at 985-590-9890.