Welcome to the second edition of the Seller spotlight – an invitation to shine a light into the studio of one of our members. We also take a peek into their Etsy shop and pick out some of our favourites.
Our second featured seller is Kat from Bebop Boutique. Kat is a milliner and former art teacher, originally from Brighton she has been an honorary Brummie since Uni. She started out on Etsy selling handmade hats and fascinators while on maternity leave, now her shop is fully stocked with fabulous vintage finds and accessories.
What motivated you to quit your day job?
I wasn’t enjoying balancing a teaching career with two small children. I wanted something more flexible, with better working conditions. I decided to quit my job as an art teacher and give Bebop Boutique rocket boosters to see if I could do something more flexible and more enjoyable for some income.
I have always dreamed of working with styling and clothes. I love creating and have always enjoyed searching for vintage clothing so it seemed a natural complimentary element to add to the millinery. My friends and family also encouraged me as some of them have worn hats that I have made – to weddings and other special occasions.
What do you remember about your first sale?
My first sale on Etsy literally happened within an hour of opening the shop! A lady said she saw the fascinator and just had to have it! It was a bit of an anticlimax then though, as it was several weeks before my second.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?
I am still pretty small scale, but I am very proud that I have grown my own views and sales every month since I started out, and I am now making a proper income.
What is your favourite product and Why?
I love sourcing really old dresses (30s, 40s) which require some TLC because they have been neglected or unwanted. Being able to restore them to their former glory before selling them on to my glamorous vintage loving customers is so satisfying. I feel like I rehome them!
What could you and your business not live without?
My beautiful Canon camera. It shoots beautifully. Myself and my husband got it for Christmas when we became parents. My husband does still get to use it too though and we do still photograph the children with it….occasionally!
Is there anything you wished you had done differently?
Probably, quit teaching sooner! Nothing beats being your own boss and working on your own terms, especially when you have a young family.
What advice would you give to someone starting an Etsy shop?
Make as many connections as you can both online and offline. You learn so much from others already in the game.
Where do you see the future of your shop?
Hopefully I can grow my shop so once my children begin school, I can look to expand to a pop up shop/other avenues of sale beyond Etsy and vintage fairs.
You can check out Kat’s Etsy shop and social media links here:
Would you like to be featured in our Seller Spotlight?
You need to be an Etsy seller from Birmingham and the surrounding areas and a member of IDEAS Birmingham to be featured in our Seller Spotlight. If you’re already a member you can find information on how to apply in this forum thread.