My baby turns five tomorrow! And no, I don't mean my human baby, but this is still making me pretty emotional.
Pin Up and Pearl was actually my second business venture. My first business started when I was just 17, first as Taylor Made, then Lavender Cottage, finally staying as Rose Petal Cottage. I made pretty home and gift products, including bunting, cushions and lavender pouches. My first ever fair was at the Guild Hall in Salisbury in 2013. I took my small business with me when we moved to the USA the following year and attended various fairs around Massachusetts, where my accent meant I was called adorable far more than any adult should be (although I am adorable, FYI), and then brought the business back to the UK again in 2017. I loved running Rose Petal Cottage and the creative outlet it gave me, but sales on Etsy were slow, and I started to get fed up with quiet fairs in cold village halls.
I had the idea for Pin Up and Pearl one day when I was making a hair flower for myself and it was like a sudden rush of inspiration. I knew what I wanted to call my business, what I wanted to sell, what the logo would be like and even how I would package my items. I ran both businesses side by side very briefly but when I encountered a problem with my Etsy account for Rose Petal Cottage (too much moving countries!) I decided to just focus on Pin Up and Pearl. And here we are!
I have absolutely loved working on Pin Up and Pearl over the past five years. Initially, I ran it alongside working a part time admin job, then during the last three years, alongside being a stay at home mum to my little boy. It's allowed me to embrace my creative side, keep my brain challenged working out targets and doing things like tax assessments and also have something to work on for myself, which has been invaluable. I've reached some targets that I never would have dreamed of (1,684 sales on Etsy so far. Whaaaaat?!) and have had some wonderful customer experiences. Fairs are no longer in quiet halls but now at vintage events, often with swing music playing in the background and an atmosphere like no other and I love doing them.
And what have I learned along the way? I'll be the first to admit that when I started, my photos were dreadful! I have now improved a fair bit, but I'll be honest- photography is still one of my least favourite jobs and I do sometimes give it the ol' 'meh... that'll do' when something isn't quite right with a shot. Naughty Sarah!I have also learned the importance of proper planning! It's taken pretty much until this year to crack that though and it's been soooo nice not having the same last minute panics that I used to have when I was just winging it.
And mostly importantly, I've learned that sometimes if you've got a dream, you just have to go for it. It might be that I am never able to make Pin Up and Pearl my full time job, but that hasn't made the experience any less valuable. My business is so important to me and I really can't ever imagine giving it up.
What would your business idea be if you wanted to start making your dream a reality?