Things I wish I knew before I opened shop

Inspired by this post on Heidi and Seek (funky ethical fashion), I decided I would write a list too!

It’s very timely, actually – as I keep threatening to write a business plan for myself to keep focus! this will hopefully help keep the forward momentum…


– I was awesome and very unique when I began 3 years ago: I should have had more faith in my abilities.

– so-called “signature styles” are only such until other people do the same thing. If only I had let go of that soooooo much sooner and not spent the past two years feeling bitter and defeated at seeing “my” designs as somebody else’s “original designs” and not realising that I had to stay AHEAD.

– I am only realising NOW that I need to seasonally adjust my designs and have a seasonal “collection” and not try and do everything – even though I know I can.

– Stop making things that just aren’t working for me, even though I love them. Make them for my girls or for gifts and stick to what I know sells.

– learn all about TAXATION and record keeping. If I’d learned it all more than 3 years ago when I started, I might be actually running a successful business, instead constantly “wishful thinking” that I was at home sewing up the designs and ideas that constantly drift to me, and feeling frustrated at my “day job”.

– Just because half the rest of the world has a “day job”, and juggling/balancing/going crazy with all the demands of work/motherhood/spousehood, I don’t have to. Creating and sewing is my absolute passion, not fiddling with white paper (though I will always have a sense of satisfaction with a perfectly neat stack of pages!).

– Use alone time at night to sew, with music.

– Stop looking at what everybody else is doing – I end up feeling frustrated at (once again) seeing stuff too similar to mine, or feeling defeated by other’s success.

– Just because I adore vintage fabric, recycling, and being clever and resourceful – doesn’t mean I can’t use rich, vibrant new fabric as well.

– Have more fun with my packaging and let go of the “corporate identity” stuff. Consistent branding is important, but the uniform Monsoons & Mangoes address stickers with logo – not so. This week I’m loving handwriting my thank-you’s anbd return address on the back of envelope – with some love hearts and flowers. How much NICER it is! :)

– like Heidi and Seek, sticking to online networking that works for me.

– Get more sleep. Far better for my creative soul than finding things to amuse me online… Says me now, still sitting here two hours after the early-night-with-a-book (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter) I craved for all day!


7 thoughts on “Things I wish I knew before I opened shop

  1. Looking at what others r doing and being bitter will only hold you back and stiffle your creative energy and that wont help you at all.
    Focus less on tax, book work & who is desinging what and more on what are U doing to get in your own way? as that is the only way u will go forward and carve yourself out a beautiful thriving business.
    It sounds harsh and I dont mean it to be hurtful at all but i could see from your blog that u were waisting valuable “creative” energy on blaming others that u hadnt achieved what they had when you thought they wer getting ahead by riding on your design back.
    I hope a light bulb went off for you and now you can just concentrate on your own beautiful business.

    I wish you luck ~ u dont need the talent as u have that!

  2. I am not concerned at all as I think u answered the question perfectly as you have answered your own complaint – maybe they are not copying you at all but simply arriving at the same place at same time ~ just like you say u do with Kate
    Both u and eviegreenpixie offer lovely work but u cant move forward if u are always looking back.

    1. Is that right?

      Kate and I are very good friends and have been for well over 3 years when we discovered each other on Ebay. We aren’t concerned about our similarities, so why should you be?

      Did you know that I can dream up an idea, not mention it to Kate, and before I get around to making it – SHE has. Cool, huh!!

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