I sold my first hair bow in April, 2010 but I didn’t start making bows with the intention of creating a business. After my daughter, Katie, was born I was drawn to the boutique stores looking the beautiful smocked outfits that are a staple for Southern girls. I loved everything about them EXCEPT the price tag! And you can’t put your little girl in one of those lovely outfits without a bow to match! But after charging $70 for the dress they wanted another $10 for a plain white bow! I couldn’t stand the idea of spending so much money on something I was sure would be lost in a matter of weeks. Even though I don’t consider myself to be a crafty or creative person, I was convinced that I could figure it out and make them myself for less.
Well, if it were that easy and cost effective everyone would do it, right? That was a lesson I quickly learned and found that in order to make a bow cheaper than I could buy at a store I would have to buy supplies in bulk. The next thing I knew I was swimming in hundreds of dollars of ribbon and supplies. Somehow I was missing the point of saving money but my new hobby was found! After a while I decided to try and sell some of my bows to cover the cost of my hobby. I worked for about six months to make sure I was able to make a really good and consistent product and then Katiebug Bows was born!
When I started out and decided to really try my hand at selling my products I didn’t have a real workspace. Instead, I had taken over every available surface in our kitchen and dining room. I was constantly shuffling items from one area to another just so we would have a place to sit and eat. The house was a wreck! Some days I think I spent more time looking for supplies than it took to make the items because I couldn’t find anything!! More than once I decided to remake items because it was just faster than trying to figure out which drawer, box, or tabletop had swallowed up my bows!
Now, I have finally settled into a permanent work area in our bonus room. It’s great to have a (mostly) organized space where I can work and leave projects without concern for the safety of my children and their friends. My wonderful husband has built three custom ribbon racks with storage shelves and I utilize some great clear storage boxes labeled with my label maker for smaller items. I laugh when people make comments about how organized I keep my inventory and work space. I assure you that it isn’t something that comes naturally or easily to me. The people that know me best can definitely attest to the fact that organizational skills would NOT be a strength that I would list in a job interview! But it is one of the things that is most necessary for me to be successful. I make my entire inventory so my time is valuable, especially when I have two children that have to come first. Whether I’m working to build inventory for a show or I need to make something quickly to mail out an order from Etsy, I can’t afford to waste time looking for things.
Even if you aren’t able to dedicate a specific space in your home for your business, I would highly encourage you to label your storage containers and make sure each of those containers has a ‘home’ so even if some things are in kept in the garage and others in a bedroom closet you always know where to find and return your items. It will save you so much time in the end!
- Vend Raleigh Changed Me. Then I Changed It! - October 7, 2014
- Etsy Terminology – Orders vs. Sales – Etsy Blog Series - November 14, 2013
- Behind the Scenes with Etsy Shop Katiebug Bows - April 8, 2013
Oh my goodness, look at all that ribbon!!
Sadly, that is just a fraction of the ribbon I actually have! I’m not sure I could ever use it all (but I’m going to try)! 😉
I have started to make hair bows for my girls as well. The ribbon sometimes can get very costly. Can you give me some ideas as to where I can buy it for less? Thanks!