Maker of the week ... byebyebirdie. May 01 2015

Hello sweet lovelies and welcome to another Maker of the week!

I am absolutely thrilled and excited to share this one with you, as this super talented lady happens to be one of my most favourite makers in the whole world and I'm lucky enough to have her as one of my best friends too! I love the way she thinks about life, I love her limitless creativity and I LOVE how she is 100% true to herself and her brand.

Here's her lovely story... 

Tell me a little bit more about you? ...

Hello! I’m Carol.  I am a designer and maker, and the owner of a little label called byebyebirdie.

And where are you based?

I have a small workroom/studio space in my home in Birmingham, England. I love the flexibility this gives [the brilliantly short commute and the late night pyjama-wearing sewing sessions] but stock and fabric supplies are beginning to spread beyond my work space.  So the search will soon be on for a new home for byebyebirdie!

What lovely things do you make?

A range of clothes, gifts, prints and cushions for little ones aged 0-2 years.  All beautifully British [wherever possible I use British-made fabrics and supplies], lovingly handmade and hand printed to order. 

And where do you sell your products?

I have my own online shop, I also sell through ETSY [which is great for international customers] and Down That Little Lane [mainly for customers in Australia/New Zealand].

What inspires you?

I’m at my most inspired when I’m sat in front of a clean white piece of paper,  with a black pen [never blue!], a good podcast [ is a current favourite] and a good strong cup of tea.  I sketch, scribble and doodle until I start to see the shape of an idea and then I get making.

What are the pros and cons of running a creative business?

After 4 years being my own boss, I've come to the conclusion that the pros and cons are the same.  The biggest pro is the flexibility it gives.  The ability to set my own hours, work around the family, take time out when needed is such a gift.  Similarly, the biggest con is that same flexibility.  The lack of structured work hours can mean – during really busy times, particularly on the run up to Christmas – some very long hours at the sewing machine and very little time away from work.   But I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Having worked for many years as a Brand Manager in a variety of Corporate roles, I wouldn’t give up the freedom I have, the flexibility or the opportunity to push my creativity for any 9-5 job.  Life is simply too short.

And do you have any advice, words of wisdom for anyone starting out?

My three top tips for someone starting out would be …

Don’t be afraid to start small.  Some of the most successful stores on ETSY and ‘Not On The High Street’  sell just a few, beautifully designed, and lovingly made products.

Don’t get caught up in what other designer/makers in your marketplace are doing.  Create what is true to your style, what comes from the heart.  Be brilliant at your thing, not a poor imitation of someone elses.

Ask for help/learn something new every day.  There is an amazing community of makers out there – and everyone has tips, hacks and shortcuts that can help you through the early days of a new business venture.  Allison’s fabulous #makeitsewcial community is a brilliant example of this.  Also, Google is your friend.  Anything you don’t know and need to know, from SEO basics, to how best to wrap a parcel for international delivery .. it’s all out there!  

And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I have no idea what the future holds but I do know that I'm excited about it.  I plan to still be my own boss in 10 years time.  If that’s running byebyebirdie then great, if not then that’s fine too.  So long as I wake up every morning, excited to get to work then that’s all that’s important to me.

My dream is a common one.  Me and my lovely family tucked up in a quiet little house, living by the sea.   Now, that would be perfection!

Me again! See ... I told you she was an absolute sweetheart! If you want to follow more of her lovely story and spoil yourself with pictures of her gorgeous baby products, beautiful home and delicious cakes, then head on over to Instagram, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Keep on making lovely people! 

big love

Allison x x x