Busy Butterfly Makes
What is your business name and how did you come up with it?
Busy Butterfly Makes originated from a FB page I setup after my daughter was born. I rarely sit still and used to do lots of crafts/activities with her and I love butterflies so I named the page Busy Butterflies. When it came to a name for my own craft page I started off with Busy Butterfly Designs but then recently changed it to Makes as I felt it was a better reflection of what my page was about.
What products do you sell?
I hand make home decor items and gifts;
Wreaths are my passion and the reason I started BBM
Little hanging crochet hearts complete with a customisable quote
What does a typical day look like?
My days start off with the normal mummy routine of breakfast and doing the school run. After drop off there might be a post office stop to post any orders and then it could be the food shop run before home to do a quick tidy up of the house. Tidy house - Tidy mind; I’m one of those people who can’t sit and focus on anything if my house feels like a mess. I then get a few hours to relax and craft - completing orders, coming up with new ideas, my relaxation time alone in my craft room. It could also be an admin day where I catch up on social media or work on some networking/marketing plan.
Then usually before I know it it's time to pick my daughter up. I still get to work on some bits on and off multitasking and then once she's in bed I normally update IG and check out what's going on in the crafting community - catching up on everyone's shares.
What hours are you open?
You don’t really close when you sell independently do you, it’s kinda all go. As I only recently launched Busy Butterfly Makes i’m working really hard promoting what I do, networking and ensuring that any orders placed are turned around within the agreed timescales. I’m responding to enquiries at any time of the day/night.
Ultimately I would prefer to establish a routine when I have more formal business hours so I can balance my work/life better - my daughter and husband get a bit sick of me always checking my phone and I can’t blame them but these early days can make or break you can’t they? For the most part they understand and I try to keep the weekends clear for family time!
How many people are behind your business?
Just little ol’ me - creator, maker, analyst, accountant, packager, head of communications etc.
When did you launch?
My FB page was setup back in January 2015 with just a small group of friends following me and placing orders. I setup my IG account just 9 months ago in July 2017 and then I launched my Etsy shop on 1st Feb.
What's your favourite part of running your business?
Goodness so many but I think i’d have to say the freedom it gives me. Freedom to experiment, to explore and challenge myself to see what I am capable of and freedom to structure my day as I see fit and what works for me. As a first time mum this is so important to me as I really hit a point were I felt I totally lost my identity. I was just a mum and life was all about my daughter. Before I chose to stop working my career was very demanding and hardly let up whereas with this venture I feel so much more fulfilled and free.
What got you into the business?
Motherhood for sure! If I hadn’t had my daughter I would never have quit my job and would probably still be there…..
She brought out the crafting side of me, something I never thought I would be good at and now we craft together and she loves giving the thumbs up (or down) to my items.
What makes your business unique?
Me… An approachable and attentive individual who will do her utmost to meet your requirements within the constraints of any budget. If i’m working on a custom order you will be hearing from me all the way along the process until your item is complete. I keep in contact as I don’t believe you should place an order and then not hear from your supplier until the package arrives… with me you will get an email, message or even video of how your item is progressing and you have a say in every element.
Have you any previous experience or interest in this field?
Absolutely no qualifications at all, just a complete and utter addiction for making things.
Do you have a shop/website?
Yes I have a virtual shop via Etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/busybutterflymakes
Do you offer specialist services?
All my listed items can be customised if required or sold as seen just drop me a message or enquiry. As a seller you don’t know the style of someone's home so the most sensible way for me to sell, I think, is to get examples of my work out there and advertise the customisation element, so I accept custom orders either through Etsy or IG. The quotes that come with my hanging hearts can be personalised as can the wording and names on my frames.
Where are you located? Does your location reflect your product?
Essex; along the Thames Estuary but no this location isn’t reflected in my products. However if someone did request a waterfront/beach themed wreath or dreamcatcher from me I wouldn’t turn it down.
How do the seasons affect your business?
I can’t say how they affect my business as it’s still early days but the seasons enable me to explore new materials, tones, colours and textures when coming up with ideas. Seasonal wreaths for example are just wonderful and will allow me to add new stock to my shop alongside existing ongoing products.
Also celebrations such as Mother's Day, Valentines Day etc mean another market as a seller I can reach out to. This year I came up with a Mother's Day frame gift idea and also added quotes for mums to my hanging hearts. I hope to expand on this in the future.
Do you have any projects coming up?
Definitely lots more wreaths ideas coming up with a lot more focus on felt flower decoration.
What has been your biggest achievement in your business?
Hands down has to be launching my Etsy shop and the following day getting my first sale! I’m quite an introvert and it was a huge thing for me to put myself and my makes out there in the public domain. I was actually following my dream!
What has been your biggest hurdle?
These may be more challenges rather than hurdles but firstly it has to be finances. As a stay at home mum i’m using my own limited budget to kick start this venture, there’s no separate marketing budget here.
Within the UK attracting buyers to wreaths is challenging as they are just not the ‘norm’ when it comes to home decor unlike over in the US. I am determined to break this and convince british home owners give a wreath a try! #stickawreathonit
What do you think has made your business successful?
I feel I’ve got to where I am due to a lot of hard work, networking, building relationships and supporting other makers in my opinion. I don’t believe you can get anywhere in life alone…. “You scratch my back, i’ll scratch yours”... it's true you know…. Life would be a dull and unrewarding place if we only looked out for ourselves don’t you think?!
What advice would you give someone looking to start a business?
It is a LOT of hard work and time consuming starting out but go for it if you can’t stop thinking about it. However, be sensible and be aware. Know what you want to achieve and be specific - start out with small goals and achievements to keep yourself motivated and if things don’t go exactly as you want or the “success” takes longer to achieve than you hoped don’t give up - be in it for the long haul. Remember; “Failure doesn’t exist. If you can look at every situation from this perspective you’ve either won because everything went well or you learned because everything didn’t.”
What is your price range of products?
I believe I have a really varied and affordable price range on my items;
Hanging hearts are a static price of £5.50
Dreamcatchers range from £10 - £15 depending on the theme/style/size
Frames; £11 for my childs crochet heart personalised name frame
£12.99 for my frames with a heart and quote (new home/wedding/anniversary etc)
Wreaths; The pre-made ones on Etsy range from £9.99 - £20 but for custom requests it all depends on the materials/sizes. You can order a yarn wrapped wreath with felt flower work, fabric tied, fabric wrapped with wording or without along with a choice of frame, polystyrene, wire of wooden hoop. Then you can have a round or heart shape depending on the frame type.. Any design to suit any budget.
What are your popular products?
As I've only been selling on Etsy for just over a month it's hard to tell but so far my hanging hearts sell well there however since I started up Busy Butterfly Makes my best sellers are the wreaths.
Where do you see your business in 5 years' time?
Oh I honestly don’t know, I am one of life’s natural planners but for me this is journey into the unknown and I kinda wanna just see where it takes me.. If in 5 years I’m a bit more established but still making and selling and generating a profit I’ll be happy.
I do have a dream of owning a little shop that sells handmade items, including my own, where people can come sit, have a cuppa and a slice of cake and browse and perhaps attend craft classes. Now wouldn’t that be nice!
Tell us a little about you the owner?
Well I used to work full time as a HR Business Analyst. It was very demanding and I was sat behind a desk all day with a long horrible commute. Then when I had my daughter I tried to juggle both, working just two days a week but that was even more stressful as I’d worry about leaving late and hitting traffic when I had to pick her up as well as trying to cram a lot of work and catching up into just two days. End result I was lucky enough to be able to quit and the rest as they say is history.
On the more human side I love animals and always wanted to be a zoo keeper and I also adore baking and immersing myself in a good book. I suffer with anxiety which challenges me pretty much every day but crafting and being creative really helps and on the difficult days I can manage it so much better allowing myself time out.
If you had to describe your business in five words, what would they be?
Accommodating, Bespoke, Approachable, Affordable, Handmade.
Who is your business aimed at?
Anyone and Everyone! If you need a gift for an occasion or want something unique to decorate your home with then I may be able to help.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
Well I don’t have just one area I focus on and I like to give anything a try (within the confines of the items I already make - I won’t just make anything)... it’s all about offering variety.
Have you got anything exciting coming up?
Yes - I’m hoping to work on a few collaborations with other talented makers I’ve met along my journey as well as possibly taking my items to a craft fair.