This week we’re featuring a fledgling business (only two months old) selling pretty keep sake bowls in a range of gorgeous colours that would make lovely gifts for a variety of occasions. Introducing Becky from Little Wisteria…
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
My name is Becky Hogan, I live in Oxford and I am the owner of Little Wisteria. I create little dishes for tiny treasures and keepsakes for special occasions. Originally I wanted somewhere pretty to keep my wedding rings after I got married last year. Since then, I’ve become slightly addicted to making them.
Now it’s the colours that I see every day and the needs that I hear from the people around me that are my inspiration. For example, having somewhere special, that’s personalised, for your child to put their tooth ready for the tooth fairy to collect in the night. Or somewhere to put your loose change at the end of the day, ready for when you need that extra bit to pay the take away delivery man when you just don’t quite have enough. Or just simply to keep your pretty little treasures or to use to put out chocolates when you have visitors. The dishes might be little but there are so many uses for them and that’s what keeps me inspired. Where can I take them next…
Were you arty at school? I’ve always been arty. I remember in primary school that we had to make a building out of tightly rolled up newspaper. I absolutely loved it, since then I can’t sit still. I always have to be making or designing something new. I went on to study art at college too but sadly didn’t quite make it to university.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a range of new keepsakes that are aimed at parents who buy presents for family members from their babies. Also some more items for my wedding range are in the pipeline but I don’t want to give too much away on that just yet…
It’s hush hush for now! How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
Two words – rollercoaster ride. To be completely honest, it’s totally taken me by surprise. I started making these dishes because I can’t sit still. I can’t just sit and watch TV, I always need to be doing something. My dishes were a hobby, I guess like a lot of our crafts. One of my close friends spotted them and mentioned that I should set up an Etsy shop. I love having something to manage and play with so I jumped at it, never expecting them to sell as well as they have. In my first week I’d had two sales. I was totally shocked at the reception that they received. It’s really motivating and has inspired me to grow my collection and diversify into keepsake plaques too.
Here are your quick fire questions:
Your fave colour? Pink (although very closely followed by yellow)
Cat or dog? Dog!
Early bird or night owl? Early bird – my brain functions better in the morning
Heels or flats? Heels but I’m 6ft tall so you’ll mostly find me in flats 😔
City pad or country retreat? Country retreat
Nighclub or sofa? Nightclub
How do you find balancing working full time with owning your own Etsy business?
I work full time as a Marketing bod for an education company. I work across a range of secondary school subjects selling courses and qualifications into school. I love it but it can be very stressful. My crafting is a release from the pressures of the day, a very different task and a different challenge. I am yet to find the right balance. Some evenings and weekends I’m so super busy that I barely see my husband (he’s not a fan of that) which I need to work on but I’m just starting out so I think that’s normal. There seems to be so much more to do at the moment with setting everything up and getting things just right but once I’ve got my branding and style sorted, everything else should follow. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Setting up a new business is a bumpy journey. I’m still shocked how all consuming it is, it’s literally taken over our lives, very unexpectedly. It’s not in a bad way but it does mean having to make a concerted effort to zone timeout for yourselves which can be really hard and to be honest takes more discipline than we have – it’s too easy to always be checking social media, updating a listings taking a new photo and suddenly before you know it date night’s out the window! I think you can get an app that blocks you from using social media which I’m about to look into as I hope that will help with our much needed discipline!
Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
This question is tricky. It’s still such early days for me. I’ve only been open for two months. However, I think the best piece of advice I can share is to be patient and don’t give up. It’s hard when you’re working full time too but if you put the effort in, it will pay off, it just takes a little time sometimes.
Your favourite make so far?
My favourite make is a tricky one too. I love the dishes that are lined with gold leaf, they are just so pretty and look so cute on a shelf together. I also love my dishes that look like candy, the new pink, gold and mint green dishes. These are the colours I had at my wedding last year so have a special place in my heart.
I also love your gold, pink & mint plate but after another browse I’m love, love, loving your teal & gold leaf and mint & gold leaf bowls, they are soooo lovely.
I’m also loving the unusual navy blue with gold flakes… it reminds me of the night sky…
Your best seller?
My best seller so far has been my heart wedding plaques. I’ve had a lot of sales from them and some really great feedback too.
What’s next for your shop?
As much as I don’t want to mention it (it’s only June), I am looking at ideas for Christmas. I have lots of ideas that I want to start working on and I’m selling at a number of Christmas fairs where I live so I need to start creating stock for those.
Aaaaaaaargh the idea of thinking that far ahead seems impossible, we’re behind with everything but it sounds like the right and sensible thing to be doing, so well done on your discipline! I’m hoping by next year Rose Filtered and Leapup might be that organised. You’ll have to put your Christmas tunes on (in June?) to get you in the Christmas mood!
How about some ‘what if’ questions…
If you were on a desert island the three things you would take with you… a good book, a knife (to sculpt with, of course, but it would also hopefully come in handy to eat), mascara would have to be my third.
Your dream place you would like to visit… My dream place would be space. I’ve always had a fascination with space, I got it from my father. I really think it would be an amazing sight, to see the earth from the moon and to be one of just a few on a planet so big. It would certainly put a new perspective on life.
Oooh that’s a good answer, I wouldn’t have even considered it until now! OK so if you won the lottery your first splurge would be… a trip around America, a little golden retriever puppy and a new car. In that order.
I’m with you on the puppy, we are actually discussing getting our third dog at the moment… it’s too exciting! Lets’ keep our fingers crossed for a lottery win!
Your Etsy crush?
There are just so many. A few of my faves include Pixie’s Magic Hook for her wonderful hanging baskets and round crochet rugs and ENDEceremics for her doll head tea cups and footed coffee cups. I currently have my eye on a few things for after we move… some inspirational cards to hang on the wall of my craft room/study from Ip Dip Design. A grey hanging basket from Pixie’s Magic Hook and some beautiful bright pink hand painted cushions for my new sofa from Pauline Plug.
I especially love her hot pink feathers. Pauline will be featured later on in July so really looking forward to hearing more about how she works. ENDEceremics is a new one for me but I have to say I’ve fallen in love with the little ceramic piggy with wings, he’s adorable! Obviously we are huge fans of Ip Dip Design, Laura was featured over on the Leapup Blog last week. A note to readers – pop on over and meet Ip Dip if you get the chance. Her work is very inspiring and great if you need a little bit of creative motivation!
Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?
Etsy Shop: Little Wisteria
A very big thank you to Becky for getting involved this week and we wish her the very best of luck with all her new plans and all of that Christmas stock! Hopefully Becky will be back in the future to share any news of new product lines. Don’t forget to hop on over to Becky’s site for a little browse – and maybe say hi on social media as it’s a great place to stay posted with any giveaway offers, discount codes or new products.
Thanks for reading and if you’ve read this far please share this article and help get these lovely goodies seen! Thanks so much!