Goodbye 2015.

 

8

 

I know everyone says this, but I really can’t believe how quick 2015 has gone! So much has happened, some good, some bad. But through it all i’ve learnt a lot. And thats really what life is about isn’t it? I’ve had so much fun with the blog, this is my place. My space to just spread creativity. So I thought for my last post of the year I’d just show some of my favourite blogging moments of 2015.

  • My very first post. When I re-started TLWP as a blog, I honestly thought it would burn out in a couple of months – full of faith! ha- But its just been so addictive. I look back at my first post and I can sense the nerves in my writing, I was SO scared of hitting that publish button. The support I’ve had since is just insane. So thank you for coming here to read.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 20.20.39

 

  •  Support Small Saturdays. I’ve completely slacked at these, I WILL re-start in 2016, but I’m just so happy I had so many amazing small business that wanted to be involved! I love the interview parts and getting to share some truly inspirational ladies with readers is what its all about.

1

 

  • North west bloggers event. This is when I felt like a blogger, sat in that room full of wonderful people, all in there for the same reason as myself. It was a lovely day and I left with the biggest boost in confidence as well as a bunch of fab ladies I still talk to now. The blogging world is a strange one, its so much easier when you have a group of people that just get it.

11720656_10207323648552310_231244623_n

 

  • The one where I painted my bathroom floor. – This was such a fun/cheap project to do, not only that but It also ended up with me being contacted by Wayfair! My post ended up being part of an bloggers bathroom inspo post! As you can imagine I was so excited to be featured on quite a massive brands website. You can find the Wayfair post here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 15.32.55

 

  • World prematurity day – my story. This was a completely last minute post. I had written it, re-written it and gone back to delete it so many times. My blog isn’t really super personal, but I felt this was a story to be shared. I did not at all expect the response I got. Its still the post with the most views this year! It was lovely to know that readers, so used to to recipes, tutorials ect. Weren’t turned off by a little bit of my real life.

mischa

 

And as far as blogging goes in 2016, I’ve planned a couple of posts, but really, my plan is to just work freely, writing up posts as and when inspiration strikes. One of my main goals though is to step up my photography game, I’m lucky enough to have been gifted a half decent camera, I’m better than I was last year, but I’ve still a long way to go and as a blog that really is very visual, its so important for me to try a little harder to get those crisp, bright, clear photographs.

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016.

Happy New year readers!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

Support Small Saturday- The coven of stitches (part two)

Good afternoon!

I’m back for the second part of today’s Support Small Saturday, you can find the first part including an interview with Sarah & Leilah the fabulous owners of The coven of stitches.

I’ve been struggling for hours to find my TCOS top picks – oh what a hard life I live – I finally managed to whittle it down to my top Three, and here they are:

 

1: Swords and shields.

In their Fairytale fashion,  The coven of stitches has created the perfect accessory for your little ones role play. Their Felt swords are the safest around, completely padded so no injures will occur during battle.  Felt shields start from £18.50 and the Swords £15.

swordsshields

 

 

2: Birthday Crowns.

Imagine every colour, every style, every name and these ladies will make it up, these Bespoke birthday crowns are just a must have for any little prince or princess. Birthday crown prices start from £15.

crowns

 

3. Fairy sets:

I’m kind of cheating on this one a little, I knew their fairy wings were my number one must buy from The coven of stitches, but to see them paired with their handmade tutus to make a complete outfit really give the full impact of how utterly beautiful these pieces are. Wings start from £35 and the tutus start from £14 and bespoke orders can be made for pretty much all of their products.

fairysets4

fairyset1

 

numbers

 

7layers

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

I think by now you’ll completely agree that The coven of stitches is THE place to shop for anything dress up, I’m completely in love with it all! Massive thank you to Sarah & Leilah for letting me showcase their beautiful wares on this weeks Support Small Saturday, and big thank you to all my lovely readers for coming along!

You can shop TCOS over on their Etsy page, and if you just fancy keeping up with all their wonder products they have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

10478233_483272205140951_2382684415109346931_n

Support Small Saturday will be back in two weeks time, with another wonderful small business to you all. Have a lovely weekend!

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Support Small Saturday – The coven of stitches (part one)

Good morning!

I’m back for another Support small after a little break. I’m so so so pleased to showcase the fabulous The coven of stitches today, I just know you’ll love what they do.

covenofstitches

 

The coven of stitches is run as a partnership from mum and daughter team Sarah & Leilah. Together the two have created a such a magical business.

 

11651366_673390259462477_719569695_n

 

I first came across The coven of stitches last year, I was – and still am in complete Awe of their work. Started in 2013, TCOS is a completely original concept, creating whimsical accessories for your little ones. From their trademark fairy wings to crowns, wands and everything in-between.

TCOS

I have been lucky enough to grab a few moments out of their busy schedule to interview them, heres what they had to say.

Hi Sarah & Leilah, thanks for being a part of support small. I’ve got so much I want to ask, but first what gave you both the courage to jump in and start your own business?
We are a mum and daughter team both with little ones too! There has always been lots of sewing and making in the house and Leilah has grown up with Sarah making dolls, dressup clothing and a variety of crafts, plus having a Steiner education definately encouraged creativity. We gave a pair of Strawberry wings to one of our childrens friends for her birthday and after the response we had which included requests from other mums for pairs we decided to give the business a go.

You run your business as a partnership. how does that work? who does what?

We are very good friends as well as mum and daughter, we do seem to have our fave makes, Sarah is the tutu lady and Leilah is the crown maker though not exclusively. All our other designs are shared between us, at the moment Sarah does most of the admin as Leilah has little 10 month old Roma to attend to. It works.

Your wings are just beyond beautiful, roughly how many hours does it take to make a set?

Our wings are our most time consuming make we can usually finish a pair between school drop off and collection- roughly 4 hours this depends on the detail and design. The designing is another very much enjoyable process which can take minutes or days!

What would you say are the best things about being your own boss/s?

With the little ones, being our boss is fab as the kids can come along too. Plus they are beginning to join in and hopefully become part of the business one day.

And what would you say has been your personal business high?

It has to be the amazing feedback and gorgeous pics of our happy customers. Some of it has even brought us to tears!!!

There’s an ongoing issue of ‘Copying’ amongst small business owners, particularly within the handmade community. How do you keep your ideas so fresh? Do you have any fail safe tricks to re-boot your creative juices when you’re struggling?

Copying is something we have recently come up against and is upsetting. We design everything we make ourselves from start to finish and our designs are very precious to us. We look for inspiration everywhere, our children, their friends, walks in the woods, childrens books and also our customer requests – so far we have never had a creative block.

And finally where do you hope The coven of stitches will be in a five years time?
Still creating, developing new ideas and still as happy as we are now in what we do. But maybe with a workshop too!.

That sounds incredible!

Thank you so much to both Sarah & Leilah for such a wonderful insight into how you work.

 

You can shop all things TCOS over on their Etsy page. And you can keep up with their goings on over on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

 

I’ll be back later on this afternoon with the second part of todays Support Small Saturday.

1

 

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Support Small Saturday: Bows & Bespoke part two.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 23.06.21

 

Continuing on from the first part of our Support Small Saturday feature that was published this morning – scroll further down the page or click Here to see that.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to whittle it down to my top picks from Bows & Bespoke. This wasn’t an easy task!

1. Quilted bows: Chantal is undoubtedly the Queen of Quilted bows. She created these little lovelies back in 2012 & I think this is without a doubt her stand out product. Her completely unique take on a standard bow, finished to perfection with her gorgeous fabric choices. If you look through the Bows & Bespoke catalogue you will find every single fabric you could ever imagine made into one of these quilted beauties. – Prices start from just £5.75

You can find her full quilted Bow catalogue Here.

quiltedbows

 

2. Collars:  Just look at the picture below for a second. Do we actually need an explanation on why this is one of my top picks? ADORABLE. Thats why! They will make absolutely any outfit that little bit more special. – Prices start from £5.75 (not including hair accessory)

You can find all of the Bows & Bespoke’s available Collars Here.

collars

 

 

3. Sunsuits: Well, I’ve certainly saved the best until last. These Sun suits are the Must have children’s wear item of 2015 & if your looking for an amazing quality, beautifully designed garment with a quirky fabric… look no further. These are perfect for the warmer days  -Prices start from £24.

sunsuits

And if you those didn’t convince you, then this beautiful Nautical print sunsuit will change your mind. Link for this particular one is Here & is priced at £25.

nautical suit

 

 

innumbers

925

 

 

 

 

 

2012

Untitled

 

mixture

I managed to grab a few last words from Chantal, here is her advice if your thinking about starting up your own small business.

Work out what you want from your business before you get in too deep. Do you want to be rich, or to be happy? Sometimes you can’t have both and it’s good to work out which is more important before you start.

And I think thats the perfect way to end this weeks Support Small Saturday.

Thank you for taking time out of your Crazy schedule to talk to me Chantal.

bonnet

You can shop for any Bows & Bespoke products at

http://www.bowsandbespoke.co.uk

Facebook

and

Instagram

Enjoy the rest of your Bank holiday weekend.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

Support Small Saturday – Bows & Bespoke.

1

 

 

Hi there! Today i’m back for another Support Small Saturday and oh my goodness am I excited to showcase this one! This week I’ll be sharing as much as I can possibly fit into two posts for the fabulous Bows & Bespoke!

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 23.06.21

 

Bows and Bespoke is run by the immensely talented Chantal Turner. I first came across B&B Back when I had just started out selling with TLWP, to say I was completely besotted is an understatement. With her army of loyal fashionista- followers & an array of gorgeous products. It wasn’t long before I found myself envious of Chantal’s amazing talents.

11256459_10206882454242728_1471665924_n

 

It all started with a simple Bow. But with an eye for luxurious fabrics & a passion for design, Chantal has created not only a successful small business, but a brand, renowned to women throughout the UK for its expertly hand crafted (and utterly gorgeous) accessories & children’s wear.

bows

 

 

I’ve been lucky enough to bag a bit of time taken out from Chantal’s busy schedule to find out just how she works:-

Hi Chantal, thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to me, first up. How would you describe the style of Bows & bespoke?

Classic styles in a modern palatte with a little bit of childhood nostalgia.

What gave you the courage to jump in and start your own business?

I never really did a “jump” It kinda just snowballed out of nowhere. I couldn’t find any nice hair accessories for my daughter so I pulled out a glue gun from under the kitchen sink, found a scrap of ribbon and cut a clip off an old hair bow. A bit of a play around and some very blistered thumbs, and I had just made my first bow! Of course it was instagram worthy, so from then on I was dishing out bows to friends and family. It all grew from there really.

Running bows & bespoke is a full time job (and then some) so what made you brave it & start another business?

I had a feeling in my stomach that I had to do it. My partner wasn’t on board and thought I was crazy, but he is eating his words now because it’s running smoothly and I can see it growing already. Starting up the fabric side was, and still is so scary and expensive. I haven’t broke even yet and I doubt I will for a while, i’m happy just having all these wonderful fabrics at my disposal. You and I both know that shopping for fabric is not a chore, it’s like a day at the spa for anyone in our field. I think it’s fantastic that I can disguise it for work.

Oh definitely, fabric shopping is just the best! As well as working hard for your business’s you’re also a mother, how do you manage to find a balance between mother-hood and work?

I read that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I don’t feel like i have a “proper” job, i feel as though i have a proper hobby! I have restricted working hours to Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I will work from 8am until 5pm on those days, whilst my daughter is at nursery. Tuesday and Thursdays are our days. We do crafts, go swimming, go to the play area, do baking and always fit in a tea and scone date. I spend a lot of time with my daughter and really utilise the days that we have together. As soon as i collect her from nursery she is straight on my hip and doesn’t leave my side until her next nursery session. I have staff in on a saturday who work from my home. This enables me to do my housework and stay with my daughter without having to have her in nursery for any longer than is needed. Obviously nursery is cheaper and I can do the work myself, but I made the decision to offload and take a pay cut so that I can invest in my family life.

A very smart decision! What would you say are the best things about being your own boss?

After lunch naps without a doubt! My daughter may be 3 but I still believe that if she is sleeping, I should be sleeping. All this stands for when she’s at nursery too. I don’t tell my boyfriend this, because he doesn’t need to know. He won’t read this, right? If he asks, I never get a minute.

Ha ha, What would you say has been your personal business high?

This is a hard one Robyn. I love it when Minnies Bowtique is on and Amora starts telling people (her teddies) that her mummy can make bows too. I’m like ‘You’re damn right i can kid’. That and of course taking the leap to set up Floral and Thread and investing every penny I owned into it, and seeing it grow.

There’s an ongoing issue of ‘Copying’ amongst small business owners, particularly within the handmade community. How do you keep your ideas so fresh? Do you have any fail safe tricks to re-boot your creative juices when you’re struggling?

Don’t follow fickle trends and be inconsistent with your design. People value integrity and originality more than you would think. Put your phone away, re connect with the world and wait for something to come into your head. Try not to look at what others are doing as that can infect your own creative process with other peoples ideas.

You’re constantly thinking up new creations, what has been your favourite garment or accessory so far?

I would have to say the quilted bow. I love the detachable collars too.

And finally what are your plans for the future of both business’s?

I would love the two to come together one day and be available from the same premises. That’s all i’ll say as this is a pipe dream for now..

Thank you for taking the time out to be a part of Support Small Saturday Chantal!

11335469_10206889884388477_581030821_n

As well as Bows & Bespoke, Chantal recently started on a new venture, Floral & Thread. An online fabric store providing luxurious, high quality fabrics at an affordable price.

fabrics

 

As well as using it to offer an insight to the one-off projects she creates for her adorable daughter Amora.

sneekpeeks

Amora.

The Floral & Thread website is currently under construction, but you can purchase directly from Chantal by visiting her Instagram

You can also shop for any Bows & Bespoke products at

http://www.bowsandbespoke.co.uk

You must be quick – I mean really quick, her products sell out almost instantly!

You can also catch Chantal’s sneak peeks & words of wisdom on her

Facebook 

and

Instagram

I’ll be back for our second instalment of this weeks Support Small: Bows & Bespoke,  later on this afternoon.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support Small Saturday – Koppits creations (Part 2)

header

 

It was impossible to fit everything into one blog post, so i’m continuing on from the first part of our Support Small Saturday feature that was published this morning – scroll further down the page or click Here to see that.

I’ve spent hours upon hours trawling through Sam’s work trying to pick my favourite items for this feauture. Not an easy task, I genuinely love it all, but somehow I’ve managed to narrow it down to the three ‘Must buys’ from Koppits creations.

1. The ‘Polly’ shorts – An original Koppits creation piece, these adorable little shorties are the perfect addition to any little girls wardrobe. Using her own handcrafted pattern, Sam has created a completely versatile garment.. Whatever the weather, with tights & wellies or bare legged with sandals, these trimmed pretties will always be both practical & fashionable.   – Prices start at £20 (excluding Liberty prints)

11212235_10206797148230131_1579247112_n

 

 

2. Handmade Bibs – Why, why WHY, Hadn’t I found these back when my girls where both babies?! They are just the most adorable bibs I have ever seen and of course completely practical as well, the best bit? You can have them personalised completely free of charge! – £7 including UK delivery.

bibs

 

 

3. The ‘Bella’ dress – Does this even need a description? These are the ultimate in handmade luxury. Every special occasion calls for a bespoke ‘Bella’ dress (she offers a bespoke service so you can mix & match your own choice in fabrics). A truly classic piece that will last forever. – Prices start from £35 depending on fabric choices.

belladress

 

 

numbers

8weeks

300+shortsold

3hours

4belladresses

 

 

I managed to grab a few final words of wisdom from Sam, So here are her top tips for getting the most out of your Small business:

1: Do as much research you can on the industry you are entering and ALWAYS research your prices.

2: Be unique! don’t copy other people, where’s the sense of achievement in that?

3: Be pro active!

4: Be polite and kind always giving the best customer service.

5: Remember that cheaper doesn’t always mean better.

6: Put in what you want out of your business, if you don’t work hard you won’t get amazing success! You have to work very hard at anything to make it work. 

Fantastic advice from someone who’s making a big impression within the handmade community.

photoshoot

Thats it for our very first Support Small Saturday. Massive thank you To Samantha Koppit of Koppits creations. I couldn’t have asked for a better business to launch this with. Hopefully your feeling inspired, And if your not interested in the business side of things, at least you’ve discovered a brand new shop – apologies for the hit your bank balance will no doubtedly  take once she re-opens her order book at the end of the month.

full

*Please note I have not taken payment of any kind for promoting Koppits creations today, doing it simply because she’s amazing at what she does & I want to share it with my readers*

You can find a full catalogue of Koppits creations designs over on her Facebook & Instagram page, and all enquires can go to koppitscreations@hotmail.com.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support Small Saturday – Koppits creations.

1

Good morning! Happy Saturday & thank you for coming to check out our first Support Small Saturday.

 

I’m so pleased to have our very first Support Small Saturday business. Koppits creations, and what an amazing small business to spend the day sharing with you all.

header

I first came across Koppits creations over on instagram at the beginning of the year & I was immediately in love – anyone who knows this company will completely agree no doubt!- Samantha Koppit -Owner & dress making extrodinaire – is one talented gal.

11216057_10206797227592115_995078085_n

Whether its her gorgeously trimmed polly shorts or her trademark fairytale ‘Bella’ dress. There really isn’t anything Samantha can’t do (Seriously, there isn’t! Sam also offers a bespoke service, choose your style, choose your fabric & she’ll whip it up for you!)

2

‘Bella” dress, prices start from around £35 (depending on your chosen fabric) & Polly shorts, prices start from £20 (excludes Liberty print)

 

With an extraordinary eye for detail & a passion for all things design, its not hard to see why people are flocking in droves to get their hands on one of Samantha’s creations.

11143722_759786864135665_5185716351039709014_n

 

I have been extremely lucky to bag this super busy lady for my first Support Small Saturday, so I took complete advantage and managed to grab five minutes of her time for an interview

Hi, Samantha. Thanks for being TLWP’s very first Support small Saturday business owner. I have a million questions, but i’ve had to whittle it down to as few as possible. So lets start, How would you describe the style of Koppits creations?

Well the style of koppits creations, I would say is a modern spin on classic clothing using high quality fabrics with a vintage feel.

What gave you the courage to jump in and start your own business?

Well, this is a very long story so I apologise in advance; I had a very difficult pregnancy with my youngest and was put on bed rest at 16 weeks. Having worked my entire adult life, going from several jobs to nothing was incredibly challenging for me .

Eden arrived 8 weeks prematurely and left me with some health complications, which in turn meant that I was unable to return to my hairdressing and gymnastic coaching . When Eden was a few months old my mum gave me a second hand sewing machine. I have never used a sewing machine despite my mother being a bridal dressmaker and my sister designing for an adult clothing label, I had never been interested in doing it myself.

I was incredibly stubborn and taught myself from the simplest to what I currently do. It has in no way been easy but I have managed so far. For example up until 9 months ago, I wasn’t able to do button holes! – how bad is that?!

So after being asked by mothers in the playground about my daughters clothes, I started making them for other people, not quite believing that any would be interested. And look at how busy it is now! I’m still struggling to belive it all to be honest.

As well as working hard for your business you’re also a mother of three.. how do you manage to find a balance between mother-hood and work?

It’s a challenge thats for sure! Illana and Luca are at school, so they leave at about 7:30 am, then Eden goes to pre school for three hours three times a week. This interrupted sewing time does make a difference, but a day in the life of Sam  (most days ) consist’s of:

– Up at 6am,

-Feed the children,

– Get us all washed and dressed,

– Illana and Luca go to school,

– Take Eden to pre school,

– Then sewing what is on the already cut list,

– Collect Eden, feed Eden,

– Package the mornings sewing

– 2pm we leave to do the school pick up,

– Home at 4pm,

– More sewing,

-Get dinner going, do homework with Illana and Luca, whilst doing any admin/answering messages,

– Feed, bath & bed time stories for the children,

– 7pm more sewing or if i’m completely exhausted its more cutting,

And if I can squeeze in the washing and tidying and hovering that’s a bonus –  I call those good days!

What would you say are the best things about being your own boss?

I adore being my own boss, I get to make and design what I choose to which allows me creativity to flow. I would like to say that I can take time off when need be, but unfortunately that isn’t the case! I think my last full day off ( day and evening ) was on my birthday back in February.

Oh, I remember those days!  You’ve come so far, in such a short space of time, what would you say has been your personal business high?

Gosh there are just so many! I’m very lucky, but I think having my work acknowleged by liberty of London and them consenting to me using their fabrics was a huge deal for me and left me on cloud nine for ages!

Oh I bet, that is an amazing acheivement!

There’s an ongoing issue of ‘Copying’ amongst small business owners, particularly within the handmade community. How do you keep your ideas so fresh? Do you have any fail safe tricks to re-boot your creative juices when you’re struggling?

I take a lot of personal offence when I see hours or my hard work being badly copied.  It’s happened a lot recently as more and more people are seeing my work! Personally I look at adult trends as well as vintage styles and think how I can reproduce it in my taste, with the fabrics I use and put my spin on it. Looking at Pinterest fashion is a regular thing for me.

Pinterest… the stealer of time! It’s just so addictive, so much prettiness in one place!

What are your plans for the future of Koppit creations?

To take over the childrens fashion industry! Ha ha  I think with how busy it has become, that bespoke may become limited edition and I can concentrate on producing more ready made items. I have been contacted by several shops about stocking my range which is awesome but I need to create a stock. Having my brand recognised would be such a sense of achievement for me. Watch this space, maybe you will see my label on the high street soon!

No doubt about it Sam, I’ll be the here to say ‘I got her first interview!’ – don’t forget me when your all rich & famous! ha ha. Thank you so much for joining in with Support Small Saturday Sam, its been a pleasure! 

 

11071926_729864967127855_706762705165709563_n

Keep an eye out later on this afternoon for the second part of our Support Small saturday, where we’ll be taking Koppits in numbers, Sam’s tips for success & Koppits creations Top picks.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

You can find Koppits creations over on

Facebook

Instagram

or you can enquire via email at www.Koppitscreations@hotmail.com

Her books are currently closed until the end of May.

 

Support Small Saturday.

1

 

 

Once upon a time, I was a small business owner – not that long ago actually, I only closed in January of this year. Anyway, since I decided to re-direct my focus onto blogging & tutorials i’ve had a little niggle of guilt at the back of my head.

I am completely aware that I’m teaching would be small business customers how to sew & make their own things instead of buying. Which is why I’ve come up with Support Small Saturday. Once or twice a month I want to dedicate the whole day to Small business’s. Promoting your handmade goodies & showing to as many people as possible just what you can do.

As of tomorrow (Saturday 9th May 2015) I’m looking for awesome Creative Small business’s to work with. Each support small Saturday will consist of me sharing a whole bundle of pictures of your work on all of my social media sites, as well as sharing any discounts/deals you may be running, an article over on the blog which will hold a bio of your business. Plus an interview with the business owner & a competition to run via TLWP if you would like to donate a prize. The entire day will be dedicated to your hard work!

If you’d like to be a part of Support small Saturday, drop me an email over at info@thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk

You can see our very first Support small Saturday tomorrow. And I have someone Awesome to kick this off with!.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.