Good day, we’re here with our 7th installment of the boutique clothing craft business series where we proudly showcase the accomplishments of boutique clothing craft entrepreneurs.
Customized Dolls. T-Shirts. Fancy Tutu’s and more.
Owner’s Name: Mrs. Eliza Sutnick
Years in Business: 2yrs
Product Description: custom t-shirts, tutus, sweatshirts, customized dolls and more.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Eliza Sutnick of Ali and Joe Speaks with Rock Bottom T-Shirts
1. What inspired you to start an online clothing boutique?
I’ve always had a passion for creating things and started the business as a custom doll-making store with a hybrid between building a teddy bear, American Girl and Cabbage Patch…bringing unique custom handcrafted dolls into children’s lives as cuddle companions. The business grew this year into pairing the dolls with custom designed t-shirts and tutus and has further evolved into sweatshirts and accessories.
2. How did you get started?
I made three simple cuddle dolls for my kids out of my husband’s old t-shirts and as friends saw them and commented on how wonderful they were I started making them for others….Baby steps lead to giant leaps!
3. Are there any milestone moments that you’d like to share with us?
This year I am showing my product in 3 stores (within 1 month of setting up the new line for fall) and everyone that I’ve shown it to buys! – That’s a milestone……
4. How long does it take, on average, for you to complete a typical project?
Custom dolls take a long time, around 5 hours from start to finish, as each piece is custom made. T-shirts are also designed and laid out by hand so I would say about 1/2hour for each one depending on the added appliqués or “bling”. The tutu’s are around 45 minutes because I add jingle bells, and pompoms to my custom designs.
5. Where do you find the inspiration to come up with these embellishments?
Kids LOVE tie dye and it is a trend that NEVER dies BUT no one has really thought of taking a shirt that is already a color and then extracting the color with bleach stencils and designs….Maybe because it is SO time consuming and takes a lot of skill to perfect the balance of bleach and water. There’s also a lot of waste since mistakes happen frequently.
6. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing boutique clothing craft businesses?
Overseas competition is my biggest challenge, I can’t compete with mass produced items, nor can I compete with their prices and the amount of embellishments that they do. But I know that people love quality and unique items and that’s my niche.
7. Is there any advice that you’d like to share with someone who may be considering starting one?
Work out what makes you different and present your items and ideas with confidence and passion. At the end of the day you have to stand by your product and the ideas that you’re presenting. Not everyone will love it but there are people who will and they’ll stand by your business and be loyal to you no matter what and that will make the difference.
Thank you for joining us today, and if you or someone that is an entrepreneur in the clothing crafts industry please let us know! We’d be happy to feature you or your friend in our next issue. In the meantime, please like this post on our Fan Page if you enjoyed it or you may leave a comment below.