Hi! We’re pleased to bring you a brand new installment of the Rock Bottom T-Shirts Boutique Clothing Craft Series; where we recognize the accomplishments of small businesses in the clothing craft industry.
- Founder Name(s): Leslie Rosete
- Years in Business: Etsy shop opened 02/2011
- Products Description: Hand made, personalized and customized children’s clothing
- Website URL(s): www.themommafish.etsy.com
- Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Rosete of The Momma Fish Speaks with Rock Bottom T-Shirts
What inspired you to start an online clothing boutique?
I’ve been a crafter and sewer for as long as I can remember. I found my biggest joy making personalized items for friends and family-as gifts (birthdays, baby showers, etc). My friends and family started asking me to make gifts for them to give to their friends and family. The circle started growing… I was introduced to Etsy in January of this year and thought it would be the perfect place to have my items available for my friends and family to purchase. Little did I know, my hobby would soon turn in to a small business.
How did you get started?
I started by listing items that I had given as gifts and could make again. My first few items were personalized onesies, skirts and blankets. I soon found that customers were most interested in personalized shirts and custom orders. When I listed a Big Bro/Lil Bro shirt set, it became popular very quickly (almost overnight). It branched into other sibling sets (Big Bro/Big Sis, Lil Bro and Lil Sis) with different color combinations and patterns. Customers who have ordered these sets continue to order additional personalized products.
Are there any milestone moments that you’d like to share with us?
A few moments have made me stop and think “Wow, this is really happening.” The first was when I could no longer make and ship items all by myself. Orders were coming in so fast that I did the sewing and I “hired” my Mom to pack and ship the items. Another milestone was shipping out of the country, first to Canada and then to Australia. My most recent milestone is being discovered by businesses like Rock Bottom T Shirts and participating in online blogs and product reviews.
How long does it take, on average, for you to complete a typical project?
Because most of my items are made to order, it currently takes me about 2 weeks to complete and ship orders. I like to tell my customers that “I take the time to make everything by hand. You will appreciate the time and quality when you receive your special items.”
Where do you find the inspiration to come up with these embellishments?
I have come up with a few good product ideas, but most of my inspiration comes from my customers. They come to me with their requests (i.e. .birthday themed name/age shirts) and I’m able to create an item that they love.
What would you say is the biggest challenge facing boutique clothing craft businesses?
My biggest challenge is meeting every customer’s needs in a timely fashion. When you produce a good, quality product, be prepared for it to grow beyond your wildest dreams. This has been my experience!
Is there any advice that you’d like to share with someone who may be considering starting one?
There are a few things that have helped me in the start of my business, such as…
- Having a mentor who has a successful on-line craft business. Someone who doesn’t mind sharing tips for success and encourages you in the process.
- A good support system of family and friends.
- Finding a reliable source for product (like Rock Bottom T Shirts) that carries the same stock year round. Buying seasonal product in retail stores can pose a problem with inventory control.
- A strong desire to create for other people’s needs, not just based on my own style and preference.
I wish I had known…
- To start with a business plan. In the beginning I didn’t think of the possibility that my hobby could so quickly become a small business.
- How much inventory would be needed for a quick turnaround on orders. Once I knew what sizes and colors were the most popular, I was able to have the inventory on hand. This made a huge difference in being able to complete and ship orders on time.
Thank you for checking out the third installment of our Boutique Clothing Craft Series. If you know of someone that you think we should feature in this series please let us know by mentioning it on our Facebook Fan Page.