Rock Bottom T-Shirts would like to welcome a new small business owner to the Rock Bottom T-Shirts Boutique Clothing Craft Series where we recognize the accomplishments of small businesses in the clothing craft industry. Today we are talking to Tracy Badeer with Twinspirations!
Years in Business: 2.5 years
Products Description: Personalized and custom infant, baby and toddler clothing
Website URL: www.etsy.com/shop/twinspirations
1. How did you get started in the clothing craft business?
I have twin daughters and to start out, I had the desire to create personalized items for them. Partly to help folks tell who was who, and partly because we gave them unique names (Ariana and Cordelia) and believe it or not, there’s not a lot out there with those names on it. Shortly after, my desire grew to share my products with others and I decided to start my own little Etsy shop.
2. Where do you find the inspiration to come up with these embellishments?
A lot of my designs come from things my girls love…animals like my giraffes or dinosaurs…or things my friend or myself love, like John Deere tractors and Husker football. I usually test things on my girls, if they love it or want one, I know I’ve done a good job.
That is such a smart idea, to try them out on your girls before making something people may not be interested in.
3. How long does it take, on average, for you to complete a typical project?
Depends on the length of the child’s name or complexity of the design…any given project from start to finish (cutting to attaching to hand stitching) can take 2-3 hours or more.
I would consider that a pretty quick turn around. I bet your customers love that about you!
4. How do you manage to stand out from the competition?
I feel I stand out on three fronts, 1: Quality of the Product. I strive to deliver a product that I not only love but am SURE my customer will as well. This means starting with a high quality shirt and building from there. 2: Communication. I feel it’s IMPERATIVE, especially in a custom shop…I email/convo (Etsy’s email) to make sure customers can see their fabric choices, or color combinations, together. It is a small thing yes, but it’s really important to make the item PERFECT for the customer and to make SURE my customers are very happy. 3: Hand Stitching. I LOVE the look that hand stitching adds to my pieces AND it adds to the quality and security of the product. I don’t want my customers to worry about how to care for their items. I strive to make products you can wash and wear without worrying if it’s going to look the same once it comes out of the dryer.
It sounds like you have all the knowledge and the qualities to thrive and have a very successful business!
5. Are there any “milestone moments” that you’d like to share with us?
The biggest milestone I think for me so far has been within the last year. I added personalized layettes to my shop, thanks to a good friend pushing. They have been a HUGE hit and have really added a depth to my shop I didn’t know before and have really pushed my sales in a new direction.
6. What would you say has been the biggest challenge for your business-so far?
Keeping balance to be a good wife and mom and still do the things I love in the shop, that’s been hard…and I don’t claim to have found the perfect balance yet.
It sounds like you are on the right track, you’ll get there!
7. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing clothing craft businesses?
Standing out in the crowd. Making a product that isn’t what everyone else has or is doing is a real challenge, but it’s a lot of fun too to try design new and different things you don’t see every day.
8. What’s the one piece of advice that you would give to anyone considering taking the plunge and starting their own clothing craft business?
Play. Really figure out what your niche is. Take the time to explore and figure out what works and doesn’t work for your product and find what will make your product really stand out. I think a good chunk of my first year or two of my shop was figuring out what worked for me…what I really LOVED working on and what made my shop/product me. Once you figure that out…the rest is a whole lot of fun.
We would like to thank you, Tracy with Twinspirations, for taking the time our of your day to answer a few of your questions! I am sure that you answered a lot for others as well!
If you know someone who you think we could feature in Rock Bottom T-shirts Boutique Clothing Craft Series, please let us know on our Facebook page