Describing her products as ‘happiness, motivation and sarcasm in gift form’, Katie Abey designs a range of eclectic creations that are sure to put a smile on your face. Katie sells anything from jewellery and clothing to cards and coasters. If you’re a fan of cute animals, hilarious puns and utter quirkiness, Katie’s shop is sure to have something for you.
We had a chat with Katie to find out how she went managed to turn her passion for creativity into a successful business.
1. Why did you start your business? What spurred you on?
I started my business because I wanted to be able to do something I really loved and felt passion for every single day, and get paid for it! That was the dream and I still feel so lucky to be doing just that.
2. What are the unique challenges you have faced as a female founder?
As a general rule, I find the creative community to be really accepting and inclusive of all types of people. I have experienced situations in more generic business environments where people have expected naivety to come with my younger age, but I’ve enjoyed proving that assumption wrong.
3. What were the 3 steepest learning curves during your first year in business?
- Mistakes are inevitable and part of the business journey.
- Not everyone is going to get what you’re about, and that’s ok.
- Rejection will happen, but it’s all for a reason and part of a bigger path.
4. What is your favourite thing about founding your own company?
Being the one who gets to make the rules. Having flexibility of when you can do things is incredible. We sometimes have weeks where it feels like we work every hour of every day, but then we get to treat ourselves to lie-ins and days off as and when. I love that flexibility, and it will be so great for my husband and I when our baby arrives!
5. What is the best business advice you have been given by someone else?
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
6. Do you ever suffer from Imposters Syndrome? If so, what do you do to tackle it and move forward?
I do! My business has moved and evolved so quickly that sometimes I find myself in situations that feel way too bizarre or ‘grown up’ for me to be in. This hit me massively when we started taking on other employees. I think a great thing to do is to talk to people about how you are feeling so they can help put you straight. And a detox from social media and comparison to others often does the brain good too. I like to really stop and check in with myself and reconnect to the core of why I’m running this business. I then feel ready to tackle anything after that!
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7. What’s the best book on business you’ve read?
The Universe has your back by Gabby Bernstein helped me a hell of a lot. It helped me to realise that I didn’t have to have a crystal clear picture of where I was heading in business. As long as I had goals and was working hard the universe would deliver, sometimes even unexpected opportunities.
8. Tell us about another brilliant business woman you think our readers should know about
I would say Lou Barnes of Yarntistry. She really inspired me in the early days of my business. I love how she manages to get so much of her crazy personality through not only into her adorable yarn products but into everything she posts on social media. She made me realise that your business really can be whatever you make it.
9. What piece of advice would you give yourself if you were starting your business now?
Go with the flow. No one has it all figured out, just go with it. And enjoy every step of the journey.
10. If you were working with a marketing budget of £1,000 what would you spend the money on?
Social media, but not in the traditional paid advertising sense. I think there is a lot more to be said for sending your product out to relevant influencers to get the word out there. Sometimes we even do ‘swaps’ and swap our product for another small business and cross-promote one another. It feels like a really great way to get the word out without being too pushy.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post and are after more inspo, why not check out our other interviews in the Female Founders series? If you want to read another story about turning your creative hobby into a business, we recently interviewed Natalie Shilton, founder of The Nakery.