If you follow my Instagram or have been reading my blog before I had this new site, you’ll know about my little business Polka Dot Teapot Designs. If you don’t Polka Dot Teapot Designs is my little illustration business that I run via Facebook and Etsy. Today I thought I’d share my little business story, how it’s progressed over the years, how I set up, what inspired me etc.
Believe it or not Polka Dot Teapot Designs was originally a jewellery business, and what originally inspired me to set up was an internship I did in London at an independent jewellery business. I ordered some stuff off ebay and started playing around making little bits and putting them on social media. Some stuff happened in my life and I decided to leave London, went back home to Yorkshire and still carried on making my jewellery and selling a few pieces.
At this point I was job hunting and ended up signing on to jobseekers while I was looking. If anybody else has ever been there (There’s such a stigma attached to it but looking back it helped me so much in getting access to courses and stuff) then you’ll know you have to have meetings and discuss what kind of jobs you would like and what your interests are and stuff. I mentioned in passing that I was interested in making jewellery and would possibly like to start a business. So through the job centre I got access to a two week course in business management, accounting etc with the opportunity to pitch an idea to a loan company after to finance.
Through this course I created a business plan, pitched an idea and got a small business loan to help me set up, which I spent on equipment and a little office space to work from. I then registered with HMRC, spent a lot of time making up, photographing and online promotion, and very slowly I started getting customers and was making enough money to get by every month and pay my office rent etc. I even did a few local jewellery making workshops
After the Christmas rush I ended up getting a part time job to take some of the financial pressure off. Which made me realise, whilst I loved my little business, it wasn’t making me as much money as I’d like, and I didn’t like the uncertainty of whether or not I’d make money that month. So I decided to carry on Polka Dot Teapot as a side thing, whilst working another job.
Fast forward to now, Polka Dot Teapot Designs has been running nearly three years! I have over 1500 followers on my Facebook page, and my products slowly evolved from jewellery and craft to illustrations. It might not be the most successful business ever or make me millions of pounds, but it’s mine and I built it and I’m very proud of it.
Although I’m closing my business down slowly in these next few months, I’ve loved the experience of it (even the tax returns). Running Polka Dot Teapot Designs, was about so much more then making money. After a rough year it gave me my confidence back creatively, and even now it still astounds me that people want something I’ve made in their homes. I’ve learnt a lot from it in terms of skills, such as how to use social media to your advantage, organisation, customer service, and it looks really good on my CV.
I am sad to close it down, but unfortunately in my new job I just won’t have the time to dedicate to it, and I’d rather leave it on a good note then have it fading into nothing and just have a Facebook page that’s never updated. If any of you would like to have a look at my page while it’s still up just click here.
Thanks for reading 🙂