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Kate Tompsett is a designer and business owner, running Happy & Glorious as both an online and a high street shop. She sells British made gifts, art and homeware, some of which she designs herself, and in less socially distant times, also hosts creative workshops in the space.

Listen in to hear Kate share:

  • How and why she got started (1:40)
  • Her store’s environmental policy (3:55)
  • The criteria for products that make it into her store (5:11)
  • Knowing your ideal customer (6:25)
  • Finding British made products (8:14)
  • The importance of having a strong vision (9:45)
  • The products Kate designs herself and why she enjoys the fun, creative side (11:18)
  • The importance of taking small steps as you build and grow your business (13:50)
  • The journey to opening her brick and mortar store (16:44)
  • How having a store has changed the mechanics of the business (22:24)
  • How the lockdown in the UK affected her business (26:26)
  • What she loves about having a products based business (31:33)
  • Her top pieces of advice for other product creators (35:05)


Happy & Glorious website

Happy & Glorious on Instagram

Happy & Glorious on Facebook

Happy & Glorious on Twitter

Kate’s own designs


Find me on Instagram

Work with me


How to open a shop - with Kate Tompsett

0 (00:00:08):

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host Vicki Weinberg

Vicki (00:00:24):

Kate Tompsett is a designer and business owner running Happy and Glorious as both an online and a high street shop She sells, British made gifts, art, and homeware, some of which she designs herself and in less socially distant times also hosts creative workshops in the space. So Kate is the first person that we've had on the podcast who have a physical store, as well as an online one. And she also design some of her own products yourself. So I think you'll find this conversation really interesting and I'm hope you enjoy it. Okay. So welcome Kate. Kate it's fantastic to have you here today. And I wondered if you could just start by telling us about your business and the bit about the ethos behind it as well, please.

Kate (00:01:03):

Of course, thank you. And its lovely to be here. So my business is called Happy and Glorious, and I sell British made gifts and art and sort of pretty pretty hand-made homewares, which I had been doing since 2012. I set it up online to start with whilst I was working full time in an office I'd previously spent 18 Happy years working in indie retail, and I kind of knew it was what I wanted to do. I know it was right for me. And I really felt that it was time to kinda take the leap and create that business for myself. It was 2012, so it was the year of the London Olympics.

Kate (00:01:44):

And there was a real sense of optimism and excitement in the air. And that's, that's not something that we do very well in Britain. So it was quite an exciting time and it was also the diamond Jubilee. So everyone was like, yay Britain, which was a lovely 2012 was also the year that Mary Portas who is one of my favorite people, the lady is a goddess. She released her program, which was about the importance of the British manufacturing. It was called the bottom line and she went into a factory and she reinvigorated and she got local people to come and work. And she made knickers because everyone needs knickers and it was just kind of clipped together, but it was all happening at this particular time, 2011.

Kate (00:02:30):

Have you been a particularly brilliant year for me? Nothing bad had happened as such, but I just felt very flat and I felt like I wanted more and I wanted to create something that was mine or mine. I heard a radio announcer use the phrase Happy and Glorious as a source of throwaway comment. And I thought, Ooh, that will be a good name for a shop that that can sell British made things. Wouldn't that be lovely. And then the day after I had bought the domain name and set up the social media and I at my first ticket to a trade show and place my first daughter. So yeah, but there are so many talented people making really beautiful things in this country.

Kate (00:03:11):

And of course there's an ecological benefit to keeping things a little bit of local. So that's Happy and glorious

Vicki (00:03:19):

Fantastic. And I have to say Happy and Glorious is, yeah, it does sound like a very British name. It's a great way for you. That's very impressive. So you've just touched then about, about some of your reasons for selling UK made products. And I can see for, you know, I've had a bit of a look on your website. In fact, as I mentioned, when we spoke before I had a big look at your website because you sell some beautiful products and I, yes. So that for far longer than I expected. So can you talk a little bit about your environment to policy as well? Because that also seems to be quite an important factor in your business as where there's the UK maid side, because I seen it or not on there.

Kate (00:03:53):

Well, I think it is, it's such an important thing at the moment and it's just, it's just so vital. It's more vital than ever, but yes, I, I'm very, very keen on, on the local side of things and things have a fairly small carbon footprint. Any business has a carbon footprint, but obviously anything you can do to keep it under control as a wonderful thing. So yes, my mum grows my plants for me using composts that we've made from cardboard that can't be reused in the shop amongst other things. We, we used all our packaging, we only use paper bags. We cut out plastic bags about a year ago.

Kate (00:04:36):

We are using paper ribbon for a gift wrapping in tissue paper. We, yeah, we literally just to everything is reused and recycled as much as possible because it was just, is just vital.

Vicki (00:04:52):

Eh. Yeah, it is. And do you have any criteria? So that's what you're doing, like in your shop on Amazon and assume for your own online orders as well. Do you have any criteria that for products that you're selling, I've been here for them being UK may do they have to be sustainable or just, yeah.

Kate (00:05:09):

Yeah. I think, I think naturally things are a little bit more sustainable when they're made by one person bans, which a lot of my things are, but even things like my candles and my bath products I'm vegetarian. So it was very important to me that there are cruelty free and they are natural and kind to skin because you shouldn't really be putting anything on your body that you wouldn't put in your body. I've got some amazing soaps by a company called Kushboo and she, every time she makes a batch for me, she also make a batch for a whole, a homeless shelter, which has just so lovely. And again, she uses all natural ingredients and everything is very pure, essential oils is just lovely.

Kate (00:05:53):

And I buying in to that ethos. It, it means so much to me and I, I can pass that enthusiasm on to my

customers as well. And it's something that they really care about.

Vicki (00:06:03):

Definitely because I think you're right. I think if you've got a passionate interest in something, it makes it a lot easier to be able to sell it really being Frank. Doesn't it, if you believe in it. So now is it's a bit more along those lines. How do you go about curating and sourcing the products for your store and for your website

Kate (00:06:22):

In retail It is really important to have an ideal customer in mind that something you were taught very, very early on or something that you learned very early on. And it sounds a bit weird, but I kind of decided to be my ideal customer. So its kind of, if money wasn't an object, what items would I choose? So I only ever buy things that I really, really love. And then I have a connection with him and then we'd have to leave have in my own home is important to bear in mind that British may products all often a little bit more expensive. So what I'm trying to do is focus on things that are really built to last. And like I kind of think of them as heirlooms in the future. So there is a contemporary and a stylish, but yeah, they're going to stick around for a while and you're not going to get bored of them.

Kate (00:07:10):

And then yeah. Products that have built to last. And then there's a bit of a, a focus on nature, which I love and color, which is very important to me. And then the twist of silliness here in there, which I think reflects my personality. I've got a lot of clever artist designer, friends. I also go to trade shows and social media is a really, really good source of finding new and inspiring products as well. And we look at the people that are following you on Instagram, on Twitter and yeah, you see that they kind of fit in with the whole ethos and style. Yes. So that's a really great source. And then of course I'll have my own collection have products that I've designed myself as well

Vicki (00:07:52):

I'm wondering which avenues go down first but we will talk about the products at other people's products first if that's okay. So do you tend to go out and actively look for new products? Do people contact you or is it a bit of both now that you've been established?

Kate (00:08:06):

I know it's a bit of both now. I have to say when I first started it, it was a real struggle to find British made things and I'm so happy how much easier it is now. I think with various economic disasters that we have been through as a nation, I think that's really encouraged people to get in touch with their creative side. And I think more people than ever are making these beautiful things and teaching others to create beautiful things. And I, I think that's, yeah, I think that's one of the few benefits that we have seen. So yeah, I do have people getting in touch with me quite a bit, but yeah, quite often I, I have a, I do have a folder or at the shop, which any time anyone sends me anything, it goes into the folder for consideration.

Kate (00:08:55):

I never quick decisions, snap decisions because it just has to feel right. And kind of work as a collection with the, every other item. I want every item in the shop right next to another items, which sounds a little bit of a meticulous, I think that's important.

Vicki (00:09:13):

It is. And it sounds like you've got a really strong vision and you're sticking to it and that was fantastic.

Kate (00:09:17):

Yeah. No, I think, I think it is important and I am pleased that eight Oh eight and a half years down the line, I'm still, I still have the same vision and I'm still working too that even though so much, so much other than so much else has changed in the last few years.

Vicki (00:09:35):

Yeah. And I think, I imagine, I don't know from the, from my experience because I create my own products, but I kind of imagine that having a really strong vision must help you because you're not going to get swayed by something like that. It's pretty, but it doesn't kind of fit with your ethos or kind of be something that your customer would like, if that makes sense. Like it's because I can see that you probably have, you know, so many fantastic products that you could stock. Obviously you're not going to take all of them. And I guess having such a strong vision must really help you when it comes to narrowing down and okay, what am I gonna take them? What won't i? Does it help with that decision-making process?

Kate (00:10:07):

Yes, definitely. I mean, when I, when I initially started, I actually had a, I mean, when I, when I first set up my, my website, I literally had, I don't know, 25, 30 products or something like that. And I had a mood board that I would, I would cut out pictures of the things that I was interested in and I would put them onto the mood board to check that it all worked together. But now as a sort of Kerry, that mood board in my head. But yeah, it really

does. I have to, I have to feel a strong connection to the product before, before I make any kind of firm commitment. But yeah, I think it, I think it does really, really help keep me on track.

Vicki (00:10:44):

All right. Thank you. So there are so many different things I want to talk to you about today, but perhaps next we can move on and talk about your products, your, your products, you create yourself. Cause we mentioned this a few minutes ago. So can you just tell us about, about it? You just tell us about your products, what kind

of products you create yourself and a bit about that process and obviously I'll, you know, ask questions as they come up if that's okay.

Kate (00:11:07):

Sure. Well, when I first started designing, it was just kinda, kind of about drawing and painting just for the sake of it. Really. I did art at GCSE and then I was going to do all of it at a level. And I think I did one class thought everyone else was better than me and then quit did something entirely unrelated. So yeah, I didn't really have a plan in mind and didn't actually intend to make things. I was just having some time to myself. I was renting a studio where I was storing a lot of my products and between visitors, I will be taking photos and I'll do sketches and to play with a pen and ink.

Kate (00:11:47):

And I ended up being quite pleased with the floral designs that I did. And I managed to find a Potter in Stoke on-Trent that could put them on two mugs. And it was very, very exciting and a huge, huge leap of faith on a massive initial outlay. It had to order a 125 on each design just to keep the costs down, but they'd been so successful. And I think having my own exclusive rate in which is really, really help the business. And I've kind of started expanding that I've done another two months of designs and I've had them printed on two jugs as well, which is a really nice, and I was planning to keep going with that and possibly add a wholesale 'em to the business as well, too.

Kate (00:12:30):

Kind of spread the Happy and Glorious name a little bit further. Yeah. So really when you're wearing as many hats as you do as a retailer and you don't always get time to do the fun and creative stuff, but that was something I really wanted to look out. And this is something that looked down on his kind of taught me that I need to get back to just doing things for the fun of it. And then creating from that rather than sitting down, deciding I need to make something to set because it, it will be a much freer, more creative, more pleasant process if I'm just doing it and then see what happened. So things crust, Oh, I'm going to do a bit of that.

Vicki (00:13:10):

Well, that sounds fantastic. And I'm really pleased that they've, you know, they've proved popular because what you've said, or you said it so casually, and I often find this when I talk to people, they say, say occasionally, Oh, and I found someone to make this, you know, you said about finding a Potter to do, you know, to put your designs on to mugs, but that was actually a small thing that, that you've done. Then you say that. Yeah. So casually now, like I'm guessing it at the time, or did you feel that relaxed about it at the time? Because it sounds like it, it must've been, I think it must be a big leap of faith.

Kate (00:13:40):

I think, I think when you're, when you're in business for a long time, and certainly it felt that the beginning that the steps that I was taking me through a very, very slow to actually get to the point where I had my own shop, I think he would take so many small steps that after a while kind of, they kind of diminish, yeah, you take a lot of small steps and then you take bigger steps in it, all kind of diminishes as you take bigger and bigger steps. So all during those months it was a massive thing. But to me that it wasn't more massive than a few years later taking a four year lease for our shop for a proper shot. So yeah, I think, I think you just get

used to making those decisions and you get a bit bolder.

Kate (00:14:25):

Yeah. So that was my first daughter was in 2015 for the monks. And to me that seems like a tiny little blip on the horizon now, but at the time, yeah, I was thinking, Oh, I'm going to be left with 500 a month here. No one will want them imposter syndrome. Yeah. So I'm delighted to, of been proved wrong.

Vicki (14m 49s):

And, and by that point, did you have an idea of your customers? Did you have, you know, do you have, I'm assuming that at that point though, while it was still a massive undertaking, it is really scary to spend any money on products. Did you, by that point have a sense of who your customers were and whether these products with something that they would be interested in?

Kate (00:15:07):

I think so, because I had previously gone to sort of gift fairs and that kind of thing, and I had also started doing gift parties in people's houses. I've been to lots of trade shows, I'd seen what was available and I wanted to sort of create my own version. And clearly there was, and still is a real focus on the natural forms. And also it was important for me to use the blue and white coloring because I remember the blue and white China that my granny had and that my auntie had and everything. So I wanted something that was a very contemporary, but it still sort of spoke to that sort of sense of classicness.

Kate (00:15:48):

So, yes, I think, I think I felt confident enough that it was going to be okay and that the customers were like, we'd like them, but I don't think I was prepared for how much they would like to do that because I had done numerous order's since then. I'm just, just about to play another one. So yeah, its really exciting to have watched it grow from that initial pen and ink

Vicki (00:16:13):

That's really exciting. And what I'll do actually is so that people, cause I know people might be, you know, obviously can't visualize them in the show notes for this podcast episode, I will link through to your designs as well so that people can actually go over and have a look and kind of see what it is to be talking about it because I think that'll be really helpful. So you mentioned your shop or a maintenance guy. So is it two years ago that your shop paper, right?

Kate (00:16:37):

It's just over three that have been in Cranbrook. I started with the website in 2012, as I said, a year later and started going to gift fairs on the following year, I started going to sort of pop-up shops and gift parties in people's homes. So like at top of web party or other storage systems are available, but yes, basically I was set up in people's homes. They would invite their friends around and they will get a commission, which was

really, really fun. I enjoyed doing that. But then I did a pop-up shop in Ashford in Kent, which was a poor just pilot town and they were doing a big regeneration and they invited me back the council to take on a unit for a year at a reduced cost at a reasonable cost and kind of tests the high street.

Kate (00:17:32):

And they had bought a shopping center and they were trying to fill it with independent businesses. So that was so exciting. That was the most exciting thing is a really good way for me to test the high street and to kind of talk to customers. And I also built an amazing support network of other businesses and they're all still my close friends. So I stayed there for a year, which was great. And then after the year was up, I saw the shop in Cranbrook and fell in love with it because it's the most gorgeous, a 15th century space. And it's got an original features and an enormous window, which is fabulous for my displays.

Vicki (00:18:11):

Well, how's it again? Do you seem like really a huge, scary step. So coming back when you were asked to take a unit in Ashford, had you at that point ever kind of worked in a retail space Before how did you say, I'm just wondering how you even go about the mechanics. To me, it just seems so daunting, you know, sort of setting out a shop. How did you go on About that?

Kate (00:18:33):

Yes, it was, it was all a bit unknown to be honest. I mean, I, I had a job in an independent shop when I was 17 and I ended up staying there throughout my a levels and throughout my degree and I continued to work there afterwards. I have a lot of people saying to me, what are you going to get a proper job when you are

going to do something proper? And I am a big believer in carrying on with something all the time. You're happy at any point, you start to feel unhappy, then it's time to go. But if you have happiness, if you have contentment that is so much more important than a career, as far as I'm concerned. So I kind of decided that that was, that was my path I could do displays.

Kate (00:19:15):

I was used to talking to customers. I think it's a fantastic way to increase your confidence when you have to talk to people all day. So yeah, it was just, it felt very natural that my journey was going to take me towards having my own shop. And I had an awful lot of support from Ashford council. They had a great kind of retail adviser who had previously, she had her own in the shop and she came in and there was lots of coaching

and lots of support, but yeah, it was, it was scary, but it was also a really, really exciting time and finally achieving my dream that had been 20 years and the making.

Vicki (00:19:56):

Yeah. And I guess as well that it must have been was that perhaps sort of a, kind of a step along the way to have on your own story in Cranbook kind of an easing en kind of thing.

Kate (00:20:07):

Oh, it was really because it was a way of testing it. I don't know. I didn't know if I would be okay if it would be successful, if I would be able to, you know, pay my rent and everything. That was a bit of a leap of faith, but yes, it was, it was a really good way of trying it out and seeing how much stuff was received and practicing my window display it. So yeah, it was like a special price and my first job, really?

Vicki (00:20:33):

Yeah, I guess there's a lot. So let us, do you have to learn how to lay out a store and dress your window in all of those kind of things. Cause like this, when you're selling online, it's a lot about product photography and biting, you know, descriptions that sell, but I get to actual physical retail environment is completely different. Isn't that? How do you even go about learning those skills? It trial and error.

Kate (00:20:55):

So, I mean, because I'd had quite a bit of experience previously in another independent shop and the owner was very happy for me to do displays and for me to do windows in everything, I think I was very lucky to have that opportunity. And of course, independent retail, I've also worked in bigger stores and then the soullessness and the rules. And if you're not allowed to breathe, you're not allowed to have creativity. And I found that really, really stifling, but yeah, it was very lucky that I was able to spread my wings a bit in that independent environment. But I think if you've got an eye for design, if you've got to you just kind of know when it's right.

Kate (00:21:41):

It's not that it looks right. It's that it feels right. You know, when something has finished and that is that it's a bit of a gift I think. And I'm, I'm lucky to have that if that doesn't sound too big.

Vicki (00:21:52):

Well, it doesn't, it's not, so we all have our strengths. I mean, that is a gift I say to me, don't have that. I think that, you know, all of us have different experiences and, and talents that we can draw on and I'm yeah. Okay. So right now, so you have to shop and you're also selling, selling online. So how has having the shopper changed the mechanics of your business at all?

Kate (00:22:21):

I think it has to a degree and because as a retailer you have to wear so many different hats. So I have to be a bookkeeper and serving customers and packing orders and everything like that. I think, I think it is very easy to get a bit to focus on one thing in the shop very much is a monster there each time. And there's always something happening. You can plan your day to the absolute minute, but something will always happen to change that plan. But I, I also like that spontaneity that's so important to me, but yes, I think having a website, certainly during lockdown where I'd been just dealing with online orders, it's very methodical.

Kate (00:23:09):

It's very restricted. It's very, it's not social. So, so having a shop is, is, is exciting socially. I'm going on from one now, the rambling, what was the question? Sorry.

Vicki (00:23:24):

You ask me how much the business is or if the business has changed, you know, adding the shop to it and actually a follow on question from that, if that's okay. So you've mentioned that all of the different hats you have to wear or is it still you're doing everything or do you have any support at the moment?

Kate (00:23:39):

I actually am flying my mommy, which is a very, very nice. And yeah, she does. So a couple of days a week for me, which is really good. We weren't one as a team, I'm a very creative and come up with silly Ideas, she's also creative, but she is also very, very practical. So she can either talk me down from bunkers ideas or she will find a way that we can implement them. So we do work together really well as a team, but the mechanics of the business do change. I think when you're, when you're running a shop, because anything can happen in a day, you can plan to last minute, but you can guarantee that something will happen.

Kate (00:24:27):

That changes everything and yeah, best laid plans. They got a stray. When you have a shop,

Vicki (00:24:34):

You guys, you have to be very reactive and it's good to know that you've got some support as well, because it just seems like a mammoth task kind of working in your store and all say, or you show me your filling, fulfilling your website orders from the shop as well. So that's kind of your base.

Kate (00:24:49):

Yes. At the moment, I'm looking into getting a sort of a POS system because at the moment I tend to bring things home that are on the website. So I don't sell them twice if you know what I mean. Yes. So it has been a real product to, to get more things online and I want to have it eventually all in one space. So I'm running everything for all the shops. So that's what I have been working on lately. But yeah, it's, it, it is. It's a massive, massive time suck. Day's do not go slowly when you have a show up, but that's for sure. Yeah. But it's, it's great to have my mom's support is really, really important so she can get on with serving customers and yeah, I can work at a little bit more on the business rather than just in the business.

Vicki (00:25:38):

Yup. That makes sense. And when we've talked about it locks out a few times, you need to come up with you in this conversation. So we are recording this on, I think it's the 26th of May, who knows that day. So it's time for the 26 or 27 from may. So we stayed in lockdown at the moment and your shop is still sharp,

although I'm looking to open again, babysitting. So how so, how has locks out in the UK change your business and how you operate? I mean, other than your shop being closed? Of course,

Kate (00:26:07):

Yes. Obviously that was the first thing I had to close my shop. I'd actually be decided on the Saturday before the lockdown was announced that I was going to do it because I felt like it was a responsible to be open for, you know, petty things that weren't actually essential. So I had already decided to close Before Before Mr. Johnson announced, so it's the right thing to do. But in February I could kind of see that lockdown was going to be inevitable. I can see it coming. And I created a strategy to find and get, get the business through the difficult time ahead. So I decided to spend some really solid time working on the website.

Kate (00:26:48):

It doesn't, it doesn't get neglected as such, but it, it doesn't get as much attention as the shop because it's so demanding of my time. So its kind of easy to let the website just to take the long, quite early in the background. But since lockdown I've photographed and added, I think 150 products also. And I will push social media really, really hard, which I wasn't doing enough to Before and I've worked a lot more on my email newsletters as well at which again have not been my priority even though there should be. So I had

been really, really lucky cause I've had lots of, of supportive customers' and I've had did the figure as a couple of days ago and since lockdown, I think it's 58% of all my sales of being from people who would of come to the shop.

Kate (00:27:39):

So it was really, really cool people, which was so lovely. And we have now been told that we can reopen on the 15th of June all being well. And so now is the time for a strategy to make a small shop save for me and my customers. And I think it's going to be a very different, different kind of world because this is locked down and it's going to put my creativities to the tests to work around all of the challenges that we're going to face. I think I can do it.

Vicki (00:28:08):

Okay. Did you know that from the conversation that we've had so far? I definitely think you can do it. I'm so impressed that back in February, you were already planning and strategy for me to do during a lockdown because I do think that even though we all kind of had new, it was coming, I think so many people, including myself in this just didn't have any kind of plan and then it happened and then just went okay now what do I do? So I'm incredibly impressed that you had the foresight to do to plan for. Right. And I'm sure that you're already planning for reopening Curtis only for you to do it two weeks away. Now let's read it

Kate (00:28:42):

Two and a half or so. Yeah, I think, I think for me it was something that was worrying me. It was something that was frightening me both in terms of the virus itself, obviously, which is awful and terrifying, but also in

terms of the business at that point, I didn't know that the government was going to provide grants. And I thought if I have to close for two weeks, how silly I was to think it would just be two weeks. If I have to close for two weeks, what will I do? Will the shop be okay? You know, how am I going to strategize? So if there's ever anything that I'm frightened about that I'm worried about one of the first things I do is write it out, getting down on paper. I do a little process charts.

Kate (00:29:24):

So if this happens when I do this and if yes, well I do that and I just kinda follow it until I read your point when I go, okay, it will be okay then. So yeah, I think that is a really, really helpful thing to do when there's anything business or personal, it is worrying you as it is to get it out on paper, work out your best case scenario, worst case scenario. We want to just follow that flow, that flow and it gets you closer to a plan. And in my, my

partner always is the action is better than in action. So yes, I live by that.

Vicki (00:29:58):

Yeah. And I think that's fantastic. And that she is saying that I live by, which is kind of a slightly different, is that an action is antidote to anxiety because I find that often if you do something or anything at all, it doesn't matter what it is. It makes you feel slightly better. Although having said that, I mean, I know that I certainly can, you know, and I'm sure many people listening to it or I'm in the same way, you know, head in the sand sometimes rather than facing things head on, but I really liked your approach and I'm going to try that next time. There's something at one of my mind that I'm going to, I'm going to try that because I really liked the thought of thinking about the different scenarios and what you like to do it because you must be so much more confident.

Kate (00:30:36):

Yeah It certainly helps it. It just kinda, it kinda just shows you that even if you don't think, I mean, I start off being very ostrich head in the sand just kinda shows you that whatever happens is you can cope have got a strategy for coping somewhere in there. You have to dig about for it. If you're aware of what might happen and how will you can cope with it, you do feel a lot more confident. And I think that it's, I think that was a really important. And do you get to use colorful pants and that's always a good thing.

Vicki (00:31:06):

Oh, it is always a good thing lately. Okay. So Kate just a few questions to finish off. So first of all, and by the way, apologies, if you can hear my four year old singing in the background, that is a reality of life in lockdown and I'm afraid. So tell us what is some of the things that you love about running a product based business, whether that was to show up on the website, by what some of the things that you really enjoy?

Kate (00:31:31):

Oh, this is so much really, I mean, running the shop, it's always been an important thing to me when I, when I first started working in retail, when I was 17, I was painfully shy really, really desperately shy. I did not make

eye contact when this was, when I was doing my eight of us. I used to eat my lunch in the library. So I didn't speak to anyone or talk to anyone. I didn't socialize. I was so ridiculously shy, but retail kind of forces you out of your own head. I have to be entirely mindful. You have to be in that present moment. And so any worries and fears and concerns in the back of your mind, they have to stay there for a full day and you have to paint on a smile and just be OK.

Kate (00:32:18):

I think that is enormously helpful for your mental health. And I think that being in that sort of environment and being in retail has completely transformed me. And so I love the sort of social element. I love getting to know the people of the town. It's actually a town that I went to school in a very long time ago and I kind of already know some of the people and I know like, and yeah, so choosing a product or designing a product and then selling it, it feels like the ultimate compliment. Someone is saying you have good taste or you made something beautiful. And that is yeah, a little ego or a rub everyday, which is a really nice we'll do in the window displays.

Kate (00:33:02):

It is my favorite, favorite job of all the jobs. Literally the first job I do when I go back after Christmas is to plan the entire year of windows and the color themes. And you know, what sort of creatures I will have hanging in the background. Do you pay for cuts of various at the Mount? I've got B's so, you know, a few weeks ago I had dragonflies, I've had, you know, various types of flower. So yeah, I just, I just plan it all out and then have a lovely time in front of the TV, cutting out beautiful things to have in my window of time. So much, so much my love about it and making firms as well.

Kate (00:33:43):

I've, I've got suppliers, I've got people in Cornwall and Devon in Cumbria and Wales and all over the country that I've never met. And yet we have this ongoing relationship where chatting about their family's and we're chatting about, you know, really deep emotional stuff. And these other people I've never met, but I still consider them to be friends. So yeah, it's like, I've got this little community makers and I'm at the center of it, which is really special.

Vicki (00:34:15):

Isn't that lovely. Thank you so much. Okay. And the final question is, so what is your number one piece of advice for anyone out there who wants to start their own products, business or whatever that's creating the product themselves or two, have a business model sort of similar to your selling other people's products. What is the main piece of advice you would give to someone

Kate (00:34:36):

That's a really tricky because I could go on for hours.

Vicki (00:34:40):

Okay. Talk top two. Then if you go and pick it up,

Kate (00:34:43):

Oh gosh. I would say, give yourself deadlines is really, really important because everybody says, if I had time, I would do this and these are people with proper jobs or if I turn them and people with all sorts of things, but you have to kind of make time, which is, I know, sounds ridiculous, but it, at the time, is there a time is an infinite, so we have it, but you just have to let something else go in order to make time to do the thing that's important to you and the thing that you love. So yeah, it just be a little bit determined and kind of try and do one thing a day that just pushes you a little further along that road.

Kate (00:35:29):

I think that that's really important. And I will also say don't be afraid to fluff up. Think that's really, really valuable. I've had ideas that seem like the strokes of genius. And when I put them into practice, they just completely flop. But that doesn't mean that the idea was bad and it doesn't mean that I was wrong. It could be the timing or it could be the approach. It could be any number of things. And every, every fluff up is an opportunity to learn. And if you put them all on the back burner, it, it doesn't mean that you can't use them in the future and they will suddenly spread your wings and let you fly. So any, yeah. Any opportunity to train and to learn.

Kate (00:36:12):

Oh, and also it will get a business coach. Sorry. I'm sure this is a lot of things, but yeah, we got a business coach who is just brilliant. I don't use him as much as I did when I started, because I find that the things come naturally to me, but it's so helpful to have someone that you can bounce ideas off. They're positive. And they're realistic. You can talk about your business for hours on end. Whereas if you do that with a friend or family might have concerns about you or is it won't be careful be cautious, don't do that. Or I wouldn't do that. Whereas if you've got a coach, they will just help you work out what you want and how you're meant to it, and then support you on the steps that you need to do to kind of reach your goal.

Vicki (00:36:57):

Thank you so much. So yeah, those are all fantastic suggestions. Yeah. I agree. All of them and yep. Thank you so much for all you've shared, you've been such a wonderful guest. Thank you so much. It's been so enthusiastic and you know that your love for what you do, we really comes across. So yeah. Thank you for that. I'm thank you for sharing so much. I'm so much with this. Everything you shared has been so valuable and yeah. I just love your enthusiasm. Yeah. It really shines to raise or thank to you so much.

Kate (00:37:27):

Thank you. So that was lovely.

Vicki (00:37:31):

I really hope you enjoy this interview of Kate. I hope you have found it useful as always. If you have any feedback or comments or questions, you can email me at I've been also absolutely love it. If you could leave a review for this podcast, it really does help other people find it and listen to it. And if you've got a few minutes, she can go into the Apple podcast and writing a short review. If you only have a couple of seconds, you can also go in to Apple podcasts and just leave a star rating. It literally takes a second or to just one click of a button and to rate the podcast. And I would really appreciate it. We'll thank you so much. And CC.