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Today I talk to Nicola Harman, Silk Jasmine, about starting up and running a handmade products business alongside a full-time job. We talk logistics, why it’s OK (maybe even necessary!) to get help and the importance of not comparing your handmade products to others.

Listen in to hear Nicola share:

  • An introduction to her business and what she sells (1:10)
  • How and why she started her business (1:30)
  • Why silk is so good for your skin and hair (5:33)
  • How she went from making scrubs for her local hospital, to creating her own product range (7:59)
  • How her customers inspire the new pieces she creates (11:19)
  • Where she sells her products (13:33)
  • How she manages her business alongside her full-time teaching job (16:45)
  • Some of the things she enjoys about her business (25:01)
  • Mistakes she’s made that you can learn from (26:31)
  • The importance of remembering there’s room in the market for everyone – and why you should never compare (28:29)


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INTRO (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 Weinberg (00:00:25):

Nicola Harman design's and makes most of the silk accessories women in children. So I first came across Nicola and Instagram, and we're so excited to invite him onto the podcast. NicolA actually runs her business alongside the full time job. And it's fascinating. I don't know how she has enough hours in the day to do what she does. This is a really interesting conversation about Running a handmade business, and you all sell a lot about Silk and the properties of Silk as well, which I knew nothing about and personally found quite interesting. So I really hope you enjoyed this interview and I'll now introduce you to, to Nicola. So hi Nicola. Thank you so much for being here.

Nicola Harman (00:01:02): Hi Vicki.

Vicki Weinberg (00:01:03):

It's so nice to talk to you. So can we please start by you giving introduction to yourself, your business and what you sell? Yeah,

Nicola Harman (00:01:11):

Of course. So, hi, my name's Nicola and I'm the owner of Silk Jasmine and I had to make and sell accessories for women and children such as like hair scrunchies, headbands, eye masks, face masks, and that range is sort of growing all the time as well. Oh,

Vicki Weinberg (00:01:31):

That's thank you. And I actually, we got connected Instagram and I've seen it, all of your products, which are just to look lovely and gorgeous. And I didn't actually realize until I looked into a bit more of that you actually have made them or which it's. And I had no idea until I actually sort of looked into you a little bit more. So could you maybe tell us how and why are you, you started your business' cause, I mean, I obviously you've sort of that a bit of reading your mind or your story, but I think it'd be really interesting to share.

Nicola Harman (00:01:58):

Yeah, of course. So I first sort of got into sewing and brought my first sewing machine probably around, so the 11 or 12 years ago possibly longer, firstly, just because I'm only five foot too. And I would just so fed up sort of pain to have all my trousers and, and Jane's and things turned up and then it just quickly sort of grew from there really just in to really, really enjoying and finding it, quite therapeutic sort of learning a new hobby and yeah, it quickly grew and I made my own clothes and eventually sort of went onto lingerie as well, which has much, much trickier.

Nicola Harman (00:02:39):

And, and then life just got in the way, like it does really, and it got pushed to one side and collected dust and then I got divorced moved house and yeah, things just really got in the way and then a long can COVID and I started to make scrubs for my local hospital and, and then face masks, sort of the friends and family. And it just really reminded me of how much I really loved, loved that process and loved sewing. And then in March, 2020. So in that first sort of lockdown, I wasn't working much at that point and started to sort of play around with some of my fabric stash.

Nicola Harman (00:03:25):

So I had a sort of through sowing or built up quite quite a big stash of all different sorts of materials. And then I read an article about the benefits of, of silk for the hair and the skin and starts to do it a little bit of research. I've worked as you beat therapist for over 10 years sort of prior to that career change. So I do a always been interested in, in skincare and in having my own business as well. So I've sort of dabbled in various different things in network marketing and, and learnt quite a lot through that. And so yeah, the business really developed from the that's a ready.

Vicki Weinberg (00:04:07):

So that wasn't That long ago then really, Cause we, we have a call with in this in may of 2021. And so you started to sort of pick it up you so much. And again, like, as it were I'm in March, when did it sort of transition from making things for your hospital and your friends and family to actually creating products that you were selling? When did that happen?

Nicola Harman (00:04:26):

The website went live in August. Yeah. August 22. So I'm less deaths than a year old at the moment. Yeah. And so I started sort of planning and thinking about in March and then a little bit more in may and then in the summer. So I work in and education. So I was offered for the six weeks holiday at that point. So I'd worked a little bit back in the school, just for the teaching, the key stage to sort of bubbles. We had the N M and then I was offered for the, for the summer and that's when things quickly grew and then launched, launched the website, which I built myself. So it's a really proud of that in, in August.

Vicki Weinberg (00:05:07):

Well, it seems to me that you did that really quickly and also what an excellent use of your summer holiday. That's amazing. I mean, I guess you haven't got any time off, but not now and what we will talk a bit of a later about how you, so run the business and alongside your day job. But one thing I like to go back to you, if that's okay. Is you mentioned that you started looking into the benefits of silk. I know nothing about this. So do you mind to sharing for us, like Why silk is so good for your skin in your hair?

Nicola Harman (00:05:33):

Yeah, of course. And so are you something called Mulberry, silk M and that's sort of one of the highest

qualities that you can get and it's produced by the Bombyx Mori mouth, which are fed an exclusive diet of Mulberry leaves. And that's why it's called , but its it has like a natural amino acids, so they are hydrating, but on the technical side, but it doesn't. So for the hair, it doesn't leave dense, it doesn't pull and snag it's hydrating. So again, the skin it's also a hydrating is naturally antibacterial. It's also naturally hypoallergenic or it doesn't absorb your skin creams as well.

Nicola Harman (00:06:16):

So whereas cotton is quite absorbing if you are wearing a mask and putting on those eye creams or sleeping on, on a silk pillow because it doesn't absorb the creams, your skin is then absorbing the, the product properly I'm, which allows them. So then work properly. It also has anti-aging properties again because of those amino acids and less sleep wrinkles as well. So when you're sleeping on silk, just because it's not pearling and dragging on the skin, definitely less sleep bring calls when you wake. But it's also great for those because it's antibacterial great for people who suffer with acne and eczema.

Nicola Harman (00:06:58):

It has so many benefits. It's temperature regulating as well I'm so it keeps your warm and cozy in, in the winter, but Cuellar in the summer, it dries quickly. There is such a huge, huge list of yeah. Great, great positives for using Silk.

Vicki Weinberg (00:07:16):

I had no idea about it apart from this pillow case, I've heard of silk pillow cases, cause it's all my list of things. So I probably need to do things to get and now I'm sort of getting old thinking or a silk pillowcase to be nice. Cause I wake up with a light fly away hair and wrinkled skin. So I've been looking at a pillowcase, but I have no idea about it. The other benefits. So, and what's really interesting is I sell bamboo products and Bambu and so forth. So many similarities when you were saying that, I was like, I had no idea how similar they are in terms of their properties. I knew nothing about a silk before speaking to you, apart from that, it feels nice. So that's thank you for sharing that. And that's a really, really nice actually to know so much about the product as well, I think, and, and the material that they're made from.

Vicki Weinberg (00:07:59):

So I guess how did you go from making facemasks to, or I guess what I'm trying to say is where did you get the inspiration? How did you know, okay, I'm going to go from facemasks to let's say scrunchies and some of the other products you sell, where did, how did you decide what to go with? Cause obviously you sound quite a range now. So,

Nicola Harman (00:08:19):

So one of the first things that our creative was a skinny habit, it's like a skinny version of the scrunchy that can go into your west. And I'm someone that's always so constantly taking the hair up and down. So I'm not saying that we puts the hair up and in an elaborate way and stays there for the whole day teach quite a lot of

PE. And so it's, it's up and downs through the day. And I just wanted something that was a bit more attractive that I could keep in my wrist rather than those sort of a horrible elastic sort of type bands, which also just really bad for your hair. And I actually first started playing around with a headband umm, which I didn't crate from silk at that point because silk hasn't got any stretch in.

Nicola Harman (00:09;02):

And so I knew that I liked the headband that I made, but at that point it was sort of put to one side because it just works more with, with cotton. And so the first product that I created was the silk scrunchie, the thin scrunchy on the rest. And that really was just by doing some searching. So from a competitor sort of popped up in my Instagram, I think possibly a, a sponsored ad. And so of ah, as you know, that that was something that I was looking for and then couldn't really see it at that point. However, I've probably done some more research it's I guess it always works. So you think you've got a, a sort of a niche product and then actually that's, that's not always the way, but yeah, so just inspired really by another company and the fact that I wanted to, to have a, a, a headband that I could also wear on my wrist that didn't look quite so, so horrible as those elastic band type things.

Vicki Weinberg (00:10:01):

Okay. Thank you. And how about after that? So what, what products came next and how did you

Nicola Harman (00:10:07):

Come up with a glass? And it was the way the normal size scrunchy. So the skinny band in a scrunchie, they were the first products that I started with M and then because of the learning about the properties of silk Mo the eye mask was the next thing. And it really has been trial and error. So I'm not particularly or not fashion trained. And, and it has just come from a hobby that has built up in and then gained experience through their, so a lot of trial and error, really so, and researching, and then playing around with patterns, making them up, you know, testing them, thinking all that needs to be a bit longer or that it's not quite covering the eyes.

Nicola Harman (00:10:49):

And so the next product them was the eye mask for the sleep. I call it a sleep mask. I've noticed that lots of other companies do you, do you call them I'm or so I have to be careful, you know, what words or you, so that people know what I mean when I say a sleep mask.

Vicki Weinberg (00:11:06):

Okay. Thank you. And so how much impact if you have some sort of customers or how, or what part of the, of your customers played in deciding which products come next, or maybe which ones you do in different colors, if they had much of an impact into that?

Nicola Harman (00:11:20):

Cool. So I, I think mainly on social media, I use Instagram the most. And so I do get messages from friends, dance from customers as well. Now it's you build it up as you, you know, sort of build up that relationship. So for example, not long ago, I made a, a children's silk headband. So I use that knowledge that I've got from, from the elastic have the small band or into the back of the head band and then people, or, oh, I want one thing. And I came, when were you doing an adult version? So yes, I just really from customers and friends messaging me. And so when we, you bring this out, I've had a friend, so where are you going to bring per silk pillow cases out there?

Nicola Harman (00:12:02):

Such a big thing at the moment. So yes, they have played quite a big part in watch which product I think about and bring out next.

Vicki Weinberg (00:12:11):

That's a really nice cause you do have a quite range in actually, so it's, and it's nice, but I guess you, you can keep expanding and try new things and, and also that you can be responsive to what people are asking you for you as well.

Nicola Harman (00:12:23):

Yeah. Got lots. I've always got some things sort of one or two products and, you know, in the pipeline, it's just finding that sort of time to keep up with it, with everything, but I've just launched a, a, a silk aroma therapy IPLO and that's going really well. And, and yeah, as well as friends, it comes from a guest my need as well. So for that, for example, was created that I was having some problems with my eyes and was diagnosed bluffer itis. And so this really rubbish sort of heat mask. And so that product, you know, go from, from my need of needing something for, for sore eyes and a relaxation.

Nicola Harman (00:13:05):

So yeah, yeah. Lots of, lots of different input from different people.

Vicki Weinberg (00:13:09):

That's a really good, and I think as well, that products have to meet a need and it doesn't matter if it's your own need because you just like, I think any need that we have, there's going to be other people with exactly the same needs as us, because none of us so unique is we think we all have in that sense. And I think making the project to get your own needs, it's fantastic because you then know, okay, who is actually the customer for this.

Nicola Harman (00:13:32): Yeah, definitely. And so why

VickiWeinberg (00:13:34):

Are you selling your products as well as your website? Cause as, I mean, you've mentioned Instagram and I've seen, you got a lovely in Instagram and D do you get time to get sales from there or anywhere else?

Nicola Harman (00:13:46):

Yes. So social media wise, I'm on Instagram and Facebook and yeah. So my main website, Instagram, Facebook, and then just recently started on Pinterest as well though. I'm still, still learning with that. So lots to learn there. I'm also in, I'm a local, a gift shop as well, and just a couple of villages away from me. And I'm also online in some other gift online gift stores as well.

Vicki Weinberg (00:14:17):

Oh, that's amazing. And I didn't and wound consider in that you've been going for just a few months. Really. That's amazing that you've managed to get sucked in so many places. If you don't mind me asking, this is how, how, how did you managed to get your products into the gift shops

Nicola Harman (00:14:31):

And with the gift shop, or actually was in a village to that? I used to live in before moving to the one that I'm in now and it was a gift shop. The I used to go in all the time and then that closed down for a while and then was do to open, unfortunately when COVID sort of started. And, and I was on Instagram, a notice that that gift shop under a different name was reopening. And I know one of the ladies that own it, not very well, but just from, from popping in and being in that village. And so I followed her account and messages and it wasn't even really thinking about it at that point, but she then suggested, you know, I really liked the look of your products and, and maybe you could get them into her style.

Nicola Harman (00:15:16):

So I was really, really, really pleased about them.

Vicki Weinberg (00:15:19):

Oh, that's amazing. And what about the online gift stores or have you had to sort of approach people or, or have you been lucky and had people that's all,

Nicola Harman (00:15:27):

Yeah, with those, I was lucky that they did approach me, but I have also approach to other people. And you said, you know, you like your gift shop. So I think my products would set WAU and yeah. To some people don't get back into all. And yeah, it's just that gradually sort of build up a really, but I was quite lucky for the other online gift shops that they approached me. I'm also on, I'm a local, I think. Yeah. As well as Cambridge here, I think they're also invited in London and a group called the clicker, but local. Okay. Yeah. That was something I, I saw and approach them, which was a great service because you can buy products from all different sorts of shop.

Nicola Harman (00:16:10):

So whether that's food or gifts or plants, and it's such a great service because they come to my house, collect the guests and then they take it to the customer the next day. So it's a really great service. So the customer can order to all sorts of different things in having to have them deliver to their house. Yeah. Very, very quickly from all over Cambridge.

Vicki Weinberg (00:16:35):

Oh, so amazing and fantastic. Your stock's in so many are in so many places. And I think it just goes to show you that sometimes you just have to ask.

Nicola Harman (00:16:42):

Definitely, definitely nothing Roman asking.

Vicki Weinberg (00:16:45):

So we've, we've talked about time and a few, so we've touched on that or was at the time it takes two in the business. Now I know that you mentioned that you have a day job, so which, which is why we record in this in the evening. I'm so how do you run a business alongside having a, a presumed, a full time day job? How do you find the time and how do you stay organized and sort of balance to 'cause? I know you mentioned you were a mom as well as, so you've got a lot on your plate. How, how are you doing it?

Nicola Harman (00:17:14):

You really know, is it, it is a real, real juggle, or when I started, I was off work and then had the summer. So I wasn't quite as prepared to be as busy as I am I'm. So it, it is a real, a railroad juggle. I think you, in one word lists that smile like go-to thing. And the only way I can keep on top of the things, my children are old to the, now I've got one at a university and one just finished at college off I'm going off to the university. So I've definitely got more, more time now. And I could not imagine doing this with working and having and young children as, so at least when I come home, I haven't got to sort of worry about them so much is to just, just myself I'm.

Nicola Harman (00:17:56):

But the main, the main thing is Les. So I have lists on my phone and I break that down into a home tasks, business tasks, urgent home, urgent business. And then I always have a sewing lest and I just tick off. And I do only the important things really, and then not to do list just gets longer and longer and longer. And yeah, I definitely feel overwhelmed at a different points in different apps as well. I've just started to look in to try and schedule things because I don't do that at the moment. And so my social media content can be a bit of a, a bit, a bit gap P M I know she'd should be doing more regularly and sometimes I'll have a bit of a break just because it's so hard to, to keep up, but I'm getting better at managing and, and knowing that I can only, you know, do what I can.

Nicola Harman (00:18:54):

Mmm. Yeah. But it is a real joggle, but

Vicki Weinberg (00:18:58):

Obviously it's something that you really enjoy.

Nicola Harman (00:19:01):

Yeah. Yeah. I really enjoy it. And I am, I am a super organized person, which I'm sure sort of helps, but it's always a, a real, a real juggle I've popped or possibly at the stage now where I need to get someone to help me. So I've just bought a new, a new sewing machine recently. And the plan is to get my mum on board as well, because that's the hardest thing with sewing my own, all my own things is that it does take up quite a lot of time. And I've reached a stage where I've just, I haven't got any stocks on constantly playing catch up. And that is really, really, really tricky to keep on top of.

Nicola Harman (00:19:42):

So yeah, the jump in half term next week is to get my mum on board. So she is, she's fantastic in that kind of thing. And I'm yeah. Hope to see her and her to help me. She's already helping with some cutting out. So cutting out of the products, at least then if I'm coming home from work, I hadn't got to start the process right from the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg (00:20:04):

Okay. Yes. If the pattern is a cut, you just say the, I mean, I say just, I obviously it's how, how, how little I, no, but you can say to them without having to cautious. Wow.

Nicola Harman (00:20:14):

Yeah, because Silk is notoriously slippery. I couldn't have chosen it in a harder material if you want to start with, so it does take quite a lot of time to sort of set up and you have to layer it in the newspapers or a tissue. And so the cutting process is also quite, quite lengthy. So it really, it really does help that you have only just got to, so, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (00:20:37):

And I assume that you were doing everything else, yourself, say S sending out the products and doing your social media and you're website and all the other things.

Nicola Harman (00:20:46):

So it's just ending. I don't think you realize when you start a small business, just how much is involved. Yeah. I mean, just keeping up with the website and as I'm learning, you know, about that more tech technical side with the SEO, there is just always something to think of, you know, from the packing up the, going to the post office, designing the website for photography. So, yeah. So yeah, there are so many things to, to

consider. I do, I do love all of that and yeah. Just possibly need a little bit of how much.

Vicki Weinberg (00:21:21):

No. Yeah. And then I'm with you. I really actually like being busy. It kind of suits me, but I think what I have to, and I don't know if you can sometimes to relate that sometimes I have to be watched that I'm not getting busy doing things that I don't have to be doing. Cause obviously I guess the, the priority is products or made products or sold and posted. But I think you can find yourself going down so many rabbit holes and, you know, deciding you're going to be, you need to absolutely do this. I lost some, or I ended up spending a long time on Pinterest, which I don't think I needed to do in hindsight. It just seemed really urgent at the time and getting it from you on the time, the

Nicola Harman (00:21:59):

Thing completely the same, you can start off the social media is just awful for that. You start looking at posts obviously is so important to do, to support other small businesses. And I always feel bad that I've missed out on people's posts and stories because I love, you know, hearing about their businesses as well. But you S you start on Instagram or Pinterest print, just like you said, his, his is terrible for that. You start and before, you know, it you've lost out easily hours, if you're not careful and just scroll you

Vicki Weinberg (00:22:29):

In. Yeah. And I think it's just hard to resist that temptation to be everywhere. I decided that I had to give all of my, all to my things onto a Pinterest, which I did, and I don't actually think it made any kind of a difference really. And so now it's sort of just Instagram in and that set 'cause, I think the temptation needs to do everything and be everywhere in sort of more of a, on your plate. I don't know. Okay. Not my favorite, so people can relate to it all of this today. So how M just logistically then do you make orders as they come in or do you try and have stock or a ready made, how are you managing that?

Nicola Harman (00:23:09):

So to start with, we're not before we launched the business over that summer, I only had three colors at that point and three products. So the sleep mask, the large scrunchy and a skinny country. And, and so I got my three re color's and I did make stock in all of those things. And so to start with that, that really really helped. But now I haven't, I haven't got any stock because a cut it out. So the last half term I thought, okay, I'm going to get ahead of myself. And I was involved in one of the, a, of a popup as well, a pop-up shopping event, which I've done previously in the November.

Nicola Harman (00:23:50):

And it went really well. So I knew I needed to be organized. So I spent a hold of my last half term, sort of cutting out and get everything ready, starting to sell 'em, you know, create those, those products. But as soon as I was doing that, I was getting orders coming in. So I've just never managed to get on the S on top of, of creating stock. And so that is definitely the next thing I need to do. I mean, it's helped in the, I haven't

wasted anything I'm, but it doesn't make it easy at all. And then if you get bigger, all this come in, I'm just like super stressed. Well,

Vicki Weinberg (00:24:28):

But it's not easy, I guess, the way that is nice. You can say everything is bespoke made to order, maybe. So there's pros and cons.

Nicola Harman (00:24:35):

Yeah. I think I've only, I've never really had any sales, but I have got a copy of the products in your sale. And that was just because I made that initially that stock, and then as I've grown and my experience and my sewing, everything has improved, I'm just a super, super fussy. And I think, oh, I prefer that now to how it was then. And yeah. Things, things change in change with a time. No,

Vicki Weinberg (00:25:01):

That's good though. Isn't it? And it's good to keep sort of evolving and learning and things like that. So obviously we've touched on the fact that you love your business. I think he was half the, love it to, you know, spend the time and get that you do. So what are some of the things that, you know, why you enjoy about it?

Nicola Harman (00:25:18):

So definitely the creative side and, and the sewing, the based, but only if I am not rushed. So I enjoy a really enjoy that process. I find it really, really therapeutic just to switch off and concentrate. I always have music playing in the background or more recently podcasts, which is how I found you. So I've learned so much through listening to other people's so definitely the way the sewing for me as the best part, but yeah, only, only if I'm not rushed and I'm not the sort of stressed out about, about that. So I think it is so therapeutic for the sewing, sewing side of things and yeah, a second to that, so that the designing love all aspects.

Nicola Harman (00:26:01):

Really. I love the social media side of it. I think the creative in the sewing is it's my favorite bit. Yeah. That makes

Vicki Weinberg (00:26:10):

Sense. I think I hear that from a lot of makers as well in the making is, I mean, like, I guess that's the bees and why you have the business' because you enjoy the process of designing and making.

Nicola Harman (00:26:19):

Yeah, of course. Yeah, definitely. And

Vicki Weinberg (00:26:22):

What about some of the challenges? I have a sort of things that are ongoing, or maybe some things that you

think that people list there might be able to, to learn from?

Nicola Harman (00:26:31):

I think time management is the, yeah. The biggest struggle at the moment I've learnt some sort of previous businesses, especially sort of so heavily based around social media that I could be better at that time management firm from not a scrolling M and that's a thing I think I've found tricky is setting prices for the products. And I think it's so easy with a sort of small businesses or creative businesses, but I think if you knew, if you buy a, from one, you definitely getting you a value for money, because I think a lot of us never properly charged properly for our time, at least probably early on.

Nicola Harman (00:27:15):

Anyway, I think it's pretty, so it's hard to get to the people to understand how long it takes to, to make your product. So I do struggle with, with setting prices, and I think I'm getting better as I've gone along to thinking about how long it's me, you know, a long, it takes me to make something. So for example, the I've started my, this, the bands that we're in packs of three M I'm now selling those single you, just the people to maybe test out and try. So they didn't have to buy the three. And in that product is sort of 7 99 and it's posted for free as well.

Nicola Harman (00:27:57):

I'm so if you consider so the price of the sale, and then it takes me sort of 30, 40 minutes, probably from scratch just to make that one small band. So if you take that out, you can probably start to see that I'm probably not really charging charging enough. And so I'm learning as I'm going on and, and making new products that I've got to start considering the time. And it's taking me so time management and setting a product price is probably the trickiest things or found.

Vicki Weinberg (00:28:30):

I think that's good. Thank you very much for sharing that, but I think that's always gonna be a, a struggle when you're making your products yourself, because it's M obviously someone could buy the same thing or something similar from a factory that is knocking out loads of them, and it costs them panties. But what they're getting from you is something different because, you know, you've put all the care and love and, and time into it. And as you say is a challenge to get people to recognize that

Nicola Harman (00:28:58):

It's hard. And I can remember her having a little bit of a blip and thinking, why am I doing this? Because I could see so many companies that's enough, a silk companies. And I can tell that the products are all very, very much this same M companies who have contacted me as well from China or a various places, and, and tries to give me the priceless not, and you look, and you think how cheap you can buy that products and think, oh, well, and it felt a bit disheartened really in thinking one, why did you think of that? But then also, actually I think there are so many people now that are supportive of handmaid businesses, and we want to

support local.

Nicola Harman (00:29:39):

I just had to yeah. Take it a at Mon my, my thought process is there and, and realize that there are people that support how many businesses and you just have to, to find those, to find those people and get across that you are, they are paying in fuel for your time as well. Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg (00:29:57):

Lately. I mean, I was a, that was a big, the next part, scared to make the, while you obviously it's hard and not everyone sees value in something, how made there. I think they have a more and more people that are seeking out, get things that are hand-made and wants it supports small businesses and goes straight to Etsy or Instagram, or when they're looking for something rather than going into Amazon, or do you think that's happening more and more now? And as you say, I think, or whatever you sell it, you're not going to be for everyone because there's always going to be the people who were concerned with price, the people who are concerned with quality of the people who want to have made the people who want to do, or what, if, you know, what I'm basically trying to say is that I think there's customers for everyone and M yes, there'll be people who we wanted to buy.

Vicki Weinberg (00:30:38):

The, the, the one, the, you know, the, the similar products in Chinese companies. But then there's also gonna be people who we're going to be seeking out people like gear, because they really want them to be hand-made. And I think, yeah, I think there's definitely a market for everyone.

Nicola Harman (00:30:51):

Yeah, it's true. And it's just a mindset that I was thrown by a man. Who did you realize that you can get that? So , you know, here, so this much, it was like, well, I, like I came in and I have no idea how they're doing that, but actually when they launched their businesses versus sort of a 20, 30 years, and, or they have a huge, huge warehouses and, and companies in China and Asia, you know, I'm never going to be out to compete with those. And yeah. But yeah,

Vicki Weinberg (00:31:25):

As a time, I think that you're looking at different customers and you definitely don't need to complete, and this is something to say to people I like that you don't, or, you know, you don't need to compete on that because what you're offering is completely different, but it is it's, it's definitely hard because yeah. At camp and I can totally see that it can be disheartened in as well, but don't be disheartened because your product is a fantastic and people love them and that's what matters and you love it. So

Nicola Harman (00:31:51): It's all important stuff,

Vicki Weinberg (00:31:53):

But it's all good. So I'm just, I have one final question, but I'd love to, to ask before we finished, if that's okay. NYCLA and that's, what would your number one piece of advice be to anyone looking to start creating and selling their own products? Now,

Nicola Harman (00:32:08):

I think I've probably already mentioned it. I think it is just to really, really consider the time it takes for you to make those products. And not only that to package them up as well and you know, the whole process. So, yeah, I think definitely that would be my biggest tip is to consider your you're time and also to spend a little, a little bit more time than I did maybe researching, I don't think I've necessarily missed out, but it did start quick. And I think, yeah, Jeff definitely research as much as you can, but not to get stuck too much that you never stop.

Nicola Harman (00:32:48):

I think I remember reading, I don't think it was a quote, but just a piece of information. And I don't remember who from, but it's something along the lines of, if your super, super pleased with everything before you start and you think everything's perfect, you've probably started to late. And that sometimes it's best to just to just stop and, and not worry the everything isn't in place, because things change in, you picked those things up as U as you go a long way.

VickiWeinberg (00:33:20):

Absolutely. I think that's great advice. Thank you. And I think as you alluded to earlier, as well, in whatever point you start, even if things are perfect things we'll still change and things will still evolve 'cause that's life rarely. So I don't think that there's ever a perfect, okay, perfect. So I'll definitely the stairs ever really go in to a line and everything's gonna be perfect for any of us. So I think it's good to just get going. Thank you. And I do like what you said about research as well, because that's something I say to people a lot, but it's also a really good advice not to get in the trap of just researching, researching and not actually doing. Cause I think that's another, those are the other end of the spectrum is you could spend an awful lot of time researching absolutely everything.

Vicki Weinberg (00:34:01): Yeah, definitely.

Nicola Harman (00:34:01):

I'll let you know that I would have ever got started if I waited till, till everything was perfect.

Vicki Weinberg (00:34:07):

And actually it's sort of having products or sound and getting feedback from customers is probably one of the

best forms of research anyway, because it's, you know, it's real, that's based on what you've actually done.

Nicola Harman (00:34:18): Very, very true.

Vicki Weinberg (00:34:20):

Well, thank you so, so much for all you shared stay Nicola, where can people go to take a look at your products?

Nicola Harman (00:34:27):

Yeah. So my website is Silk I'm on Instagram as Silk Jasmine, UK, and Facebook has just Silk Jasmine. Yep. And Pinterest as, oh, I've forgotten, I think is the other way around. It's really annoying when you, so

Vicki Weinberg (00:34:45):

I'm going to be yourself. Don't worry so much. You can't find it. 'cause what I'll do it all links or all of this in the show notes anyway. So people can find it really, really easily. So don't worry about it. Or do you like to ask, because if anyone is listening online, now they could always go and type this in and have a look, but I'm thank you so much. I really love chatting to you. Your thank you so much for everything you shared and for being so honest about it all. I always really appreciate that. So thank you.

Nicola Harman (00:35:08):

Well, thanks for having me on. It's been great.

Vicki Weinberg (00:35:10):

Oh, you're welcome. Hi, thank you so much for listening as always. I've absolutely loved to know what you thought of this episode. Please. Do you remember to rate, review the show and also most importantly subscribed so you don't miss out in any future episodes. As a reminder, I'll release a new episode every single Friday. So take care and forward to speaking to you again, then.