Welcome to Natbee’s latest Series where Inspiring Young Female Entrepreneurs will be featured once every month. I wanted to start these Series with Hollie from Hollie Berries Makes not only because she is a talented lady who quit her job to make her own very successful business but also because she is an Aberdeen blogger and one of my best friends in the community. She’s the epitome of Inspiring Young Female Entrepreneurs and I am so excited to have her kicking off these Series!
1. Hi Hollie, it’s lovely to have you here today as the first to start the Inspiring Young Female Entrepreneurs Series, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. Could you start of by telling us a little about yourself and your business?
Thank you for having me! I’m Hollie, baker, blogger and maker at Hollie Berries which is my small business in which I design and create whimsical animal dolls and decorations. I love to incorporate new and vintage materials in my work and take inspiration from the beautiful nature surrounding me here in Aberdeenshire where I’ve lived for just over a year and I absolutely love!
2. Did you pursue formal training or are you self-taught?
When I left school I actually studied dance and trained full time in it for three years, so a bit of a career change! But since I was young I was always making things and taking them to sell at craft fairs so am completely self taught and my creativity just grew as I did. The summer I graduated was when I really started Hollie Berries after years of making things for friends and craft stalls I decided I should actually give my business a name and start to brand it.
3. Where do you make your creations? What does your creative space look like?
I’m lucky enough to have a home studio which I just adore! It’s where I design, create and do all of my admin and is definitely the room I spend most of my time in so I wanted to make it as inspiring a work space as possible. It’s light, bright and airy and is filled with artwork and prints from other makers and usually lots of plants and fresh flowers too! It really is my little heaven.
4. Do you remember your first sale and what it felt like?
I’ve been attending craft fairs with my makes since I was about 12 years old so I cant remember my very first sale but I have such great memories of doing those fairs in my home town, it was my first taste of being a business woman- I was bound to work for myself one day!
5. Describe a typical day in your life!
Most mornings I wake up early and head out for a run, walk or to yoga to start my day as it always inspires me and really sets me up for a productive days work. I then usually begin with admin and emails then write out a good old to do list to work through each day. My day can then really differ, sometimes I’ll spend the whole day cutting out patterns and sewing at my machine and other days I’ll be out and about hunting down fabrics, vintage buttons and taking pictures.
6. As a small business owner, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered so far?
Making the transition from part time to becoming fully self employed with my business was definitely the biggest challenge for me and was a scary and daunting one as I had been working towards it for so long, but it really has been the most rewarding decision I’ve made!
7. What is the one tip you would offer someone who is looking on starting up their own business?
Make sure you’ve done your sums and have a good business plan. As a creative person the business side of things didn’t come so easily to me but it is so important to know your numbers! It’s also important to be confident in your business and your ideas, and take on others advice but don’t listen to negativity!
8. Where would you like to be a year from now?
I would love to be selling Hollie Berries in more shops and for the Hollie Berries blog to
still be spreading the making, baking and adventuring joy!
*The Inspiring Young Female Entrepreneurs Series will be posted once every month so stay tuned for the next interview!