Hi there! I am Kat from Illustrated Kat and I have been working on my business for just over a year. My product range features my pretty and peculiar, hand designed fabrics which I hand make into cushion, toiletry bags, coin purses and much more. I also created all of the illustrations for Time To Flourish from characters to butterflies! Please visit my website to browse my work .
”Some days you will be really lost and feel like everything is failing, but the next day something great will happen and you'll reach an amazing achievement.
How did you come to start your business?
After graduating from university I wanted nothing more than to keep working on my ideas and trying to make a career out of it. I was so inspired by my love for glasshouses and my new experiments with fabric that I wanted to keep testing out new ideas. So after I graduated it was natural for me to keep working on what I had already started but try and market it for the public.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
I can be really creative! I try to set aside a couple of days a week to look at marketing, research and emailing wholesale requests, but the other days I spend making orders, entering competitions and testing new ideas.
What’s the hardest part?
I struggle a lot with getting Illustrated Kat out there. Every sale I make gets a very positive review but it is a challenge to try and get that traffic to my website and shop. If I can get more of a following to find my work, I think my business would be doing really well.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Within the first month of deciding I wanted to become self employed, I visited an old friend who runs a glass shop. She told me about Universal Credit for self employed. There was a 12 month start up programme with a monthly allowance which allowed me to solely focus on my business whilst receiving some extra income. It was a massive help! Also joining the Princes Trust gave me a sense of community which is appreciated whilst working from home.
If you could tell your start up self one thing, what would it be?
Sit down and think about exactly what you want to be making. Pay a lot of attention to what’s on the market already and decide how you will be unique from that and how you can achieve the same level of quality. Some days you will be really lost and feel like everything is failing, but the next day something great will happen and you’ll reach an amazing achievement.
What are you most proud of?
The progress I have made with my products. Last year I had never sewn a zip and this year I have a full product range and wholesale catalogue. I have just finished an order where I sewn 45 zips into coin purses and pencil cases.
What’s your ultimate goal?
I would love to have a successful Etsy shop, receiving many orders a week, and an open studio somewhere that I work from and have set up as a shop!
What’s your guilty secret?
I listen to podcasts, Youtube videos and sometimes even Netflix films whilst I work! Everyday!