Our second business directory post is all about Holly Edwards Textiles.
Holly Edwards Textiles is full of handmade to order, personalised and creative products, from birthday badges, crowns, teachers gifts, face masks, reusable face cleaning cloths, cushions, personalised memory items and so much more.
With Christmas around the corner, Holly Edwards Textiles also creates elf outfits.
I first met Holly when we both started secondary school together. Seeing her and her business grow everyday is something truly amazing and so inspiring. Even you don't want to setup your own business, hearing about Holly's journey is so amazing. Hearing her stories surrounding her business and juggling a life outside of Holly Edwards Textiles, as well as working part time in a care job are inspirational. Even through the pandemic, she hasn't stopped. If anything it has motivated her to carry on with what she loves doing.
While I was setting up Mitra The Label and still now I often ask Holly for advice on how things should be done. We may be in different industries, but advice and tips are always useful.
Being able to sew seems be a forgotten but so important skill, so if you're in the South West of England and ever want to learn how to sew or touchup your basic skills, then book yourself a workshop with Holly. Holly also creates sewing kits, which you can do from the comfort of your own home.
To read Holly's interview, please continue reading below.
Introduction about yourself, what is your business called and where you based?
I’m Holly, I’m 24 and I live in my little cottage in the south west of England! My
Business is called HollyEdwardsTextiles - it’s exactly what it says on the tin. I’ve had my business since I was 13 years old but since graduating from university my business is my main job.
You can find Holly Edwards Textiles at:
What is the inspiration behind your name?
I wanted a name that reflected exactly who I am and what I do. I offer a very personalised service so feel it’s important for my customer to know the person behind it all as well. Holly Edwards is my name and textiles is what I do. But popping ‘textiles’ there enable me creative freedom when it comes to products I am not restricted but what I offer simply by the name.
Can you describe your business to us please and where do you currently ship your products to?
I design make and sell mostly personalised pieces such as cushions, bunting, birthday crowns, birthday badges, banners, decorations, lampshades and much more! I specialise in a technique called free motion embroidery which is where you essentially draw using your sewing machine, this is how I add the personalisation.
As well as the products I also teach sewing from my home. Mainly 1-1 but also small groups of three. I teach beginners, free motion embroidery, dress making and products (cushions, bunting, fabric baskets). I throughly enjoy this side to my business, being able to use my skills to help and inspire others..priceless! I have been teaching since 2018 and understand a large proportion of my audience are not local so I offer kits for those further afield.
I ship all over the world and have customers dotted all around the UK as well as Australia, America, Dubai and Sweden.
When did the idea for your business start and when did you launch/plan to launch your business?
I was on a walk when I was 13 and desperately wanted to run my own business as from a young age I’ve been surrounded by family that have their own business. I have seen the buzz that you get from owning your own business, I wanted that. I was thinking of a name that I could call my business, I was always into sewing and at the time I came up with ‘stitch it with style’ - that was what my business was called for many years but then I grew up and wanted something more ‘me’ so I changed it.
What made you start your own business?
‘Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ - I love these words and I wanted this. Now, I do just that..simple!
Did you have any business knowledge or work experience before setting up?
As I started my business so young it was all trial and error. I attended many craft fairs and event all whilst building my audience online. Throughout school, A-level and university I took the time to expand my working knowledge by working along other makers to really get a feel for what I thought I wanted to do. I also went back to school in my second year of uni to teach textiles, from this I realised I didn’t want to teach in a school setting which is why I teach privately from my home. With my teaching I have taught over 150 people helping them gain the confidence to see, many are now good friends.
What does a typical business day look like for you?
I thrive off routine so I first get up early and walk the dog, when I come back and start my working day about 9am. I usually work through until about 6/7pm taking about 30mins/1 hour in-between for lunch. Usually this turns into a working lunch. My evenings are not spent in-front of the tele, but instead packaging, printing postal labels or working on new kits and designs. I also work as a carer so time off is incredibly rare and if I’m honest I’m not a fan of a day off. Having spent time looking at the way I work I know days off don’t work for me and that’s absolutely fine so I take my days slower and I potter, I might clean or sort my drawers out so my days are always varied. 2 times a week I’m usually teaching so my sewing days are centred around that.
What is the inspiration/message for your brand?
You’ll see it on my website it’s CREATE | PERSONALISE | INSPIRE - the three things I love to do and the three things that go into HollyEdwardsTextiles.
What has been your biggest challenge you have come across since launching or pre launching your business?
LOADS! Owning your own business doesn’t come lightly as you can see from my daily routine I rarely get time off. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change it. I spend every waking hour thinking/doing things for my business, it really never stops. It’s hard work, the walking up at 4am and mentally going through my list of remembering the birthday badge I’ve got to make on Tuesday for Archie, haha! It’s amazing but something it can get a little too much so it’s important as your business grows to recognise those signs, take a little time out, even just an hour. I’ll do things such as bake, do some yoga or go out for a long walk with the dog and listen to podcasts like ‘diary of a CEO - Steven Bartlett’ or ‘on purpose - Jay Shetty’.
Is there anything you would have done differently in the first month/year?
No, absolutely not. Everything I do lead me to where I am today, don’t get my wrong many days I don’t get a single order but business comes in waves. Quiet for a few days then wondering how on earth I can make time to feed myself - haha!
Lastly, what advice would you give someone if they want to start a business?
When starting out, don’t put pressure on yourself. Even with my business I have a second job, a job with a steady income. My income from my business fluctuates and it helps me mentally having another income. Also when your business picks up, do your accounts. Every single month. You’ll thank me. When it comes to your tax return it’ll just be the case of inputting numbers rather than drowning in a sea of receipts! Enjoy every second of it - don’t beat yourself up in the quiet times, enjoy them. Oh..and imposter syndrome is a very real thing, you’ll feel it too. Don’t listen to that voice too much!
And that concludes the interview with Holly. Thank you Holly for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.
I hope you all found this inspirational. Holly's journey truly inspired me to start my business and follow my dreams.
On the 6th September Holly launched new products for Halloween and Christmas to www.hollyedwardstextiles.com. Please check her website and Instagram out. Small businesses need all our support more than ever.
Mitra The Label