Colour, fabric, texture and design always capture my eye so when I had the opportunity to catch up with Alana Kelly of Yumminess Textiles I was thrilled to find out makes this talented lady tick.
As it turns out it is a combination of fabric, love and passion. So come meet Alana and be inspired!
Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the day to day life like for a small business owner of Yumminess Textiles and who makes up the team?
I am a work at home Mummy to a very active (and gorgeous) two year old boy who sees to it that Mummy doesn't get any sewing done during the day. So my days are spent with him at the park or on playdates. This means lots of late nights for me! Luckily, my son loves childcare, where he attends twice a week. The aim is to get as much done during those days but I find after having a few appointments, the days are gone so quickly!
I am at my most productive at night, in front of dodgy TV shows or listening to podcasts. Yumminess textiles is essentially just me, I do all of the work but I just could not do it without the support of my wonderful fiancé.
What (or who) inspires you, that encourages you to reach out and make things happen?
I am so inspired by the Mummies of the little babes that wear my clothing. I just love the idea that a Yumminess Mummy will dress her little girl up in my clothing and be so proud of how pretty she looks. That, to me, is what it is all about. I am forever grateful for their beautiful support of my little business.
On a personal level, the person who inspires me is my son, Albion (Alby). I want him to grow up being proud of his Mummy, to know that I started my own business when he was a baby and that it is successful because of my hard work.
I also find it inspiring to be a part of an amazing network of other work at home Mum's. Watching their businesses grow and develop, plus to know that they are 100% supportive of me gives me the encouragement to really follow my dreams.
Ok, so maybe everything inspires me! I’m a very glass half-full kinda girl!
What do you enjoy most about the running of Yumminess Textiles?
The fact that it's mine: that I have started it from scratch and that I am my own boss. I am a teeny bit of a control freak (don't tell anyone that I admitted to that!) so I love that I get to make all the decisions.
I also love that I'm the one who is making the money that I spend on fabric. I bought myself a new sewing machine a little while ago and it felt so good that it was from selling things that I made. I love being able to justify my fabric obsession too!
Do you have a passion for fabrics and textures?
Absolutely! Fabric makes me happy, plain and simple. It's fabric that really gets me excited and gives me all of my ideas. Not long ago I saw this beautiful super soft striped denim and within half an hour I had all the fabric ordered for my nautical inspired range.
I can be indecisive at times but when it comes to fabric I can make a snap decision and know without a doubt that it's the right one. I have found that because I only started sewing in November last year, I have been sticking to mainly sewing with cotton, but I found this amazing satin the other day and typically, it set off an idea for a new range so I had to have it!
Many makers design in their heads as they find more pieces so does this happen with you when your fabric hunting?
All the time! As I said, I can find one fabric and it sets off all of these ideas. There is nothing better than taking time to really go through a fabric shop, to touch the fabrics and place them next to each other. One of my favourite things is creating fabric combinations that at first glance to someone else might look strange – but I just know when it is going to work. I want to run home when that happens and start sewing straight away!
What’s been the hardest part or experience you’re had since starting the business?
While I have adored working alongside other businesses on Facebook, there has been a downside. Having such a public forum can lead to negativity, namely bigger businesses who feel the need to intimidate smaller ones. I think it is so sad that another Mummy, who might be starting out and wanting to try and do something for herself might be discouraged enough to either not try or not continue. It’s so important to me to support other Mums when I see this happening, I would never sit by and watch it without letting them know that they have support. I have been at the receiving end of this myself and it’s not nice. Thankfully, I am very stubborn and refused to be budged!
What’s been the best thing for the business that you just stumbled upon?
Without a doubt, it would have to be Facebook. I started out crocheting and didn't really know where to sell my stuff. A friend introduced me to the fact you could have a business page on Facebook and the rest is history. I had no idea at all that there was this huge community right at my fingertips and now I couldn't be prouder to be part of the handmade revolution!
What do you think has been the most successful promotional activities you’ve explored to getting the word out about Yumminess Textiles?
I think one of the most important things you can do is donate your wares to online auctions for charity. Not only are you contributing to many deserving charities, it is a wonderful way for lots of different people to see your work.
I have been so blessed that people seem to like my work and want to share it for me. This is the beauty of Facebook, word of mouth works in wonderful ways!
You have a flourishing number of followers on Facebook – what do you think has been the best way of getting your name out there on Facebook?
I think by having a well made, high quality product made from beautiful fabrics is a great start. I pride myself on great customer service and I absolutely value each and every one of my customers. I really enjoy interacting with them.
I think that when you create a space where people feel happy and welcome, then it attracts other people. I guess in a way, you could say that my fellow business owners and my customers have actually been the best way to get my name out there. I can tell you that I have gorgeous clothing myself, but somehow, when it comes from someone who has bought items from me, it has more meaning. And I am so grateful for that.
What do you think has been a really important regular activity with your social media that’s helped you grow?
I have found that staying in regular touch with my customers via Facebook status updates is really important. I love having a laugh with them and really enjoy the interaction. I have just started a blog (www.yumminess.com.au) and have already found that this is a great way to share a lot more with my likers. It's given me a chance to really show my personality now that I no longer have to cram it into 420 characters!
What are the hopes and plans for Yumminess Textiles this year?
I have been so incredibly blessed with how it has progressed so far and I truly hope to continue in the same vein. I am looking forward to becoming more adventurous with my fabrics and textures. I didn’t do a Christmas range least year so I am really looking forward to coming up with something a little different this year.
What would be your top 5 tips you’d give to someone starting out?
1. Just do it. Stop thinking about it and jump in feet first. One of my favourite quotes is “It’s better to regret something you did, than something you didn’t do”.
2. Work your arse off. Am I allowed to say arse? Work hard, really hard. Late night, long hours and lots of coffee!
3. Believe in yourself.
4. If someone tells you that you can’t….do it anyway.
5. Have fun!
Meet Alana Kelly of Yumminess Textiles
Check Out These Articles!