Small Brand Spotlight | With Michelle from Evie Michelle
Good morning and welcome to a new and very special feature which I hope to be running once a month. I’ve spoken previously about my love for small brands and the fact that I like nothing more than finding products that are unique and different from anything you’d find on the high street. What makes this passion even greater, is that many of these companies are established by Mothers, just like me – albeit a lot more talented than me – who have taken the bull by the horns and chosen to make a living out of doing something they are passionate about and love. In order to celebrate these truly amazing women, I’ve decided to run a monthly feature called ‘Small Brand Spotlight’, where I’ll be showcasing one of the beautiful brands I’ve discovered through Instagram in addition to having a little chat with its founder. This month we’ll be talking to Michelle Inglis, creator, owner and founder of the beautiful childrens hair accessory company Evie Michelle.
Evie Michelle is a special one for me, because I connected with it a few months after Ettie was born. I was in the midst of non-stop breastfeeding, when there was little else to do in the middle of the night, other than carry out a spot of on line shopping – a dangerous game!! I was doing a bit of Instagram scrolling, specifically looking out for little bows that Ettie could wear. There were lots of options, but everything I came across seemed too large and overpowering for a tiny baby. Then I discovered Evie Michelle who stocked the sweetest little dainty bows all lovingly hand crafted with beautiful Liberty fabrics. It was exactly what I was looking for and I ordered the cream suede bow straight away. I cant remember the exact chain of events – it was 2 in the morning, but I think I left Michelle a note via her Etsy shop and she responded immediately. I remember thinking she’s either mad or a new mum to still be awake at this time – then I noticed her daughter was only a couple of months older than Ettie. A few days later Ettie was the proud owner of her first little bow. It came lovingly presented in some pretty floral paper with a postcard saying ‘You Amazing Mama’. There was even a teabag and a chocolate for me. Such a loving touch. After that I ordered lots more bows from Michelle in numerous liberty fabrics, my favourite being the Mustard Capel bow which we now have in two sizes! They were perfect for Ettie’s little features and added the perfect feminine touch, without being too overbearing. The soft nylon fabric also meant they were comfortable for her to wear. Since then Michelle business has grown from strength to strength. You only have to do a quick search of the hashtag to find hundreds of accolades from mothers praising her gorgeous products and fantastic customer service. In addition to the original suede bow and dainty bow, Michelle now stocks Grand Bows, Hair Clips and lovely ‘You Amazing Mama’ zip bags for those every day essentials. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can always drop her a line and ask for a custom made order. That is the best thing about shopping small, everything can generally be tailored to suit your exact needs. Its so great to feature Michelle as my first Spotlight and I hope you all enjoy getting to know her a little better.
Over to Michelle:
In your past life, what was your job before creating ‘Evie Michelle’?
I have done many different things but mostly I worked for design agencies in a Project Manager role and I’ve always been in a creative environment.
Was there a defining moment when you thought,I’m going to do this’ and become self-employed?
I was already self employed in a sales job at the time when Evie was born and it was when she was about 5 months old, I had made a few headbands for her and people seemed to love them and there was nothing really like them at the time so I just set up an Instagram and Etsy shop one night and put some up for sale! I was so excited to get 2 sales that first night! (I shared the Instagram with my other followers on my personal account).
Evie Michelle makes the most beautiful bows and headbands, Do you have a favourite?
Ah thank you so much that’s so kind of you to say and yes I absolutely have my favourites, they change sometimes but one of them has to be the dusky pink linen bow, it’s such a gorgeous colour and goes with everything, then I’d have to say the Autumn Liberty floral Katie & Millie one.
Describe a typical working day in the life of Evie Michelle?
Well, at the moment most of my day’s spent with Evie so sometimes I can sneak in a little bit of packing in the morning when she has her breakfast, then it’s a quick dash at nap time (if she has one) to do whatever is needed and then it’s back on it again at bedtime! Which at the moment is far too late if she has a nap so I’m actually looking at a pre-school for her for just a few hours a week so I can get some of my evenings back! I haven’t really spent enough time with my other half for ages and I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched Netflix! Ha! But I love it so it’s worth it! It’s also amazing having the Etsy app and Instagram on your phone so I can ‘work’ throughout the day, so answering messages, doing social media posts etc! But yes, fitting it around Evie really at the moment.
What has been your proudest moment since establishing Evie Michelle?
This is such a hard but lovely question because I am so proud of so many things! Firstly the fact I’ve actually stuck to something and been committed to it, it’s been really hard work so I’m proud of that! Customer feedback and their lovely reviews and comments mean the world to me so ultimately that’s what I’m most proud of but in terms of wow moments I’d have to say having my bows featured in Baby London Magazine and Vogue! Also being a NOTHS partner and being asked by the lovely Jo of Lobella Loves to sell on her fabulous site.
How is life juggling a business and 2 year old daughter?
Tiring but so much fun! She’s amazing and such a sweet, loving little girl I can’t believe how lucky I am and I don’t want to miss a thing so I’ve been so happy to fit it in around her but now she’s definitely ready to play with some friends and I need a little ‘me time’ so we’re going to try a few hours a week at pre-school and see how that goes! It’s hard work, but so so worth it to be able to be with her when she needs me! I’m writing this at 1:30am so it’s all about balance and trying to take care of myself as well! (I don’t do this every night!).
Do you have any advice for mothers thinking of setting up their own business?
Go for it! If you have an idea and it makes you happy then just start! Instagram is amazing for small businesses so make sure you’re on there! There are so many amazing resources out there to help so just start and learn as you go! You will have ups and downs but that’s all part of it! Try and grow a network of support and find groups on Facebook or membership groups like the Female Entrepreneur Association – Carrie is amazing and I have learnt so much from her bundles (courses).
Finally are you glad you did it?
Absolutely! There is nothing more thrilling that when I hear the Etsy sale noise on my phone and I still can’t believe people want to buy something I’ve made! It’s the best feeling and seeing people share photos of their little ones in my bows just make me so happy!
Thank-you Michelle, such lovely answers. I can feel your passion for your work resonate through your words and i’m so sorry for keeping you awake until 1.30 in the morning xx
You can find Michelle on Instagram here @_eviemichelle or if you’d like to buy one of Michelle’s beautiful bows, hair clips or pouches (they’d make perfect stocking fillers for Christmas) then they are available from her website or Etsy Shop.