Quality, Small Batch Children’s Clothing Made with Character & Care

The drive: What challenges have you overcome?

Wow, probably too many to say actually. Going to markets and having no sales, especially if I have travelled hours to get to a market. It takes grit and determination to get up and try again. Or in my case, pure stubbornness haha.

I have also only recently really started ramping up the business again after I had a knee injury in March 2020. I spent probably 6 months or more on crutches and had knee surgery that didn’t really fix anything unfortunately. It’s still not 100% but I have worked my way back to a point that I can comfortably sit and sew again as long as I don’t overdo it. So I guess managing that in a business that requires me to produce all the products was definitely challenging.

I have had people say, “Why don’t you just give it up?”, but for me it’s a massive creative outlet and my happy place to make bright, bold clothing that is vastly different to what you would find instore. I love to see kids eyes light up when they see the cool prints and colours that I use. It makes me smile. I guess for me, sewing is my chillout time.

For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

There are a lot of pros and cons to running my own business.

Pros are working my business around my family life and in my case schooling for my kids. It gets me out of the house meeting new people and talking to other adults. It has also taken me to places I haven’t visited before which is cool.

It helps my creative side which makes me happy. As long as I am doing something creative, it feeds my soul.

It does bring in some extra money, although a lot is put back into the business, but it helps with the kids’ extra curriculars and some of the groceries. It’s never really been about the money for me, which is not really a business mindset but it works for me and my family.

There are actually a lot of cons in having your own business and it’s probably why most businesses fail in the first 5 years, as I learnt in my Certificate in Business Management and Certificate in Money Management.

You can feel like you have to be available 24/7 on social media, and coming up with content is probably the hardest thing for me.

While I appear very outgoing at markets, I am actually quite reserved and hate to be in the limelight. I also hate being on camera, so that’s not really a plus in business or for social media!

I think the hardest thing though is doing it all yourself: the marketing, social media, website building, all the behind the scenes things you do as one person because you don’t have the funds to pay someone else to do it. It takes time away from the creative aspect and it can make it a chore to have a small business, but it can also be the most rewarding thing to learn new skills and network with other businesses.

Hopes and dreams: What next?

What’s next? Well I have so many ideas running through my head sometimes, I’m not sure which way to go next! Currently, I am learning how to do stop motion videos. Considering I was raised in a time before the internet was invented, this is a massive skill for me!

I am also taking watercolour art lessons, as I would love to design my own surface pattern designs for printing on fabric. At the moment, I buy artwork off other artists to print onto fabric, but having my own designs would be awesome!

I am also prepping for a big market coming up in my region. We just moved to Southland at the end of May, so I am now trying out markets down here, which is great.

After that, well I’m not sure what the future holds. I am looking forward to enjoying the creative process and bringing new and exciting products to my customers that continue to have a slow fashion ethos. Making limited edition items that last through more than one child – I know this is what my customers love about my products. The unique, high quality clothing that they know will last.

Visit the Krafty Koaster website to find out more and to browse their collection. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.

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