Little Ideas With Love is run by seamstress extraordinaire Rachel who lives in West Yorkshire with her partner, Richard, and son, Alfie. Powered by tea, in her little sewing room, Rachel creates beautiful handmade dresses, bags, hair accessories and one-off special requests using her large range of designer fabrics. Probably the most fragrant house in the UK, Rachel also creates eco-friendly melts at home – Alfie regularly offers artistic advice!
Here Rachel gives us a glimpse of a day in the life of Little Ideas With Love and how family really is at the heart of all she does.
Why and when did you start Little Ideas With Love?
Little Ideas With Love was formed in February 2015 after I’d already started up Little Stitches and Little Melts With Love, we decided we need to have them both under an umbrella name and came up with this. This also gives us scope for other ranges of products in the future. I’ve always had a passion for being creative and then I started making the odd hair accessory and aprons for family and friends and then realised that I could turn my hobby into a business. I was looking for something else to add to my site and came up with the idea of making my own wax melts. I’d often bought these from shops and started looking into making them for myself. Once I had made my first batch I gave a few to my friends to try and they loved them! They encouraged me to start making them to sell and I opened a group on Facebook and it went crazy with everyone wanting to order from me.
What is a typical day like at Little Ideas With Love HQ?
Crazy! LOL! I get up at around 7am, check my emails and then start to get ready to take Alfie to school. Usually whilst I’m making breakfast I’m replying to emails or sending invoices, but since my site has gone live it’s taken some of the administrative work away and given me more time creating products for my lovely customers. I’m usually running around like a crazy woman, making lunch for Alfie, stacking the dishwasher, putting the washing on. I have time for my first cup of tea whilst getting dressed! Once Alfie’s been dropped off at school then I work out what I need to do first. Usually I have a cup of tea and check my orders for the day and print them all off. Once orders are packed I then either make melts or get my sewing orders done, but in between I’m always checking to see if more orders have come in as I like to get most out the same day. It’s only my sewing orders that take longer as these are made to order. By this time I usually realise it’s lunchtime and that I’ve totally forgotten about breakfast! I grab a quick sandwich and a cup of tea and then back to work.
At 2.30pm I leave to take all my parcels to the post office and then go and do the school run. I grab a quick 20 minutes with Alfie and we chat about his day at school and what I’ve done. Whilst making tea I’m usually answering my messages from customers. I do stop when tea is ready and Richard, my husband, is home from work. We love to sit down as a family and chat about how our day has been and it’s what we call family time! At the moment we don’t get as much as we used to, but we always make sure we have one day at the weekend altogether.
It’s still crazy all day every day which I wouldn’t change for anything. Making melts is very relaxing and there is always a beautiful smell in my workshop, I have a real passion for sewing, so just love having time to be able to do more, I also deliver some of my product locally, which is great as I get to meet with my customers and chat to them about their ideas and mine and what they want.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Trying to manage a new business, run a home and look after my family, but I think i’m doing OK so far!
What has been your funniest moment, so far?
When Alfie came to me with a list of which wax melts he would like to order! On his list he had put 100 orange (this is his favourite fragrance) 60 vanilla, 10 banana, 4 strawberries & cream and 2 baby powder. It did make me chuckle and I explained to him that he didn’t need to order as he was one of the Melt Family and he could have them whenever he needed. He’s now the proud owner of two wax burners and a big bag of melts!
What are your dreams for Little Ideas With Love?
Now that I have my website set up I dream of reaching out to more customers, whilst growing my business but keeping it personal and continuing to supply unique handmade gifts and products for my customers.
How is your work/life balance?
At the moment I’m putting every possible hour in that I can, but still making that special time for family time too. Richard is really supportive and has helped me lots. Even Alfie helps now and then which makes me really proud.
What has been your proudest moment?
Receiving amazing feedback from my customers and them sharing me with their friends. Through word of mouth I now have customers as far as Dublin, France and Spain.
What tips would you give someone else wanting to start their own small business?
Keep an eye out on our social pages for news of a Little Ideas With Love competition 🙂