Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I am a freelance costume maker based in West Yorkshire.
At the beginning of 2020, I had a baby, and the plan was that my freelance work would enable me to be a working Mum. I was just getting back into the swing of motherhood and work when Covid hit, and of course all the work dried up!
So, I found myself with a two month-old baby, no income, and no idea what to do. Having a little baby crystallised some thoughts I had regarding baby clothes. It seemed that most baby clothes were very rigid in the rules of what boys and girls should wear. Boys get blue and dinosaurs, whilst girls get pink and pastels and flowers. I thought: where were the fun clothes, the funky, bold patterns, where were the bright, vivid colours for both girls AND boys, and why couldn’t girls wear what boys wore?
The solution came in the form of my fledgling business, called Inkydink. The name was the easy bit – a play on my surname. Then came the difficult bit: how to bring it all to fruition, when I had no idea how to start a business. I would need to learn how to be an entrepreneur! I realised that I had to play to my strengths in a tough market - my items would unique one-offs, with a high-quality finish and attention to detail, but most of all they would be fun and happy and would put a smile on my customer’s faces and a little skip in the step of their tiny wearers!
Firstly, I had to design the fabrics and get them printed. I sat down on my iPad and sketched and played until I had come up with a selection of designs. I then sought out an eco-friendly fabric printing company and found one that printed fabrics as sustainably as possible, with an emphasis on minimal environmental impact. Finally, I put it all together in a range of baby and toddler clothes and set-up an online shop on which to sell them.
Its been a steep learning curve, but an exciting journey…so far!
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