I'm so excited to bring you all my first ever #shopsmallsaturday blog takeover! Every Saturday I would like to feature a different small business, getting to know a little more about the business and the people behind the brands! So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to today's guest blogger: the incredibly talented and equally lovely Ali from Tutti Frutti Clothing.
I had the opportunity this week to ask Ali some questions so you can get to know more about her and her wonderful business. I hope that by reading this interview you may find another small business to support or if you're interested in maybe starting your own business, you may find some inspiration here too...
Hello! I’m Ali and I run Tutti Frutti Clothing. I make organic clothes for kids (and now grown up sizes too!) in fun prints and bold colours.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dairy Milk – I can eat quite a lot of it in one go!
What makes your business a little different from the rest?
I work really hard to find prints and fabrics that stand out from the things you find on the high street and also make sure that everything I make is suitable for boys and girls – one style of leggings and t-shirts for all children.
I’m also really passionate about reducing waste in the fashion industry and use as much of the fabric I have as I can. Smaller pieces are made into kids undies, baby wipes and even make up remover wipes!
What TV show could you happily lose a day bingeing on?
It’s rather embarrassing to admit but I do like to watch BBC Doctors in the afternoons when I sew! I could probably watch that and lose a whole day!
What is an absolute non-negotiable in your day?
My morning latte – I can’t start the day without a latte!
Tell us one thing about your business that you are most proud of?
I think I am most proud of making my business work around my kids. I have three (6, 8 and 10) and its hard work but positive customer comments make it all worth it. I am also really proud that I have raised nearly £400 for the local foodbank through the sale of hairbands and scrunchies – aother way to use up small pieces of fabric but also for a worthy cause.
What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED talk on something outside of your main area of expertise?
I have no idea! Maybe old musicals…I do love them!
What’s your favourite ever product that you currently sell or have sold?
I really love the grown-up rompers I recently introduced to my range. I have 4 now and they are the comfiest thing I own!
What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? Could be an investment of money, time, energy, or other re-source. How did you decide to make the investment?
I am a member of the Resilient Retail Club with retail consultant Catherine Erdly. I’ve invested time and money in her courses and programmes and they have been really worth it. Getting a handle on finances and stock levels is not the most glam part of running a small business and her support and advice has been invaluable.
What’s been the biggest change to you and your business during this crazy Covid-19 lockdown?
Adding a bigger range of grown up clothing to my collection! I always said I would only do kids clothes but it turns out grown ups love colourful, comfy clothes too!
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
Knowing that I have built it myself – although having sole responsibility can be a bit daunting I do like being in control!
What do you or would you outsource if you could?
I’d outsource more of the sewing! I currently work with another local seamstress to make the leggings and would love to get more help to make everything so I could concentrate on other areas of the business.
Who or what inspires you?
Holly Tucker at Holly Co. is a big inspiration – she started Not on the High Street and is such a champion of small businesses.
What’s your favourite podcast or book that’s helped you with an area of your business?
The Janet Murray podcast has loads of great tips for finding your customer and building an online audience.
Do you have a favourite quote or just one you really like? Why do you like it?
I really like “in a world where you can be anything, be kind” – kindness goes a long way in business!
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out with their business or wanting to start, what would it be?
Look at your finances! Price your products properly and make sure you build profit into everything before you start.
Do you have any new products that you’re excited to tell people about?
I have just launched some amazing printed tee’s and sweatshirts. They are printed in eco-friendly dyes and inks and made on organic cotton – and match my range of leggings perfectly! Plus they are in child size and mens and ladies too!!
So there you have it guys, I really hope you have enjoyed learning more about Ali and her fantastic business, if you'd like to find out more, you can visit her online shop at www.tuttifrutticlothing.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram @tuttifrutticlothing.
If you run a small business and would like to be featured here on another Shop Small Saturday Guest Blog, please get in touch.
Happy Saturday and thank you for supporting small businesses,