After an impromptu little break, I am back with some superb small businesses to share! If you have missed the previous editions, I suggest you go and check them out so you don’t miss out on some crazily cool start-ups and small runners! This week, we have hand makers and style shakers, so read on to find out who is featured.
If you are a small business who wants to take part or know of a snazzy start-up who deserves the spotlight, find my contact details at the end of this blog!
Firstly I am sharing a beautiful little business based in Wales, run by Nia Phillips in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Alongside NP Style some of her other interests include singing and cooking! Nia says that they’re always her “go tos” whenever she’s stressed and needs a release.
Nia currently studies Psychology and will be returning to Cardiff Uni in September to finish her degree after taking a year out.
Now, let’s talk business!
1. From scrunchies, to bags and facemasks, where did this all start?
Well, I wish I could say it was a dream I’d had for years that I finally fulfilled but unfortunately it’s a far less interesting story hahah. I was home from uni over summer and was looking for something to amuse me and hopefully earn some extra dosh along the way. I’ve always loved hands on and crafty type activities so after scouring the internet for quick and easy crafts to make and sell, I stumbled upon a scrunchie tutorial. Thankfully, it’s grown from there.
2. What was the first product you made? And which is your favourite now?
The first product I made was a scrunchie after finding a tutorial online. I’d never done any sewing before Sep 2019 so I’ve been using my mother’s 20+ year old sewing machine to make my orders! I think my favourite product is probably the stashie. I love the look of a scrunchie but I love that the stashie is so practical to keep bits and bobs in.
3. It’s so important to keep safe and by creating your masks, you are helping communities be cautious whilst also looking great! Explain to me how your masks are made to make sure they are effective!
The masks are made from three layers of fabrics. The top layer is a 100% cotton breathable layer, there is a middle interfacing layer so give a bit more structure to the mask and an extra layer of protection, and then there is another cotton layer on the back of the mask. There is also an option to have a mask with a nose bridge. Personally this is my favourite type of the two as it helps mould the mask around your nose so the fabric is closer to your skin and feels a bit more protective.
4. How did you start up selling and therefore make @_np_style a real business?
I decided to make an instagram page specifically to sell the scrunchies. It was a bit of a leap and I was nervous at first in case people weren’t really interested in what I had to offer. I shared the page as much as possible and asked my friends and family to help spread the word. They were also some of my first few customers. I’m lucky to have a good support system
5. Was there anything you found difficult about creating your products?
I found it difficult to diversify my products without biting off more than I could chew. I wanted to make a multitude of things but unfortunately didn’t have the skills for a lot of them hahah. I think the most difficult product to make is the “Create Your Own Bag” as it requires a zip. For a novice sewer, it was a bit of a stretch at first but I’ve gotten used to it now after countless YouTube tutorials.
6. What would you say to other young people wanting to start a business? Even if it is a bit tricky?
I’d say just go for it! It sounds a little bit cringe but if you never try you never know. I had never sewn before, never run a business before but if I hadn’t taken the leap, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It just takes a bit of tenacity. If you have anything you’d like to share just do it what’s the worst that could happen? NP Style is far from perfect but I just went for it and now it’s my own little pride and joy.
7. How do you stay motivated and create new products?
I think knowing that people like my products motivates me. I’m always blown away by the amount of support I have so I think that inspires me to keep at it. I’m also quite an inquisitive person and love trying new things so I’m always looking for new things to give a go and if they go pear shaped then so be it – I haven’t lost anything. Another drive I have is that I love following other similar businesses and drawing inspiration from them like products, social media formats and packaging styles etc.
8. Do you feel like your prints and products reflect you?
My products and fabrics choices definitely reflect my style. I’d say that some of my favourites prints are the Pink Popcorn or the Pink Jag. If you hadn’t already guessed, pink is my favourite colour!I try to choose styles that I’d like to wear myself – I promise it’s nothing to do with the fact that it means I get a free scrunchie from each fabric!
9. Are there any new products in the pipeline? What can we expect from you in the near future?
My list of things I’d like to try is endless! There are a few different avenues I’m looking into but nothing set in stone as of yet. I think in future I’d like to branch out into different types of craft things – such as keyrings, canvases etc. I also want to look into doing more of the charity scrunchies / products as I feel that it’s important to help educate myself and others about different causes and help raise money where possible.
10. How do you see @_np_style growing from where you are now and what is your longterm goal?
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far but it’s been so rewarding. I really want the business to grow and grow. As of Sep, NP Style will have to take a slight sabbatical as I’ll be going back to uni to finish my degree. However, I DEFINITELY want to keep it running as I love my business and I want to be able to continue it in future. I would love to expand the business to be a larger scale but I will have to wait and see what the next year brings as I balance a degree and running a business alongside each other. I’m excited for what the future holds!
Find Nia and her creations on instagram @_np_style
Loving local shops and supporting small businesses really isn’t that hard, plus with such gorgeous products, like the ones highlighted in this blog, how can you say no? Seeing businesses grow is beautiful, especially for the people behind the products who work so hard at developing and creating them!