In The Spotlight
Welcome to In The Spotlight
Do you have an amazing business to showcase, or an incredible story to tell?
This month emmaheaven.com is shining the spotlight on...
Julie is a married mother of two boys, so with all that testosterone flying about, there wasn’t much room for ‘girlie things’ at home. However Julie loves all things pretty and sparkly and one day, having seen lots of ladies carrying sparkly shopping bags Julie decided to make one for herself.
Julie has always enjoyed painting and drawing, including portraits for family and friends. She recalls her mum keeping her drawings from when she was a little girl when even then she would draw girls with big expressive eyes and pretty outfits.
“I bought a small pack of jute bags, fabric paints, an abundance of glitter and decided to design my own personal shopping bag, painting it with my own caricature, adding lots of glitter, gemstones and ribbon. I didn’t want an ordinary shopping bag. I wanted it to be unique, beautiful and to stand out!
I sketched out loads of ideas until eventually weeks later I finally finished my first bag. Everywhere I went, people would ask where my bag was from; all my friends and family wanted me to make one for them - and so the ‘be spoilt’ bag was born.
My husband helped me come up with the ‘be spoilt’ branding, as he always calls me his “spoilt little princess”. The SPOILT is actually an acronym - Sparkling Princess of Immaculate Luxurious Taste, which I think describes us spoilt girls perfectly.
I uploaded some pictures onto Twitter and quickly gained followers, so I set up a Facebook page and soon received my first official order. I was so excited to see my bags gain so much interest. This was the launch of an exciting new business venture.
I had a website built and opened a new business bank account; my own little business was up and running and the orders started to pour in.
The business was growing and I had already taken over the dining room table, which I quickly outgrew, so I moved into the garage which was converted into my office and workshop.
Soon I was being commissioned to paint the characters on phone cases, books, mugs etc. I hand painted the different characters, scanned them and then printed onto the various items. However, this was very time consuming, so I had a computer programme designed for me where my character designs, clothes, hair colours, outfits etc were uploaded onto a programme where I could mix, match and create the characters.
My business continues to grow and I share new ideas and products via my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also do the odd craft and wedding fairs. My repeat business is excellent. Once people have had a bag - either gifted it or bought for themselves - they always come back for more.
You can have whatever you want painted on the bags. I have made bags for (and featuring) midwives, in their uniforms, holding babies or personal trainers in their gym kits holding kettlebells. Ladies have sent me pictures of their bikinis which I have incorporated on their holiday bag. Even brides-to-be have sent pictures of their wedding dress so I can customise a bag for them. Whatever your imagination can come up with - I can create it!”
These quirky bespoke bags are simply stunning. You can see that they are made with love and passion. They are unique, very personal, very girlie, very sparkly and very, very pretty. They are affordable luxury. And when you carry them, you feel very special and very spoilt!
So what does the future hold for Julie and The Pretty Bag Company?
“The bags are bespoke so only I can paint the bags as I don’t want anybody else doing them - that’s the perfectionist in me rearing its head again! Although I would love to open a boutique where out front I could sell the bags and the different accessories whilst out the back would be my workshop where I would do all of the designing, painting and printing.
I imagine the boutique to be pink, sparkly and pretty with the bags and accessories artfully arranged amongst sofas filled with cushions, flowers and pretty pictures on the wall. It would be the ultimate girlie shopping experience.
I would have the best of both worlds - a boutique for local shoppers and visitors; and a website for people who can’t get to the boutique, and international buyers.”
Julie has designed an emmaheaven.com personalised bag for me which will feature in our 2nd birthday celebratory shoot in June. Plus I'm having the design printed on just about everything Julie has to offer! Feast your eyes on this gorgeous creation.
And visit theprettybagcompany.co.uk where you too can order your very own bespoke bag and custom-designed accessories. HOWEVER - a few words of CAUTION - these bags and accessories are highly addictive! Once you have bought one there will be no stopping yourself. You may end up with an enormous family of bags and accessories for every occasion! Bye bye spare room. Hello accessories room!!
Go on...’be spoilt’...
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