As poor Sam can vouch for, I love shopping in boutiques. He’s been dragged into so many that he’s probably an expert on the subject.
I also love when people are able to realise their own personal dreams. Today I’m lucky enough to bring you a Q & A session I had with Emma, the owner of Ji Ji Kiki. She has great taste in music, clearly impeccable style and has some really sound advice for anyone thinking of opening their own shops one day. And there’s a reward for all you lovely readers who make it to the end of the post!
Shop // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest1. What motivated you to start your own store?
I’ve always wanted to run my own business and whilst at university I sold vintage jewellery and accessories on eBay. I also put on gigs for local bands and ran an alternative night with my housemates so working for myself has also been something I’ve enjoyed.
I did a couple of temp jobs when I left uni, while Ji Ji Kiki was starting up. As the business started getting busier I decided to take the plunge to run Ji Ji Kiki full time-luckily its paid off and I’ve not looked back!
2. What was the scariest step in opening your own business?
Going from having a full time job with a lovely paycheck at the end of the month to being self reliant! If you’re thinking of starting a business I would recommend running it alongside your job to begin with and having at least 4 months worth of living expenses in the bank when you do take the plunge and go full time as it will make things a lot less stressful. If you’re worrying about money it can put a huge amount of pressure on you and make you a lot less productive.
3. What inspires you personally?
I love looking through websites like Etsy. There’s so many talented people on there, creating such beautiful things. I love it when I find a little hidden gem of something to buy or a new designer or artist to stock.
4. What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Ooh, that’s a difficult one! I adore Patrick Wolf and could listen to him all day long. One song that always makes me smile is ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
5. Is there any designer (indie or otherwise) that you’d love to collaborate with right now?
I am really excited about a new designer, Christina Winstanley, who will be joining Ji Ji Kiki very, very soon. She makes gorgeous jewellery and I am thrilled to be stocking her work.
6. Do you have a favourite from of social media? (instagram, twitter, facebook, etc)?
Ji Ji Kiki is on most social media platforms, but Facebook is the one I use most often as you can ‘see’ the people you’re interacting with and it makes it a lot more personable (or as personable as it can be)!
On a personal level, I love Pinterest-we’re in the process of renovating our house and I could happily spend hours on there looking for ideas and inspiration.
7. Do you have any advice for any readers out there looking to expand their own personal Etsy shops into something bigger?
Take your time and plan it out carefully. A business plan is a great place to start, even if you’re only going to use it for your own use, to get straight in your mind what you want to achieve.
If you’re looking to set up your own website research the ecommerce platforms in detail-what may work for one person may not work for you. You don’t want to spend hours setting up your shop to then find that it doesn’t fulfill your needs.
Running your own business has to be something you are really passionate about as this is what will drive it forward. I have no formal business training and have learnt things as I go along. I have made mistakes and done things that I would do differently but the important thing it to give it a go. I always say that it’s better to regret something you have done that something you haven’t done.
8. Where will Ji Ji Kiki be in 5 years?
I’d love to keep building and expanding the number of indie designers we stock, to be the place to go if you want something quirky and unique. World domination is on my list-haha!
I love getting our customers involved in the site and getting their feedback on our Facebook page, Twitter and through emails. I think the interaction between online shops and customers is so important as you don’t have the face-to-face interaction you would with a bricks and mortar shop.
Take a closer look at the Dusky Rose Lace Detail Dress.
That’s just a small peak of the goodness that you can find.
Take a second to go and explore Ji Ji Kiki. Maybe even go say hello on facebook. I promise you won’t be disappointed! And luckily, Emma is offering a discount of 15% off for any of my lovely readers. You have one week to use the code: RHYMERIBBONS.