I was lucky enough to have a very talented maker on my list to contact as my first interview for our Success Story series in my new role as Assistant Editor. Alice Veivers has been working on her label Alice Nightingale since she finished her design course and she delivers some of the most dreamy and delicious outfits your imagination can conjure. Read on for more about her wonderful creative path to full time maker. K xx
Can you take us on the journey of your creative career path so far?
I’ve always loved sewing and creating and at 16 I left school to do my Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology at the Australian Institute of Design. I finished the course with a goal to provide a handmade alternative to modern fashion and that led to me selling my designs at markets and through Etsy. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to take my label around Australia with the Finders Keepers markets and connect with lovers of all things handmade.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far in your business?
I’ve found balancing my business with my social life the hardest part of being self employed.
At 22, I’m finally finding my balance and learning that often your best friends are also busy creatives and therefore they understand that spare time is often hard to come by.
What has been the biggest ‘fist-pump’/successful moment for you so far?
It’s hard to choose my favourite moment from the last few years, I’ve been so thrilled to be a part of Peppermint Magazine, Frankie Magazine and the Etsy Blog; so I suppose I’m always impressed when people I look up to notice my designs and appreciate the handmade factor!
Do you ever have doubts as to your future creative direction? Are there things you yearn to achieve, but haven’t yet found the time for?
A big part of the self employed lifestyle seems to be making big decisions on where your time and money should go so that you can achieve your eventual goal. I’m just preparing for my first trade show, which is a big step for me and definitely comes with plenty of doubts/hopes! I think all creatives tend to spread themselves thin over a thousand little jobs, I’m still learning when to put something down until I have time to focus on it properly!
How do you balance your work with the rest of your life ~ what does a typical day in your life look like?
I’m focusing on business growth as well as social and self happiness this year! So my average day involves a gym visit, emails and sewing with my work experience girls! Most nights I’ll either keep sewing or catch up with friends, depending on my workload.
What has been the best marketing move you’ve ever made for your own business?
Constant connection with my customers through markets here in Brisbane and interstate has been the most beneficial move I’ve made. The time spent travelling and setting up stalls is always worth it to talk to new customers and re-connect with familiar faces.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give fellow makers about running a successful creative business?
Focus on your presentation! Whether you’re selling on Etsy, Madeit or at markets, I’ve found that high quality images and clear stall presentation makes all the difference!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d love to keep expanding my label, growing the lingerie and swimwear lines as well as the clothing. There are distant plans for a more community based project with classes and a boutique, but at the moment I’m focusing on running my label and enjoying my twenties without too much pressure!
Find Alice Online
Want to start or overhaul an Etsy shop?
Download this FREE 2-page checklist now - it's part of my Handmade Business Toolkit for Makers.
Don't make those common Etsy mistakes: make sure your Etsy shop is the best it can be!
(P.S. It’s also packed full of links to additional resources on all aspects of Etsy shop setup.)