pin-ponderings

How i got to here, and how to get to there...

Emma Goodson

So how did your business get to where it is today?
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After university, I went on to a full-time job at a call centre (which was soul sucking but it payed good money) which meant evenings and weekends I would be frantically sewing to stock The Most Marvellous Place to Shop, as well as their sister shop in Towcester. I also took on two other stockists in Kettering and Leamington Spa, as well as attending various fairs on the weekends which kept me busy!
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One of my stalls at Milton Keynes Handmade and Vintage fair.
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Looking back, I honestly don't know how I managed to do it all, but I did!  Then life went and messed things up a little bit. I met a guy who I thought was the bee's knees. We decided after being together for 2 months that we would move down to Cornwall (yes I was young and foolish) We lived in a little flat on the harbour front in St Ives which was beautiful and I took on a little shop / studio unit down there and we lived happily ever after.
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This was the view from our flat.
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My little shop was in here. 
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It was a beautiful little courtyard full of independent designers makers and artists, similar to The Fish Market i spoke about in my earlier blog.
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Inside of my shop. I worked at one end and sold at the other.
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It was all great until he decided to take a job in France for two weeks to help his friend out, and never returned home! Which meant I had to move back to Northampton because I couldn't afford the flat on my own. I had left all the shops I was stocking previously when I moved down to Cornwall because It was too far away to look after them. So, I came back to nothing and I had to rebuild my business again from scratch. Luckily, I managed to secure some shop spaces back in Most Marvellous as well as Afterglow in Olney and No. 38 Vintage Emporium in Newport Pagnell and then a little later The Nest in Rugby.
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This was my little space in Afterglow, Olney. 
I managed to get myself back up and running again. Just when things were going well, I then moved from Northampton to Buckingham which meant I was a bit too far away to stock shops, so I pulled out. Now I'm exclusively selling online but I am looking for some new stockists, and I am also looking into doing some fairs this year because I really miss meeting and chatting to my customers face-to-face!
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So, what is planned for the future?
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 Well as you may know I re-branded the business at the end of last year, so I'm no longer Grace Face and I am now Pin Clothing. I chose that name because a lot of people kept on mistaking Grace Face as some sort of beauty therapy business which frankly, I got tired of correcting. I felt like I needed something that was a little bit more relevant to what I did and a bit more grown-up. Grace Face was born out of a nickname I had as a teenager so the connection I had to it all just remind me of being 15 or 16 and I felt like I just need to grow up a bit, so I decided to change the name and along with that also comes a change of style.
The style of clothing I was making for Grace Face was exclusively 1950’s style full skirted dresses in vintage floral prints. As much as I loved that sort of thing a few years ago I feel like I've definitely grown out of that style and I wanted to move into something a bit different.
My design ethos is ‘if I wouldn't wear it, I'm not going to make it’ My style has changed and moved on, therefore my business must move forward with that in mind. I personally feel that ‘vintage style’ especially 1950’s style has done its time and it’s a bit of a saturated market now, which is something I don't feel comfortable being in.
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Old style
My mum used to get upset when she would make something and then see someone else at a craft fair making the same thing. She would get annoyed that someone has copied her, and I'd always tell her to not let it bother her and that she should be flattered that they thought your work was good enough to copy.  What she should do is now go and make the ‘next biggest product’ Which is something I take into consideration when I'm designing. I don't want to design something that is already out there that people can go and buy from someone else, I want people to see my work as unique and ‘they have to have it because they've never seen anything quite like it before’.
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So, to answer the question, I've already launched my first collection for Pin Clothing (which you can shop here) and I’m now working on the 2nd collection, which is due to be released very soon! I will then be releasing new collections roughly every 6 weeks, so I am aiming to release 8 new collections a year. Don’t worry, I’m not in danger of setting myself up for a break down again, the collections only consist of six pieces or less, and I’ve spent plenty of time planning out my work carefully, so I don’t over-work myself. Each collection will be different from the last. Grace Face was exclusively cotton prints, and although I am still going to be working with cotton prints, I've invested some time and money into learning how to sew with stretch fabrics so there will be lots of new stretch jersey pieces coming this year as well as some wool and possibly some sequins!
If you don't want to miss out on all the sparkly new things i'm working on, and be the first to get your hands on them, you sign up to my newsletter here.
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P.S - if you've made it all the way to the end of the about me blog posts, well done and thank you! And i wanted to apologise for the awful quality of the photos on these posts, old camera phones took terrible photos!

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