Kate, tell us about Burp, how/why you came up with the name and indeed the business itself?
My husband came up with burp! boutique’s name. We thought it was a good catchy name, fun and related to babies – burping them! And burping does bring a sense of satisfaction. Also, did you know that Viking times, burping was a sign of appreciation!
The website looks fun to use and navigate. It’s clearly been designed with children in mind. Were children your inspiration (your own perhaps)?
To be honest I designed the site the way we like to see things. We’re still children at heart and like to have fun and I think strong bold colours and design reflect that. I also wanted something that was super easy to navigate around.
What challenges have you, or do you have in running your business?
Time has been the big one so far. When I started I was looking after my baby daughter and trying to figure out a new business. It worked well as babies sleep a lot during the day but then as she got older it got trickier and of course, the business was growing.
I also like to cook all the meals and keep the house tidy so at points it was a bit nuts, working late into the nights. It’s slightly easier now as she has started pre-school and goes 3 times a week, 2 days are full days which means I get a lot done. I definitely don’t waste time anymore!
The budgets are always quite tight. I was very fortunate to get a loan from my dad and a friend to get the business started as banks don’t really seem to be interested, plus the interest rates they charge are ridiculous.
Selling clothes means you need to be ordering Spring/ Summer collections and Autumn/Winter collections 8 months in advance and then have the guaranteed funds, this makes things interesting! I would love to have lots of other brands, and that will happen I just have to remember patience.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking about setting up a retail business?
Most certainly give it a go! Try and get funding from family and friends as then you’re not tied to the banks which relieves a bit of pressure.
Definitely don’t waste money on advertising, it simply doesn’t work for small budgets. The only thing it creates is more sales calls from advertisers telling you that they love your site and for today only they’ll give you a special price. The best thing to do is to use social media, heavily.
Build a great Facebook page which is captivating and fun and builds an audience, likewise for Twitter. It may seem like a drag at first (I thought that) but it really is worthwhile. It’s free but just takes up some of your time. There is also Pinterest and Instagram if you get really into it.
Creating a blog is a good idea as this means your site is more relevant and current for Google (and other browsers) which will mean you will rise up the page ranking more organically.
Any special projects you’re working on at the moment? Future plans?
I’m currently talking with lots of illustrators to create bespoke pieces of art for us. I’m very excited about this :o)
You can find Kate’s website at www.burpboutique.com
Facebook here: www.facebook.com/burpboutique