Happy Feature Friday!
Today we’re bringing to you a fun interview with Katie Favors who makes an amazing assortment of handmade gifts! We love “just because” gifts and think her products would be the perfect thing to surprise your group of friends with! It’s so awesome that she creates everything herself and is also able to customize her favors to give them that personal touch! Katie is also an advocate for small businesses and has some great tips for those looking to get started on a creative endeavor of their own! Keep reading to hear what she has to say and if you’re looking for a party favor whether it be magnets, bottle openers, pocket mirrors and more – look no further than Katie Favors! Make sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and check out her Etsy store while you’re at it!
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: I live just outside DC with my headstrong puppy Bayleigh. I’m a planner, known for starting my Christmas shopping in February. If I’m not working on my small business, I’m exploring one of the many vineyards close by, planning weekenders with friends, or learning a new hobby. My passion aside from running my own small business has been helping empower other small businesses to tackle communication challenges. We’re all in this together and championing other creatives only strengthens our community!
: How did Katie Favors get started?
: I was making my way through graduate school for PR and in need of a challenging job with flexible hours when I decided why not? I can do this. I had just five items for sale the first month. Slowly, often by trial and error, my business grew. It’s a snowball of a process, building momentum while learning on the go, with a lot of sleepless nights and Netflix.
: What kind of items can we find in your Etsy shop?
: Simple answer is pocket mirrors, bottle openers, mini magnets (1inch and super strong), and nametags. But the better answer is you can find in the shop a cross section of diverse styles, gorgeous colorful fabrics, and more importantly ideas for you to work with me to make your own! If you have a small business and want to “up” your branding game, I’d love to help. If you’re hosting an event, or in need of a personalized little gift for a friend, I can help with that too! So much of what I do comes from people reaching out and asking “Can you make this/ personalize this/ do this?”
: You do custom orders. What was one of your most fun or unique custom pieces to make?
: Hard to choose! One that really has stuck with me is an order for a bride who wanted to give a special gift to her bridal party. When she had her bridesmaid’s dresses hemmed, she sent me a piece of the fabric which I turned into pocket mirrors and bottle openers for them. It was a truly memorable gift for them, and an idea we came up with together while she told me all about her special day!
: Your favors make awesome gifts! Have you been able to see how some of your pieces have been used by your customers? How did it feel to see your pieces being used?
: Yes! I love seeing pictures or when an email comes in letting me know how an event went. It warms my heart! By approaching every order as an opportunity to connect and help someone, I’m inspired to create my best work.
: What have been some of the challenges and rewards of running your own Etsy shop?
: Having your own shop pulls you in a hundred directions. Because I wear all the hats in the company planning my time strategically can be a struggle. There’s never enough time to tackle every project so the trick is to make a decision what to pursue and let any regret go. Setting boundaries between my work and my time to relax can be challenging. Loved ones know that if you ask me to watch a movie, I’ll have a project in my lap. I’ve always been that way, but now more than ever. I love having the flexibility of working when I want. If I need to grab a coffee or take Bayleigh to the park and get some fresh air, I can. If I’m feeling like a night owl, I can stay up and then sleep in.
: You have so many fun prints and graphics that your work with. What types of media do you use to create your pieces?
: For digital graphics I’ve used a mixture of different programs. I’m always twisting designs to help personalize them. In the past I’ve “dyed” many of the simple print designs so that they match an event’s color scheme perfectly. I enjoy using fabric the most, the brighter the better. In the past I’ve painted and used tissue paper…I like to change things up and experiment.
: What is one of the greatest “it’s working!!!” moments you’ve had since starting Katie Favors?
: It’s so important to be mindful of those moments! Last year for first time I participated in a holiday mart. I remember staring out from my little booth at people three deep around the tables. A few even handed me their card asking if I could just email them instead of having to wait. It felt surreal. You can bet next year I’ll be more knowledgeable and ready for the rush on stocking stuffers. Another one was when the Washingtonian Bride and Groom magazine reached out to see if I’d like to be included in their, “Best Etsy Shops for Wedding Stuff” article. I was delighted. I’m honored to be included among such creative talent.
: Many of your pieces feature funny quotes. Do you have a favorite silly quote?
: Favorite quote and current motto is, “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward” by Tina Fey. I try to take it to heart, and if I see an opportunity, go for it!
: What advice can you give for those wanting to start their own creative businesses?
: Treat yourself how you treat your best friend and celebrate. Don’t be hesitant to share with your support system. It’s a big deal when you have your first sale, or tenth, or 100th. It’s a big deal when someone includes your product in their vision for their special event or in their home. It’s a big deal when someone asks a question about your product or browses at your vendor table. It’s a big deal when your first business cards come. Even if you just stop and treat yourself to a tasty coffee, do it and reflect for a few. Starting a small business is challenging and requires many leaps of faith. You deserve to celebrate!