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#SelfStarterStories: From designing custom surface patterns for companies to creating a clothing brand offering custom designs

Today's #selfstarterstory features Sophie Kiely, Founder of Trendy Woo’s.


PickYourselfUK caught up with Sophie to find out more about her entrepreneurial journey.

What was your last job?: I have previously worked within another company working with customers such as Boots, Matalan, Poundland (and many more), which has given me a great inkling to commercial 'needs and wants'.

Due to having my first child I sadly had to leave this position, which lead me to where I am today. I have always been creative. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to pursue dancing or art. So I achieved both. I am so lucky that they are my hobbies, interests and my profession.

When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: Over the past 6 months I have gained over 150 clients on Instagram. Designing affordable, custom-surface patterns for children’s clothing.

I encourage the public to shop small and different. With my diverse style I design unisex, equality and prints that push boundaries. I try and steer away from the stereotypical blue for boys and pink for girls, but if I do, I make it edgy enough to make designs stand out from the crowd.

I set everyone else apart from their competitors. With unique designs for clothing, I have helped create various identities for businesses.

Trendy Woo's Website October 2018

Trendy Woo's Website October 2018

What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Creating designs to suit a variety of business types, gaining inspiration and working around my daughter.

Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: At present, I do everything myself. It all stems from my crazy mind!

What is your favourite marketing tool ?: Instagram. I’ve reached more clients using Instagram than I’ve been able to via my website.

How do you market your business?: Instagram - I post and and sell designs within seconds.

When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: Simply liking and following small businesses.

How did you get your first traffic to your website?: I get all my work through instagram, I don't actually need a website!

Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?: Well, as she's been there since day one, it has to be my Mum. She has only ever said my work was good. She doesn't really say much else, as she knows I just like to get on with it. Even if she did have an opinion I'd probably disagree - that's probably why I work for myself!

Without her standing back and letting me get on with it, I wouldn't be striving to be who I am today. She is 100% behind everything I do. Of course, it isn't just her who believes in me, my Dad, partner and daughter equally believe in me too. I am incredibly lucky

What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Do it. You live once. Being your own boss is tough, but it gives you an opportunity to do something you are passionate about. Coming up with something unique is very difficult, but at the end of the day, its how you execute whatever you are pursuing.

If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Anyone who is modest, grounded and just passionate about what they do.

To stay up to date with Sophie’s entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:

Sophie Kiely has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.