Well its a week since the last Stalking Success blog, so its time to hear from Suzanne from Coverupsurf, and her story.
I studied Printed Textile design at Art College in Scotland, and when I graduated in 2004 I got a job as a fashion accessories designer in North Yorkshire, where I have been living ever since. I have always had a great affinity with the beach, I love being at the coast and after moving to the Scarborough area I started surfing. The surfing lifestyle has been a strong influence in my work ever since.
I still work as a fashion accessories designer and run ‘Cover Up Surf’ on the side.
I love to paint and have sold my artwork in the past in a friends’ café and on Folksy. I am always making things and sewing but my ‘Cover Up’s’ are the first product I have sold as a business.
Discovering The Product
‘Cover Up Surf’ was just a little idea that I had one day, I was chatting to friends in my boyfriends surf shop, it was a really cold day and we were all freezing after surfing, about the problems of getting changed on the beach. I decided to go home and make something to help! I had no idea at the time what I was creating. I made a few samples first that we used ourselves to try them out before starting to sell them on-line and in our shop. The towels started to get noticed in the area and we would have people coming in just to ask about them. It was then that I realised that I could start a business from making them and introduced more designs and patterns to widen the collection.
After selling in my boyfriends surf shop to begin with we would get customers coming in to ask for my ‘Cover Up’s’ after seeing other people in the local community with them. This really gave me the encouragement that I needed.
Cover ups have now sold world-wide to Australia, California, Europe and all over the UK
I advertise my product in magazines such as ‘Surfgirl’ magazine who’s readers are the perfect customer base for me.
I do promotional stickers/business cards and Christmas cards as well as having a facebook page and presence on instagram and pinterest, and I sell online through Folksy
on my website
Success to me is watching something I have created grow, and seeing people enjoy a product that I have hand-made. It’s exciting every time I get a new order or a message from a customer who can’t wait for their ‘Cover Up’ to arrive. It’s the little things that make all the hard-work worth while.
I am very lucky to be living in a place that I love, where I can see the beach from my studio. I think being successful is doing something you enjoy and that makes you happy.
I am so lucky to be in a position where I can make that happen. I feel very privileged to have had the support and encouragement from the people around me who have helped to make my business successful.
I think success is something that can creep up on you sometimes. From starting to sell in our surf shop, creating a Folksy shop and a website it was a gradual process. It is a lot of hard-work starting something new but if you love what you do it doesn’t seem like a chore…it’s exciting and every time you see your product in a magazine or on a website, it makes you feel even more motivated. I love what I do and I think that’s the most successful you can be.
As a new small business you have to be really careful to keep an eye on the margins you make, to be successful you need to be making enough to cover not only your materials but your time too. I hope to be successful enough in the near future that I can concentrate on my own projects full time.
I owe my success to the people around me who have supported me and given me great advice. Also, to all the hard-work and late nights I have put in. It’s not easy starting a business, it takes a lot of dedication but it is so rewarding! I would encourage anyone who has got an idea or something they are passionate about to get out and start doing it!
|We get up to a lot of crazy photo-shoots to get good images of my products; we can be out on the beach in the snow in bare feet freezing to get a good shot!|
So there we have it - the second in the Stalking Success series. Dunno about you, but, although Suzanne and Jeff have completely different stories, I'm already starting to see some common denomination!
Whether you're a surf dude or not, have a look at Suzanne's Coverupsurf website and tell her what you like.