SHOP & TELL: DOLLY DRIPP
We’re almost to the end of the year and I wanted to squeeze in one more entry for my Shop & Tell series. Today I am elated to finally share this special feature from one of my favorite retro-style shops I discovered on Etsy a couple years back.
Sarah is the owner of this sweet little shop that sells retro-inspired sleepwear in the cutest prints and colorways imaginable. As you know, my style is a little modern and a lot of retro so when I came across her sweet vintage-inspired tie-front tops I knew I had to have them. My first purchase was a large scale gingham print in lilac and my intention was to wear the top as regular clothing instead of sleepwear. It was my first purchase so I wasn’t sure if it would work but when my top arrived I was happy to find it was doubled and would definitely work in avoiding any indiscretions of the see-through kind.
As usual, I could keep going but let’s turn now to hear directly from the lovely Sarah of Dollydripp!
REMEMBER, "NEVER KISS & TELL BUT #DOSHOPANDTELL!”
"Find your own style and way of doing things and you’ll attract the right customers.... " ~Sarah
Can you start off by sharing the story of how you got started with your shop?
I was working full time as a high street fashion designer and I got made redundant. It was a really bad time for it to happen as it was right in the middle of the recession and lots of high street companies were struggling. I was making clothes for myself as I didn’t have a lot of spare cash to be buying anything new and I’d always get people asking me where I got them from. I decided to start making a few pieces to sell on Etsy to give me something to do while I was looking for work and it grew from there.
I adore your handmade lingerie tie-front tops so much I use them as part of my regular outfits. What inspires your designs and how’d you learn to sew?
I learnt to hand sew when I was quite young. My Mum is very creative and always had us painting and making things. I learnt to use a sewing machine in Secondary school (high school) as part of home economics class and then I studied fashion at college and university where I learnt pattern cutting and production techniques.
I’m inspired by lots of things! I do love vintage fashion especially the 50’s – 70’s but I’m not a huge fan of dressing that way myself (I'm a bad emo kid at heart!). I wanted to create retro inspired pieces that had a more modern feel to them.
I actually started selling on and using Etsy over 9 years ago and they celebrated their 13th birthday this yea. How long have you been using the platform and is it the only platform you use to market & sell your products?
I think I joined Etsy in 2009 but I didn’t do anything with it until 2011 when I started Dollydripp. Etsy was an obvious choice as it was so easy to get started on there and they were very focused on handmade items. It’s been great for to me to reach an international audience and now the majority of my customers are from the USA.
I have sold on various other online venues over the years and I’ve sold at in person events. I have had my own website in the past which I’m planning on bringing back in 2019.
Who/what inspires your work?
Alexander McQueen has been a huge inspiration for me over the years. I also love Vivienne Westwood and Rodarte plus Betsey Johnson is a huge inspiration in terms of my brand.
I’m inspired by a whole mix of things from nature to films and books. I adore anything a bit dark and Gothic but I don’t think you could tell that from the Dollydripp!
What keeps you motivated in your business. Can you share a valuable lesson you’ve learned along the way?
My passion and love for what I do keeps me going, I have to create. I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer, there’s nothing else I could ever see myself doing.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is that things don’t always work out as you planned and that it’s ok to fail. Sometime you create something that you absolutely love and think will do well and it bombs but that’s ok, it’s all part of the process.
What advice would you give to other women who may be looking to start their own business?
Don’t wait for the right time to start because there’ll never be a ‘right time’. Just start with what you’ve got right now and grow from there. Also, don’t worry about what other people are doing or what the trends are, stick to doing you. Find your own style and way of doing things and you’ll attract the right customers.
Lastly, social media followers don’t equal sales ;) focus on attracting people who are genuinely interested in what you are doing. It’s better to have 10 followers who are regular customers and love your work than 10,000 who never buy from you.
How do you use social media & digital platforms to drive awareness around your business? Do you have a favorite social media platform? If so can you tell us what that is and why?
On a personal level I’m not a fan of social media and I don’t use it but it is a vital part of my business marketing as it’s great for getting your work out there. Instagram is probably my preferred platform as it’s visual. I’ve connected with so many great people there especially models that have helped raise my brand profile over the years.
Last but not least, can you share something about yourself that's not on your About page.
When I was a teenager my dad’s nickname for me was Mortica. I used to get so mad at him but now I see it as a compliment!
A special thank you to Sarah for sharing her story and insights with us. As a special gift, Sarah has offered all my readers 10% off your first purchase using the code KRYSTLE10 so what are you waiting on? Treat yoself with some Dollydripp!