Hello! Great to have you here, the kettle’s just boiled – what would you like to drink?
Hello! Well, thanks for having me – make mine a Latte or a Diet Coke please – I have 2 small children, so I always need ALL the caffeine!
So, tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
So, Mint Rainbow is a small Kent business making handmade luxury, organic clothing in sizes Newborn all the way through to adult, with lots of opportunities for twinning and family matching! The real focus is on quality fabrics in stunning, unique prints that you just wouldn’t find on the high street.
I’m Katy and I run the business – my background is in PR, Events and Marketing which I still do bits and bobs of on a consultancy basis. I absolutely love designing and creating beautiful products for you and your family to enjoy. I genuinely do a little happy dance every single time an order comes through. I adore being a Mama to my two babies and I also love sunshine. And coffee. And cake. And Breton tops. And beaches. And rose gold jewellery. And wine. And dancing. And wine again.
What inspired you to start your creative business? How did it all begin?
After the birth of my amazing son Alfie and then three years later my beautiful Rainbow baby Evelyn Joy, I became obsessed with all things baby & child. Interiors, Clothes, Prints – you name it, I wanted it! After unsuccessfully looking for some stylish twinning leggings for myself and Evie, the idea for Mint Rainbow was born. I decided not to go back to my full time job in PR and instead started practised my sewing skills whilst freelancing. In October 2017, Mint Rainbow starting trading and we’ve gone from strength to strength since then. After a fantastic first 6 months of sales, we now even sell wholesale and have some physical shop stockists in the UK which is incredible.
How has your business changed and developed since it started?
Mint Rainbow started out as an Etsy shop selling just matching Child & Adult Leggings and we quickly developed our own website and worked on growing our social media following which is now really established with a lovely group of engaged followers – hi everyone! Since the start we have also developed more products including accessories and some bump-to-beyond Mama products that are pregnancy and breastfeeding friendly. I’ve also taken on a seamstress to work with me – the lovely Nicola- as I just couldn’t pack it all into each day with my other work commitments and my little ones.
So, where does all this takes place? What’s your workspace like?
My Mint Rainbow studio started life as one sewing machine in the spare room and is now a fully operating little sewing studio based in the roof room of our family home – super handy for squeezing in work during naptimes and making sure I’m on time for nursery runs. I try to hang up creative and motivational bits in the studio like cards and prints, and pictures that my son has made – and of course it is full of stunning and colourful fabrics! I’ve also got a beautiful vintage haberdashery unit that was my late Nanas and it’s the focus of much attention on my insta feed- it’s such a beautiful bit of furniture and I’m so lucky to have it! It’s packed to the rafters with off cuts and sewing tools – check it out on insta!
What are the best and worst bits of running your business?
The best thing is having full creative and logistical control of my work which means doing only the things you love, and flexibility to be with my children – I work most evenings after their bedtimes so that I don’t miss out on precious time when they’re so little. I also love the creative side – developing new products, choosing fabrics, photography and designing PR and marketing materials.
The worst bit is the stress haha – when you are solely responsible from everything from the accounts to the product-making to the gift wrapping to the supplies ordering, it can somethings be a lot. But the benefits so outweigh the negatives so it’s all worth it.
What are your hopes, plans or ambitions for the future?
I’m really just hoping that the business continues to grow as it has been and that it will get me to a point where I can give up working on other projects and focus fully on Mint Rainbow. We’re still not even one year old so I need to give it time and lots of tlc! In regards to the business itself, I have so many ideas for children’s accessories, bedding, prints, and lots more clothes of course! I also have some thoughts about some other strands which are more focussed around supporting and collaborating with mothers and creative working parents – I’d love to develop skill swap opportunities, Mama Meet Ups, maybe a blog and a pod cast etc – and weave this all under the Mint Rainbow umbrella somehow. All in good time of course!
Since your business is based in Kent, we’d love to have your recommendation on any hidden places or favourite shops, tearooms or other creative places you like to visit.
Ooooh there are so many lovely places in Kent –
I work in Canterbury a few days a week and love Kitch for fresh and healthy food, Refectory Kitchen for coffee and also Curzon for great films and the lovely atmosphere.
For gorgeous baby gifts focussing on the unisex and the unique – check out Moo Like a Monkey in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter – they might happen to stock Mint Rainbow too.
Also in the Creative Quarter is the lovely café Steep Street where I can often be found with my laptop and a coffee.
We also love taking the family to Lathe Barn, which a really charming children’s play farm with a fantastic tearoom serving the best homemade cake in Kent. They also have some little craft units on site so it’s always nice to have a little browse in those!
Finally, where can we find you online if we want to keep in touch?
Instagram – @mintrainbow_shop
Facebook – @MintRainbowShop
Website – www.mintrainbow.co.uk
Do get in touch and say hello- we love a chat
Thanks so much for your time and chatting with you about your business!