Alexandra Hilton of Bagel Face UK
This week, I am featuring an interview with Alexandra Hilton, the owner/founder of Bagel Face UK. Alexandra runs a wonderful Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/bagelfaceuk, where she sells her handcrafted, crocheted creations: booties, baby sets, blankets, garlands, cushions, and bookmarks. Bagel Face UK also has a beautiful and well-followed Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/ bagelfaceuk/ and Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/bagelfaceuk, where Alexandra updates her followers about her newest projects and items for sale. Bagel Face UK specializes in Bespoke baby products crafted with care for little ones. I hope that you find Alexandra and her business, Bagel Face UK, as interesting and fun as I did.
What led you to start Bagel Face UK and when did you start Bagel Face UK?
I first learned to crochet while studying textiles at college. I loved crocheting from the very beginning and used to crochet with anything I could including fabric and fishing wire. In the summer, between finishing college and starting university, I began crocheting tops and bikinis which sold really well on Depop. Obviously, once I started studying at university, I had a lot less free time to crochet. I studied 3D design in university, specializing in Interiors so, although I had a huge workload, it was mainly drawing and computer work, so I really missed being “hands-on.” After graduating, I worked on a few freelance jobs and internships but eventually decided to “give it a shot” at running my own business full-time. Bagel Face has only officially been open since January this year!
I love the name of your business, and I am just curious how you arrived at “Bagel Face UK” for a name?
It was actually a family member that called me “Bagel” once on holiday years ago, ever since then the name stuck. I’m now referred to as “Bagel face,” “Little bagel,” or even “Bagel brain!” Bagel Face is pretty unique and catchy, so it just seemed like the perfect business name for me!
What is your favorite aspect of owning and operating Bagel Face UK?
I love every single aspect! From designing new products, picking out suitable yarns, making products, and photographing. I especially love receiving photographs of little people wearing my booties! It’s amazing to be able to work from home on my own time: I spend so much more time with my family now and my work is even better when my business is something I really enjoy doing too.
What have you learned the most from opening and running your business?
I think the main thing is to learn how to manage your time wisely. It’s very easy to underestimate how hard it is to run a business; you quickly realize there are not enough hours in a day! As I am a sole trader, I have to manage my accounts, my social media platforms, and my online selling platforms as well as sourcing materials and actually making the products, which is much more time consuming than one would think.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to sell handcrafted items and/or open an Etsy store?
Go for it! You have nothing to lose—even if you start off with something really small and simple. It costs nothing to register as a business, open a Paypal account and start up a Facebook page! A lot of small businesses start from hobbies, just make sure you choose to make and to sell something you have a real passion for and don’t be afraid of a challenge. It’s true what they say: choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
What are your favorite items to craft for your business?
I’m really enjoying working on my range of baby shoes and booties at the moment, although I am looking forward to some warmer weather too so I can start creating some more beautiful bikinis!
What is at the heart of your business that you want your customers to take home?
Every single item that I make has been designed and made with love. I have always been a huge fan of handmade and unique one-off pieces so I’m proud to say that I contribute to the growing handmade industry. Buying from small businesses not only supports people like me to do what I love, it ensures you get a truly unique and high quality item that you won’t ever find on High Street.
Photos courtesy of Alexandra Hilton of Bagel Face UK except for last image.