Sarah runs the internet Boutique Temporary:Secretary which specialises in gorgeous vintage band kitsch Jewellery, she has been a great support to me and an active tweeter so I thought I would have a quick catch up with her before the new year.
Hey Sarah, so first off can you explain Temporary: Secretary to me?
In a nutshell, Temporary: Secretary is a delicious website – a one stop shop for cute accessories that are too cute to boot! Temporary: Secretary loves fun and cheerful things. We like to make people smile!
How did you get into the jewellery boutique business?
I needed some extra money for university where I studied Fashion Marketing, and I thought that I would put my creativity to good use! After getting rid of all my old junk on eBay and running out of things to get rid of, I decided to make things and sell them. I really loved the fact that people were actually buying my goods and then the feedback I got just spurred me on. I made a variety of things, customising t-shirts, bags and shoes. Then I made hair accessories and skirts. During uni, I got an internship with Heidi Seeker where I was involved with accessories production. After I finished my internship, it just motivated me more to keep making things so I began to look at some options other than ebay, and that is how Temporary:Secretary came about in 2008. The rest is history!
What do you love and dislike about your job?
I take a lot of inspiration from old films and childhood memories and nostalgia and as you can see on the website, Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz are two of my most favourite films in the whole wide world. But another one is Mary Poppins. She advised us that…
In every job that must be done There is an element of fun you find the fun and snap! The job's a game This completely sums up Temporary: Secretary. There must *always* be an element of fun in whatever you do.
Although it is a lot of fun, it’s also a real challenge, a big responsibility and I give a lot of pressure to myself for it to do well (because if it fails… I have no one to blame by myself! A disadvantage of working for yourself is that you can’t pass the buck!) However, it is a really good feeling when I achieve something and I think “Oooh, I did that! I did that all by myself!” Having just graduated, I find it very daunting to put in to practice everything I have learnt from university. I am still learning, and have so much more to know yet.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
The ultimate best thing about this job is the messages and emails that I get from customers who are just the nicest and loveliest ever. A fortnight ago, I launched a Christmas competition where people could enter by just telling us what their favourite Temporary: Secretary Product was and why. I didn’t expect so many comprehensive answers and one customer answered:
I would have to say that my favourite Temp: Sec product is the ‘You’re TOAST!’ necklace, because I wear it every single day and on my first day of college everyone ended up asking me where I got it from, so it started off a conversation and actually helped me make most of the friends I currently have there :D…
So yes, thank you to Temporary: Secretary for my toast necklace that helped me meet lots of lovely people and I am usually awful at starting conversations so I wouldn’t have spoken to half the people without it! 🙂 I must say it is my favourite necklace and I absolutely love it!
You’ve got to love feedback like that! It melts my heart! Messages like that make me proud of my customers and of Temporary: Secretary.
What are your favourite pieces in your collection?
It changes all the time but at the moment, my favourite is the two Wizard of Oz necklaces and the name necklace. I go through phases every now and then. I went through a cake phase during the summer, and had a crazy cake accessories collection. Then I went through a bird phase. You are about to see an array of bunny rabbit accessories on the website very soon!
What advice would you give to other girls wishing to start their own boutique?
If they haven’t already, then I would advise to start on eBay at first as it is low risk as opposed to being committed to a website. This way, you won’t need to work so hard on promotion and marketing to begin with. It is a great way to put the word out there about your brand and to show people what you can do. You also learn what works and what doesn’t. The feedback you get is priceless and you must learn from everything the customer tells you; positive feedback and the negative ones. The customer is always right.
What are Temporary: Secretary’s plans for 2010?
2010 is going be a really great year for Temporary: Secretary! I can feel it in my bones! Back at when I was at university, the website was a just hobby, and so there was no pressure at all. I just really wanted to make pretty things! Even when I graduated in July, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going with the website, or to get a “fashion career” like I had always wanted but I found it very difficult to let go of Temporary: Secretary as it has massive potential and I constantly had new ideas. Now that Temporary: Secretary is my full time job; I put all my energy, time and effort in to it. I work around the clock and find it difficult to switch off (which *really* annoys my best friend!) There are some exciting things coming up next year, and I will make sure I reveal all the latest news with you and your readers along the way!
I wish you and all your blog readers had a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2010. Have fun in the snow and happy New Year!
You can Visit Temporary: Secretary by clicking on the Logo or the visit the Blog for exclusives