Brief background on you and your business journey:
We are a Melbourne based business founded by Rachael & Cathy, two friends who share a love of travel, unique style and beautiful handcrafted pieces. After an overseas trip together in early 2017, we fell in love with the design of the handcrafted basket bag.
After researching more into the bags we loved, we found out how they are made and realised that not only are they stunning, but that they are made by wonderful women who are keeping their time-honoured craft alive in local towns and villages. We made the decision to start our business to share our love of these timeless pieces. After starting quite small with a handful of designs we have managed to grow the collection and have teamed up with some great stylists and brands to showcase our products. Bringing our vision to reality is really exciting and we love seeing our unique and beautiful bags worn by our customers.
How did your business name come about?
We wanted something simple and easy for people to remember. We also name all of our products after flowers and plants due to the natural materials in our products.
What motivates you and what do you love most about your business?
What motivates us to run Pip & co is that we just love the products we sell so that makes it very easy. From the beautiful woven details to the handcrafted pieces and the natural materials such as straw, rattan and raffia. We also love seeing our pieces styled by others who share our passion for the woven bag.
We love that we get to play with new products as they arrive and be creative in shooting and styling them. We love that we can do this from home while still keeping up part-time work and families.
In one-word characterise your life as a start up/business owner…
Learning – always learning and growing.
Who has been your greatest inspiration and why, and where do you get your creative energy from ?
We are inspired by different cultures and the traditional techniques used to weave and craft each bag using raw natural materials. Our bags are made by women in villages in Asia who are keeping up this time-honoured craft passed down through generations. They are able to make an income from weaving bags while still staying home and looking after their children and families. This beauty they create by hand inspires us and it’s great to be able to share these pieces with the rest of the world.
We get inspired by seeing others style or photograph our bags. We’ve seen amazing photos of our bags by the pool, at weddings, out for coffee or just hanging up in our customers houses to admire as art. They really are quite photogenic.
What was a watershed moment in your business journey?
We had no idea when we first started this business that the woven basket bag would take off as it did within the fashion circles. We received such a positive reaction to our posts and products that almost on a weekly basis we are being asked to collaborate! At this point, we realised maybe we could do this…
How is running a successful business different to what you thought?
I guess running a side business is tricky sometimes in balancing all that life entails. It requires more time and thought then we probably had anticipated.
What do you struggle with the most?
Finding the time to research new products and decide what direction we should take our business in next.
What’s in store for you and your business?
We are always planning our next adventure and new collection. We value the experience of travel and exploring different cultures and unique handcrafted products. In the short term, this means growing our bag collection by sourcing unique designs from around the globe. Further down the track, we hope to explore and add other handcrafted accessories to our collection and sell more of these internationally.
Given your experience what 3 pieces of advice would you give to women starting a business?
- Find something that you’re passionate about…if you love what you’re doing it makes it so much easier to find success.
- Be consistent in delivering quality products and service to your customers each and every time.
- Find your niche! Choosing one area that is your specialty is so important to your success.
Any destination – where could we take you?
BALI! It is where it all began for Pip & co and we just love it.