iZettle is helping lots of small businesses grow. We interviewed Emma Cornes, an aspiring businesswoman and a creative bag designer, about how iZettle has helped her company. Her story is an inspiration for those considering starting up a business – read our full interview with Emma below.
Tell me something about your business, and also where the inspiration came from to go it alone and start a business?
We’re bag makers. I could never find the bag I wanted. I’m not a conventional follower of fashion. I like to ride bikes and paddle boats more than I want to go shopping. I found most other bags out there were too fussy, expensive or just poorly made from cheap materials. I get quite attached to bags. I only overuse one for everything, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
What is the inspiration for your designs? Have you been surprised about the positive reaction at all?
I grew up in the Scottish Borders where there’s an amazing woollen history. I love the tweed cloths woven there but could never find what I wanted. And I love products that are made in Britain.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response. It seems that there are lots of women out there like me. I love it when people come up to me at an event and say ‘I’m not really a bag person, but I love yours’ – the women who wouldn’t normally get excited about shopping for a new bag.
How would you like to see your business develop in the future?
My husband has just joined the business to take the marketing strain. I’ve loved every minute this year, but doing everything myself including manufacture is starting to take its toll. I’m looking forward to a nice break over Christmas.
iPad cover designed by Emma.
We’re looking at working with workshops around the country to help us with manufacture next year. I can’t grow the business if I make everything myself, but they’ll all be made in Britain and I’ll still be hands-on with parts of the process.
In terms of the business, what was your best day?
Best day – Thursday of Country Living Magazine’s Christmas Fair in Harrogate. It was the day when I finally realised I really have a product people love. I even had a couple of ladies let out little squeals when the saw my bags – a bit strange, but a good sign, I think! It was great to see that people are willing to buy something they love.
How would you describe your iZettle experience?
I love iZettle. I only do occasional events, so it saves me a fortune over a conventional card payment system. It’s great that there are no standing charges if I’m not using it for a month or two. I also appreciate all the reporting features. It makes record keeping really easy.
It’s easy to use overall and has helped me takes loads of sales I might have lost otherwise. My bags are all about £100 or more – people rarely carry that much cash. If you get one, I recommend just having a play with it before you need to use it for real. I put through a few £1 transactions from my own debit card to test it, then just tested the refund option.
My first card reader did mysteriously stop working, but I had a replacement with me in under 48 hours. And the great thing is that I was able to borrow someone else’s reader while waiting on the replacement. I just linked the other reader to my iPad and carried on as normal.
When I start using my iZettle at an event, all the other traders want to know about it.
Do you intend to expand your business? Has iZettle played a part in this?
We’ve got big plans for 2014. It’ll be great to finally have a bit more time when I don’t have to make every bag myself. I can’t wait to get started.
iZettle’s definitely played its part in our success so far. And we’ll continue to use it because it’s simple, works and saves us money.