An Interview with…Tracy Munoz – My Sister Mabel

Our spring interview series continues with an interview with Tracy Munoz, creator of ‘My Sister Mabel’ fashion and accessories for women and girls. 

Our thanks go to Tracy for taking part in our interview and sharing her experiences.

 

Tell us a little bit about you and your business. When did you start and what made you decide to start your own business?  

I moved down to Devon from Brighton in 2008,  as I was pregnant with my second child I was  pretty much unemployable.  I’d always enjoyed sewing and had made a little line of children’s bibs, bunting, aprons and bags made in oilcloth, that I been selling into shops in and around Brighton under the name Dizzy Dog, this I ran alsongside my main job as a PA for a record label.  About 18 months after having my daughter in Dec 2008 I decided to try and make my hobby into a proper business. I started with the two styles of oilcloth bags and the clothes came a while after.

Oilcloth Bella Bag

 

How did you decide on the name?

My first daughter is Bella and her sister is Mabel

 

What did you do before starting your business? Did you have any experience in selling clothing and accessories?

While I was living in London I worked as a  buyer for a chain of independent clothes shops, buying ladies clothing and accessories. I also had a shop in Brighton, that sold clothes, amongst other things.

 

How did you feel when you had just launched your business?

Although I felt very excited, I was also a little nervous as to whether people would like the styles and fabrics I’d chosen.

Short Sleeve Red Check Dress

 

What were the main challenges or most important things to learn when you first started? 

Balancing work and family was a real challenge, as was getting used to working from home, there can be so many distractions and I often find myself working late into the night.

 

Did you get lots of support from family and friends?

Yes my husband is very supportive and helps with the children and also does all the necessary paperwork.

 

Peter Pan Collar DressOnce you had started how long did it take for you to feel that it was an established business? 

I  started my business properly in 2010 and it has grown each year from then.

 

What was the first item that you sold? And how did it feel?

The first item I sold from was a Mabel Messenger Bag, I felt very proud that some one actually wanted to buy something I’d made.

 

What items do you sell and what are your favourite products to make or that you sell?

I sell ladies oilcloth bags and fabric bags and girls and ladies dresses. My favourite items are my upcycled girls dresses because  I love re-working a piece of fabric that could be 30 years old into a small collection of unique dresses.

My Sister Mabel clothing and accessories

 

What are the best things about running your own business?

Being in charge of your own time.

 

What are the worst?

Uncertainty of income, there’s good weeks and bad weeks.

 

 If you weren’t running your own business what do you think you would be doing?

 Probably working in an office.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Spending time with family and friends.

 

What advice would you give to other mums thinking about starting up their own business?

Give it a go. Start small let it run along side anything else you are doing i.e. childcare or a part /full time job and see how it goes, then there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Cotton smock dress

What plans do you have for your business in the future?

For it to continue to grow and grow.

 

 Where can we find out more about My Sister Mabel? 

My sister Mabel

My Sister Mabel Blog  - www.mysistermabel.bigcartel.com

My Sister Mabel Facebook Page www.facebook.com/pages/My-Sister-Mabel/129494827151436

 

Tulip Fabric Dress

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