Creative Delawarean seamstress, Holly Draper has been designing clothes and accessories since 2014. Her brand, Shop Draped specializes in handmade clothing and accessories for the eccentric modern woman. Her travels serve as the primary inspiration for the colorful bold designs she uses on the clothing and accessories. Holly explains that she tends to travel to places that express themselves artistically through colorful architecture. “I love when I see a house that may have block print or uses color in an unusual way. I typically turn my head to the side and say “That needs to be translated into clothing!”.
Holly received her degree in Clinical Psychology in 2013 from Lincoln University. After graduating, she went on to work in the mental health care field and landed a job as a drug and alcohol counselor in 2014. After dealing with much stress from work, she started to take sewing classes as a hobby and a way to unwind from her job. She enjoyed sewing so much that she slowly started to put ideas together to start a business. At the end of 2015, Holly’s job announced that she would be losing her job in February 2016 due to downsizing and moving farther downstate.
Too far of a drive for Holly, she decided to apply for other counseling positions around her area. When all of the positions became filled for the jobs she applied for, Holly was given the idea to launch her business into what is now known as Draped. She shares with us more about her business.
1.From being employed to starting your own business, what do you love about being an entrepreneur?
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is my freedom. I love being able to cease my sewing, pick my mom at the airport, and return back to my order without being under then gun of a clock or work restrictions like a traditional job. I’m so much happier and enjoy my life so much more with this new found freedom.
2. What challenges did you face while starting Draped?
One of the major issues I ran into and sometimes still run into is where to begin. The answer to that question, always start somewhere, anywhere! Just start. Put together ideas for a logo. Research which platform you want to put your store on. Putting your dreams into action is always the first step into success. In the back of my mind sometimes I still fight with being a perfectionist and doing things “the right way” in order. There is no right or perfect way to start. Your best lessons are through trial and error.
3. What are the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
The first lesson that I have learned is to not be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are merrily learning mechanisms made to help us grow stronger. The second lesson that I learned is don’t be afraid to show your art or design to the world. I’m currently reading a book by Kenneth Roman, Jane Maas, and Martin Nisenholtz on advertising and in the first chapter it states that artists and designer’s are usually ahead of their time and that it takes awhile for the world to catch up with art or new concepts of designs. If you believe in what your doing with all your heart then the chances are eventually someone else will too. My third lesson is learn how to collaborate with other brands. My favorite part of creating content for my brand is teaming up with other creatives who are like minded. It’s true what they say. Two heads are better than one.
4. What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to leave their 9-5 job to start their own business?
I’d tell those who want to leave their 9-5 job is to save their money. I cannot stress the importance of saving. I never quit my job. My job quit me. Before my job officially packed up and moved down state, I went through an extreme period of saving. By the time I lost my job, I had almost $8K in my account within a three month period. With that money, I was able to make purchases for things that would make me money and be reinvested back into my business. You need a good monetary cushion room for when things get tough while starting your business.
Check out Holly’s shop at Draped