From chocolate to knitted sweaters: how to start your own business in Instagram

Christina Maximenko
Created in Instagram store textile and knitted things
“Marusin shop”

In 2014, my daughter was born. Before her birth, I worked at the Rostov State Construction Institute as a junior research assistant, but I could not sit on the decree for a long time without work. I saw on Instagram how other mothers combine business and family, so I decided to do something different. I wanted the case to intersect with the children, to create something for their daughter.

While dolls have been trendy and tulips in style tilde (naive interior textile dolls, invented by Norwegians Tone Finnanger in 1999 -. Ed.. ), I looked at the pages with such products, was inspired and at some point, I learned that everything – from buttons to sewing machines Began to choose there the first fabrics, threads, buttons. It was not even the fabrics that were ordered from one seller, but 20 × 20 cm samples — he sent me 60 variants of colors, many of which I later bought. The first materials went to the toys for the daughter; by the way, she still plays in them. Friends and relatives who came to visit us, began to be interested in toys and ask to sew them the same. It was 2015, and then my husband asked me why not to make an Instagram page and try to sell my product. So appeared “Marusin shop.”

Following the tulips, I began to sew baby envelopes, bumpers in the crib, bed linen. Then she started to knit. I was engaged in creative work before, but as a hobby that was difficult to combine with work at the university. Now the product in my store is very dependent on the season. In winter, knitwear and warm baby envelopes are popular. Every spring – the peak of the popularity of tulips. In that year, I sewed about 200 of them by March 8 – it was one order from an employer who decided to give employees bouquets of five textile tulips instead of fresh flowers.

I imagine in what season they order most often and I try to ensure that consumables are always available. On AliExpress, if the fabric or accessories are needed urgently, I choose ePacket delivery, which on average costs 150 rubles and takes 10-14 days. I am lucky: I order a lot from the same sellers, they willingly make contact, always advise, recheck the composition of the package. In a month I make up to 10 such orders, but I also buy something in Rostov, for example, Polish cotton, which I like very much in quality.

When my daughter was young, I could only do shopping during her nap. Now I take her to the kindergarten in the morning, come home, check my mail, direct, orders. If there are no necessary household chores, I can work a couple of hours. Customers arrive – I give them orders. I conduct an order plan to deliver all the products on time. If all the materials are in stock, it takes 1-2 days to make it, then I always wash, iron and pack the product. If there is a queue, then the wait can be two weeks and a month. Seventy percent of my clients come from other cities and even countries. Orders come from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Belarus, once ordered from Italy.

The first two years of work, I just watched how the Instagram store works. Then I realized that it needs to be developed and promoted. It is necessary to upload beautiful photos, write good texts. Now I’m doing more promotion. This year I had another fixed idea – to open a small offline store near the house. To do this, you need to work hard so that there are many different products available.

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