• Nicola Joyce VA

Shop Small: Moonmist Emporium

Hello all and welcome to my new monthly blog feature, designed as an opportunity to showcase incredible small businesses based in the U.K.

I wanted to start this, not just for exposure and awareness of start-ups and independent brands but to also inspire others to take the plunge into self-employment and make those dreams a reality!

Why work for the man when you could work for yourself?

Go on... open that bakery, sell your paintings, GET CRAFTY SUSAN, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

Each month I have selected an independent business owner to spin the spotlight on. In the next few months, you'll hear from clothing brands, pizza maestros and exceptional crafters.

It goes without saying that shopping small makes a huge difference. It not only supports the livelihoods of individuals and families, but it also helps grow your local community.

So, without further ado, let's get to it!

This month, we kick off with the mystical Moonmist Emporium. A fantastical craft shop based in Maidstone, Kent.

I LOVE their handmade trinkets, I mean, LOOK AT THIS COSMIC KITTY 😍😍😍😍

Owner Sara-Jane is one badass businesswoman who runs Moonmist Emporium from home. Here's her story:

Tell us about you!

My name is Sara-Jane and I own/run Moonmist Emporium down in Maidstone, Kent. I’m 40 years old, married for 22 years, with a 21-year-old daughter 2 dogs and a cat.

What do you do / what do you sell?

I hand make a variety of weird and wonderful items using different mediums, including resin, wax and concrete, just to name a few. I adore skulls of all sorts and have a passion for the darker side of beauty.

How / when did it start?

I started Moonmist Bottles just over 4 years ago. I had allowed my mental health issues to get the better of me and realised my duties as a mum were not going to be as demanding as they once were.

It did, however, spark a fire in my soul to start creating. Back in September 2019, I changed the name to Moonmist Emporium to give myself more freedom with my creativity.

What online platforms do you sell from? Do you have a physical shop?

I don’t currently have a physical shop so for the past 4 years, I have worked physical events, mainly tattoo and bike shows but due to the pandemic of 2020, most events were cancelled.

I ventured into online platforms and started selling on Etsy in November 2020. I’m a bit of a technophobe so I had avoided online platforms due to my lack of ability.

What are your ambitions, where do you see the business going?

One day I would love to be able to give up my part-time job and do this full time. Working from home in my little workspace sounds like my little slice of heaven.

A huge idea did come from my husband where we have a one-stop community. He could sell and work on motorbikes, whilst I have a cafe so you can grab something to eat while you wait to have your bike fixed. Plus a tattoo studio and my little shop along with local artists for people to have a walk around!

What has been the highlight so far of running your business?

There have been so many highlights but I think moving to Etsy has definitely been a huge highlight for me.

I set a goal of 5 sales for my first month which I thought was being realistic, Etsy is a huge platform and I’m just a little dot in the market, but by mid-December, I had hit 25 sales and gained some really wonderful reviews.

I had completely smashed my original goal, I danced and cried around my living room like a fool!

People actually liked my items enough to buy them from the photos and my descriptions. I was, and still am extremely grateful to all of my customers and I really do, do a happy dance with every sale.

If you could give one piece of advice for anyone looking to start their own business what would it be?

Don’t give up! I wanted to so many times, but I am lucky enough to have the support from my family and friends.

Ultimately BELIEVE in yourself. You CAN do this! This is something I tell myself almost daily.

I still have a great deal to learn with my Etsy shop as I’m still very new to the online thing, but if I can do it, you can do it too.

Online Shop | Instagram | Facebook

POW, well there we go.

One awesome crafty entrepreneur, conquering Etsy one sale at a time. 💪

Be sure to check out Moonmist Emporium on Etsy and at the end of the month, 29th - 30th January, they will be taking part in an online market, details can be found here!

GO ON treat yourself to a little something...

If you run a small business and would like to be featured, drop me an email at nicolajoyceva@gmail.com. I would love to hear all about it!

Nicola x

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