My name's Rachael and I run/own Hannah Zakari in Edinburgh.
♥ How long have you been in the boutique business and what made you get started?
I've always been creative and have made and customised stuff for as long as I remember. I studied Clothing Design at the Scottish College of Textiles and after leaving I eventually became a manager in a high street clothing and accessories chain (guess what one?!). I can't say I enjoyed working in other shops very much but the experience has now put me in a great position to be able to run a shop of my own so I guess it worked out in the end!
♥ What’s your shop like and what do you sell?
Hannah Zakari was online only for nearly 6 years but last year we took the step into a 'real life' bricks and mortar shop. It's just like the website and we sell lots of different stuff but the emphasis is on jewellery and everything is handmade or designed by indie designers.
I think the focus really has to be on showcasing the work, so we've gone for a quite minimal modern look with just a few interesting and quirky touches to set off the pieces we sell
♥ What’s your typical day like - the best bits and the worst bits?
I'm at the shop by 10am to get things prepared for the day before we open at 11, maybe have some breakfast and make a flask of tea. I have shop helpers who cover in the afternoon to free me up to prepare web orders and press requests to be posted that day. Then I'll reply to emails, get new stock checked in and labels printed ready for it to go out in the shop. I try to spend some time each week going through consignment applications or contacting new designers. More exciting days will be spent making things for my own line, or working on window displays for the shop which I love doing.
Recently I've been working on a lookbook for Hannah Zakari which has been a totally new experience for me and I've been doing things like booking models, photographers and make-up artists, making props, sourcing clothes etc. It's been amazing fun and the shoot is next week which I'm really excited about!
♥ What do you look for in handmade goods to sell?
The most important thing to me is that the designs are different and well made. I try not to concentrate too much on any particular style and put myself in the mind of a customer, but my own taste does come in to it. I like to think that despite having such a wide range of styles and prices on Hannah Zakari there is a quirkiness that ties everything together, that's what I aim for anyway.
♥ Do you actively seek new designers, or wait for them to come to you?
Both! I get new applications daily from designers hoping to sell their wares in the shop, and I'm always keeping an eye out for interesting pieces - it's one of my favourite parts of the job
♥ What’s your best seller?
Gemma Correll's Pugs Not Drugs bags are super popular, and I'm always spotting them out and about too.
♥ How do you prefer a designer to approach you about selling their work? Any tips?
I prefer to get applications by email with a selection of images, retail prices and any other relevant information. I tend to wait until I've built up a few applications then go through them and pick out what I think will work the best on Hannah Zakari.
To be completely honest, I hate it when someone just turns up at the shop with work! I find it awkward and quite embarrassing , especially if I don't think the designers work is right for the shop. I appreciate that it takes a lot of courage to do it in person so I try and handle tactfully and direct people to the 'Selling Your Work' page on the HZ website (http://www.hannahzakari.co.uk/how-to-sell).
♥ What sort of basis do you prefer to work with your designers - consignment or wholesale?
I prefer to have a mixture of consignment and wholesale designers, from a purely business point of view it works best for me in terms of money and my time.
♥ Link us up!
If you want to submit work for consideration you can read all about it here: http://www.hannahzakari.co.uk/how-to-sell
"Meet the Stockist" is a collection of interviews with stockists of independent designers' work, posted on the last Friday of each month. If you are a stockist and would like to be featured, or you are a maker and know of a great stockist to interview, email me!
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