Bootstrapping an illustrated homewares brand with Hepsie Goddin from Martha and Hepsie (episode 361)

Hepsie Goddin is co-founder of Martha & Hepsie, a quirky illustrated homeware, gifts & stationery seller she founded with her sister way back in 2011. Ten years on, they now do 300 orders per month.

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Getting Started

Hepsie has a fashion degree in Business Studies and ended up in marketing, while her sister Martha has a degree in textile and ended up doing merchandising.

The sisters both got disillusioned with their jobs and wanted to do something new. They started Martha and Hepsie as a side hustle, with technology playing a huge part.

Two years in, Hepsie went full time with the business and Martha followed after 6 months.

About Martha And Hepsie

  • Based in the UK with a warehouse in Devon
  • Ships worldwide
  • Is on Shopify
  • Also sells via Etsy, Not on the High Street, and Joules
  • Aside from retail, also does wholesale via Faire 

The Team

Martha and Hepsie are the main members of the team, with Martha as the illustrator and Hepsie handling email marketing and the website.

Right now, adding another employee to be part of the team is not feasible, considering that they might pay the person more than what they can take out of the business.

The Product

The brand sells colorful illustrated homeware, gifts, and stationery proudly made in the UK.

Hepsie says the decision to work with manufacturers and suppliers in the UK was made because it guarantees the following:

  • More economic
  • Being able to get products on time
  • Excellent quality
  • Printing on FSC-certified paper

Gift Wrap That Gives

One of the brand’s best sellers is their gift wrap. In 2018, they created their “Gift Wrap that Gives” campaign where 10% of their profits are donated to charity.

More than that, Hepsie says they also want those who purchase their gift wraps to reuse them since they’re printed on high quality paper, and in consideration of the environment. She even created a video on how to wrap without using sticky tape so the wrapping paper can be reused.

Hepsie also hopes their customers spread the word about their charity campaign and reusing the gift wrap to help the environment.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Email, because for Martha and Hepsie, it delivers 30% of their revenue.

Tool Top Tip

  • Asana Project Management tool

Growth Top Tip

  • Niche down and focus, and look at the data to find out what you’re doing right.

Interview Links

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