Pretty Little Headbands
Interview with Maria Camilleri
16 May 2022
Tell us about your idea, your vision and your dream… What inspired you to develop your idea?
It all started three years ago, in 2019. I had a summer wedding and I wanted to wear an embellished headband. I couldn’t find the style and the design that I really wanted, so I decided to do my own custom-made headband. I received lots of positive feedback from my friends and this is when ‘Pretty Little Headbands’ was born. It was a dream of mine to have something of my own and to use my creative skills to create something which can be used or worn. Creating something helps me to relax and to escape (even if it’s just for a bit) from the hustle and bustle of my everyday life. I decided to experiment and create several headbands. That was when I created my first collection of headbands. Back in August 2019 I launched my Facebook and Instagram pages and I started making custom-made headbands for different occasions.
How does the start-up help you accomplish your life’s goals?
My goal in life was and still is to do things that make me happy. Creating something is truly something that I enjoy doing. Seeing others appreciating my work and wear the headbands that I create from scratch makes me feel proud of my work. The best thing is that you get to work and at the same time do the thing that you love.
How much time do you spend working on your business each day?
This is a difficult question to answer. I do not own a studio or a shop, so I work from my own workshop at home. Therefore, a plus for this business is that you can be flexible with your working hours, and I can work at any time I want. The main source of communication with my clients is through Facebook and Instagram. Once they contact me, I start working on a pattern and design. This normally takes between 1 to 2 hours and varies from one headband to another. The actual process of creating the headband takes between 3 and 5 hours – sometimes more, sometimes less. Again, it always depends on the style of the headband and how elaborate the pattern is. All gems and pearls are handsewn and not just glued, hence the process take takes time.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business so far?
It is always pure satisfaction that after hours of hard work you see a happy client that proudly shows off your handmade headband. One of the best feelings, is when I work on bridal headpieces and bridal team headbands. To be entrusted with something so important on someone’s special day is a true honour. Moreover, working on such headpieces it allows me to create more elaborate and detailed patterns, that even though they take longer to finish, the end process is something that gives me so much pride and joy. Another experience that I really enjoyed was when I had the opportunity to showcase and sell my work in Christmas markets. I really enjoyed the fact that I got to meet some of my clients and also new ones. Moreover, people had the opportunity to see me work and appreciate the work that it takes to create these headbands.
“One of the best feelings, is when I work on bridal headpieces and bridal team headbands.”
Why did you decide to become a business owner?
The reality is I never planned to be a business owner. I guess, it was something that came about naturally, yet, three years since doing my first headband, I am still doing this. I am just grateful that I have the chance to do something that I love. Managing this small business gives me lots of satisfaction and if it means that I can be a service for others, it is something that I plan to keep on doing.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is to do things that make me happy and in return make others happy. All this gives you true satisfaction and makes everything worthwhile. With success, comes a lot of hard work and patience. But, I guess it is all worth it in the end.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
I believe that my greatest fear is that my clients are not happy with the final product and that my work is not liked and appreciated. I know and accept the fact that I can make mistakes and sometimes it will take multiple attempts to get the right patterns in place. I always remind myself not to give up and if I don’t manage immediately, I try again later.
Looking back at your entrepreneurial journey so far, if you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
I think something that was very difficult for me (and sometimes still is), is time management. Keeping up with my everyday life, full time job, errands and also balancing with my social life activities, leaves little time to actually sit down and create these custom-made pieces. Therefore, I learnt to be strict with myself and allocate time whenever it’s possible to work on this business. Sometimes, however, I ended up doing more than I can and instead of refusing work I kept on saying yes. By time, I have realised that it’s ok if at times I put myself first and say no. After all, good work needs time and patience. Working under pressure is extremely difficult and the trick is to channel the stress and deal with it in a healthy and productive way.
“By time, I have realised that it’s ok if at times I put myself first and say no.”
What would you consider to be the biggest challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs in your industry?
I think that the biggest challenge, including for myself, is to be always original and creative, to come up with different designs and to always be on the hunt for different materials. Sometimes, it gets tiring, frustrating, and difficult to create an original piece. Also, you have to do this for the love of art and creating. It is very difficult to do this just for the sake of earning money, it involves long hours of planning and working that sometimes you might think that it is not even worth it to keep on working on it. But dedication, perseverance and satisfaction keep you going.
How do you see yourself in two years time? How do you foresee your growth path?
I only hope that I am still doing what I am doing. I hope that I keep on growing and learning new techniques and keep on experimenting and creating new designs. Whatever happens I hope that my work is still being appreciated, worn by beautiful ladies and young girls and making them feel confident and look good.