Interview; Pigeon Wishes
February’s fun Sunday Brunch themed boxes included a set of the gorgeous “Chai Latte” resin buttons from Pigeon Wishes, run by Megan and YoHao as well as selling their buttons online they also run a fabric wholesale business.
Hi Megan, how are you? Have we caught you on a busy day?
It’s always busy when you have an energetic toddler around! My son, Olimi, goes to nursery part time so I need to do a lot in the 3 hours. I am photographing pictures for our new button collection ‘Flower Show,’ thinking up content for our social media channels. If I get a minute I will have a cup of tea.
Tell us a bit about the ethos behind Pigeon Wishes?
We are a modern dressmaking wholesale shop. We source sustainable fibres, unique and modern prints for small businesses. We want to provide small businesses and their customers with sustainable, unique fabric which would usually be unavailable.
What made you and you husband YuHao decide to start a fabric wholesale business over a retail shop?
I actually started with a retail shop! I experimented selling fabric directly to customers on Etsy. To be honest at that level it turned my hobby into a job and as fabulous as running a fabric shop sounds 90% of it is packing orders. My retail shop was successful because I had avenues of finding fabric no one else had and I provided fabrics no one else could.
I realised that ultimately traveling and focusing on products is where my joy really stemmed from. I now spend much more time focused on what I really love, sourcing fabric. I can support small businesses and my husband is now the one that packs orders! With the help of our super fabric rolling machine.
All the aspects I loved about selling fabric are amplified by becoming a wholesaler. There’s lots of challenges but selling fabric this way suits me much better.
You recently moved yourself and your business from London to Liverpool, what prompted the move and how has it been navigating your business through a move as well as a global pandemic?
My biggest dream is to buy a nice house with a garden big enough to keep chickens. In London you would literally need to be a millionaire! Property prices are ridiculous. Also our business got to the point where we needed a bigger studio. All that pointed to moving out of London.
Moving was pretty easy. We moved to a fully furnished house and the studio we rent is so much better than our previous one, it is on a ground floor with massive doors. We had to hire movers but it was all very smooth. We moved when coronavirus was not as rampant and people were still optimistic about the pandemic ending fairly soon.
We really wish we could explore and travel around the area more but we are very happy with our new life.
Last year you added beautiful button collections to your business, what went into the process of sourcing those and choosing which ones to include?
Selling buttons is a complete accident. When we were on a fabric sourcing trip I went looking for buttons purely for a personal sewing project. I just couldn’t find the right buttons and then I stumbled on a wonderful manufacturer of buttons.
I originally bought their leftover/deadstock buttons. So the majority of the buttons we first sold could only be purchased in very limited quantities, with a few that can never be stocked again. However the buttons have proved to be so popular we can now have our own made.
I always have a pattern in mind when I pick a button size and for the style I choose what I think is beautiful. I will always pick buttons I personally love and think others would too. We will continue to also do collections based on special holidays and the changing of the season.
Do you have any other exciting additions coming up that you can let us in on?
This year I’m really concentrating on expanding our button line. Keep your eyes peeled for a very special collaboration coming up!
We also have a range of Pigeon Wishes fabrics coming especially printed for us and designed by the very talented textile print designer Elizabeth Rachel.
You can check out more buttons available at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PigeonWishesShops