Keeping’ Up With Kimberley – Progress and Procrastination

Hey you wonderful soul, how are you today? Thought I’d do a little personal post about what I’m up to. What a ramble I have for you!

I woke up early for a driving lesson, and started my day plotting and scheming for my business. I feel like I keep talking about my brand Keep Real far too much for my good- but I don’t necessarily share that much about it. I talk about it too much in my own little head, and realise that I’m not being productive!

After two years of saving up while at University, I finally purchased a MacBook Pro for my work yesterday. TheApple-logo-grey-880x625 software wasn’t up to scratch on my old laptop, and for the work/business I will be doing, it was time for an upgrade. It feels so good to spend my money on
something as wonderful as this (yes, I’m typing away on it as you read!). After all the hard work on my two part time jobs while studying for my degree, paying bills, paying rent etc- I saved up small amounts throughout the year. After something like this, it puts into perspective where your hard earned pennies go. Who needs clothes, make up or more pairs of Vans? Not me!

Now I have the right kit to work on, I finally feel like I can be more efficient with my time, and to get my head together. Since Christmas, it’s been quite a struggle for me to get going with Keep Real. So purchasing this, has put me into gear.

I’m still working on my  presentation for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which is next Monday! Exciting stuff!! I also sent my final design to Heads Above The Waves for the Keep Real Collaboration. Also extremely exciting stuff!

I’ve also been reading an incredibly motivating book which I’m sure quite a few people have heard of, called ‘#GIRLBOSS’ by Sophia Amoruso  which has really helped me to take control of my negative thoughts about setting up my business. I cannot sing enough praises about this book. Thank you Sophia. Man. With the right determination, things will work out. Leave the negative folk behind, and the people that don’t push you to be the best version of yourself. Work hard, play hard. Focussing too much, can sometimes lead to a blurry goal. I just gotta keep at it, and not expect so much of myself all the time. A downfall I have to work on!

Anyway folks, thanks for reading my morning ramble. I hope you enjoy the day ahead!! Kill it! Own it! Rock it! And of course, keep it real!

Much love y’all xxxx




kimmykeepreal’s Creative Day

Hello my lovelies! How’s your day been? It’s been such a wonderful day here in Yorkshire (with a slight pour of rain for some time!) with such business-y things to do! wpid-img_20150828_202722.jpg

Today was the day to research suppliers, email quotes, get down some ideas for branding and working with ideas for fabrics, materials and seeing what direction I want to go in with Keep Real. (P.s- I’ve finally made an Instagram page for it, if you’d like to give it a follow!). It’s safe to say, everything is definitely on track. Keep Real is an authentic, home-grown collection of garments and goods inspired by the botanical, natural and traditional. I want that fresh feeling for the brand, cultivated with everyone in mind. Keep Real stands for feeling good inside and out. Keepin’ it real, so to speak.

Also today, I have been looking around homeware stores and researching prices for the goods part of Keep Real, with a nod towards making it a high street store. It’s just to keep things in mind of the bigger picture. Although it is early stages yet, creating a store is the big dream! It get’s me all excited and that ‘fuzzy feeling’ when I walk into big warehouses and imagine what my store would look like. Urban, fresh, botanical and completely keepin’ it real.

wpid-img_20150827_114014792_hdr.jpgI have a quarterly business meeting next week to discuss my ideas and how far I’ve come with the collection. It’s so important to ask myself questions like ‘Is my business heading in the direction I want it to?’ ‘Have I made progress?’ ‘Are folk really liking my designs, or should I change my ideas?’ etc. It’s also vital to ask questions too to the right people! So things like ‘Could I find a supplier internationally?’ ‘Are my designs good enough to print?’ ‘Is my cashflow summary accurate enough?’ ‘Have I budgeted correctly?’.

Sometimes I struggle with myself to believe I’m making progress. Social media is quite an overwhelming tool to grasp, especially from a business perspective. I’d love for people to check out Keep Real- but I don’t want to force people too either! I am so passionate about the brand, but telling folk all the time to ‘like’ this or ‘follow’ that makes me see myself as a huge nag. And nobody wants that do they?!

So today has been all about plotting and scheming, budgeting and reading. I just have to have faith in myself and what Keep Real as a brand stands for! And I hope folk have faith in me too!

Sending you all so much love and keep real goodness. Be well! x

A Favour To Ask (Pretty Please My Beauties!)

Hello you. As you may/ or may not know, my dream is run my own Small Business to eventually become a high street store. My brand, ‘Keep Real’ is an independent garment and goods collection in Yorkshire, UK. Authentic, fresh and home-grown. Inspired by the botanical,cropped-wpid-20150525_155232.jpg the alternative and the natural; it’s a movement of feeling real good about yourself, inside and out. The store is online with last years collection- but this time around it’s going to be an even bigger brand. I am so ssoooo excited about it!

I would absolutely LOVE it if you could take the time out to fill out my survey, as market research is key! ❤ find it here >> Keep Real Clothing Survey

Thank you so much, and as always- keep real!

How I Turned My Hobby Into A Business

Good Afternoon you wonderful souls! How’s the week been treating you so far? I thought I’d share with you a bit of a Keep Real back story on what got me into thinking of KR as a business more than a hobby. I was a little bit inspired when I went to Louth, which is a quaint market town in Lincolnshire, UK. There was a wonderful fabric shop ‘The Little Fabric Store’ down a cobbled wpid-20150525_151409.jpgstreet (where my Nan actually sources her fabric) ran by a lovely woman. I asked her about her shop, and she told me she was made redundant some years ago- and used the money to start her own business. She had turned her hobby into a shop- which got me thinking about what inspired me to try and do the same!

So, back in college I distracted myself from my studies by doing a lot of artwork- and experimenting with different media. This turned out to be fabric pens and iron on transfers. I started buying plain t-shirts and drawing straight onto them. Picture hand drawn white tees with Dracula, ‘Doc’ from Back to the Future, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and Tardis themed shirts. It was all about recreating classics I loved, but doing the work myself.

It turned out that what I was doing created quite a bit of interest. People were starting to actually pay me to design shirts and bags for them, which landed me on the front of the local newspaper! How cool!

I still went on to focus on my education more than anything at the end, but by the time I got to university it has always been in the back of my head that Keep Real was something I really wanted to do. So I went ahead and thought ‘why not?’.

My second year at University, I got my artwork into one of the local galleries, had my work displayed in a music store where I work part-time, did an art & craft fair with my mum, participated in a Huddersfield Exhibition and started commissions for bands and businesses. My biggest commission IMG_20150120_174533was for a small menswear business down in London. I absolutely loved it. I was gaining wonderful feedback with all my exhibition work and fairs- so I thought to take Keep Real seriously. Who knows eh!

Now I’m designing it’s first collection, I started this lovely little blog and taking KR mega seriously. I’ve been looking at sales forecasts, budgets, suppliers, finishing the designs, cash flow summarising and all sorts of jargon filled business-y stuff.

I think the scariest bit about wanting to have a small business is the actual money part of it and believing in yourself. If I didn’t believe Keep Real would be a successful small business, I would not be putting in all my extra time to make it happen. I am determined, and I think that mindset is the best to have!

If you have a hobby and you’re thinking of making it into a business, I suggest reading ‘How To Start A Creative Business’ which is a lovely book to get you going.

If you have any question about Keep Real or my work, please do not hesitate to contact me!

All the ❤