My Favourite Small Business: Lopshop

Lopshop is a small business specialising in upcycled jewellery operating primarily on Instagram. The business began under the name Ellie’s Earrings in 2018 but was rebranded in 2020 as they began expanding their creations. Lopshop is run by Ellie Taylor part time alongside her full time job as a dementia carer. I recently spoke to Ellie about Lopshop, here’s what she said:

Q: Why did you start Lopshop?

A: Over ten years ago my auntie started teaching me how to make jewellery. At first I would make things every time I visited her but as I grew to love making things I began to do it myself. Soon she and other family members were gifting me things to help me make jewellery.

I took a break from jewellery making whilst I was at university but have since found my love for it again. Lopshop is my way of escaping from the world, giving me something to focus my time and energy on.

Q: What does Lopshop mean to you?

A: Many aspects of Lopshop are linked to family members so this business helps me to feel connected to my family. The name Lopshop originated from my dad’s nickname for me ‘Lops’ whereas the duck in our logo related to my grandma’s love for ducks. My aunt doesn’t really create anymore so Lopshop feels like my way of continuing creating for her.

As a business, Lopshop helps me to steer away from fast fashion as most of my products are upcycled from materials I find in charity shops and at car boots. I like being able to take these unwanted pieces and finding a new purpose for them.

Q: What do you like about having your own business?

A: I like the freedom as I have full control over what I do and create. Creating has always been passion of mine and I love earrings so this business is the perfect combination. I enjoy being able to make things for others (and myself) and my favourite part is seeing other people wearing my jewellery.

It can be hard running a small business alone, especially when juggling several parts of the business such as social media, making and selling. It’s stressful to balance this with my full time job but I am lucky that my job gives me enough free time to spend creating for Lopshop.

Q: How do you use social media to engage with customers?

A: I primarily use Instagram for my business. I like using this social media channel as I am able to get to know my customers and have a personal connection to them. I send out stickers with orders, choosing these based on what I think the customer will like. I enjoy making my orders personal and think this personal touch helps me to interact with customers better.

I sell my products through Instagram, using my highlights to show customers my available products. Customers can message me their order and I can easily remove these products once they are sold. This is the best way for me to show my range of unique products to customers.

Q: What have been your biggest achievements so far?

A: My biggest achievement has been having my products sold in store at 99 Vintage in Winchester. It’s nice to be able to walk into a physical shop and see my products. Selling here has helped with my sales and has been a good expansion for my business.

Another big moment for me was changing the branding to Lopshop from Ellie’s Earrings at the beginning of this year. It was a big step and made things more real. The change allowed me to find a gap in the market with my upcycled products. In the past I’ve tried lots of different things but I now feel as though I have found my space.

Q: What plans do you have for the future of Lopshop?

A: I would love to have my own stall at a market once the world reopens. It would be great for my customers to physically see the wide range of products I have available as I currently have a limited range at 99 Vintage.

Ideally, I would be doing this as a full time job with a team to support me. I would still want to be on the creating side of the business but would have others helping supporting me with other aspects.

Lopshop can be found at @lopshopuk on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

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