And… we’re back with the 2nd blog of our 3-part series. If you haven’t already read Pt.1 with Geo Fun Design then please turn back around now… but if you have- then you’re ready for another exciting glimpse behind the scenes and this time it’s with Bigger The Hoop!
Bigger the Hoop first joined our group of accessories at the end of this summer along-side the release of our ‘Velour Couture’ Collection after I discovered the brand on one of my late-night depop stalking missions. (Anyone else do this?!) Firstly, I LOVE the clever name as much as I LOVE my big earrings and I envisaged how perfect they would go with Bellisa X clothing for our customers. So I popped over a email and well, the rest is history. Bigger the Hoop has now launched a 2nd selection of hand-selected stock on our website following the sell out of the first. And obvs I simply had to buy a pair for myself (peach melba,) which I’ve worn a lot. I love my fluffy hearts since they add fun, light-heartedness and smiles to an outfit. Yes, the fluff and the bright colours literally make other people smile at you when they see them (and you at yourself in the mirror!) They gracefully hang with colourful confidence and better still, they are so light-weight that I can’t even feel them in my ears. I’ve weighted my piercings so much from bamboo earrings that it’s great to be able to still wear big earrings – just without the pain! I wear them to both compliment my good mood or to lift the grey skies on a rainy day. On our Bellisa website we stock 4 varying colour combos to choose from.
Now I could most likely sit here all day and sing my Bigger The Hoop earring praises but It’s important that you know about the brand itself: Who, where and what are you investing your time and money into? It’s time to pass you over to Milly the designer and creator of Bigger The Hoop to listen to her story.
“Hiya! My name is Milly and I’m 22 years old; recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Biological Sciences and I’m currently travelling and working overseas, running Bigger the Hoop on the move from countries like Spain and Morroco! HOW is she managing this all from abroad I hear you ask? I’ll let you in on a lil secret… firstly, I made up a whole load of stock before I left for my younger brother to post out the UK orders for me ( thank you!) and then for anything he can’t do or has run out of- I make and send them to him from wherever I am. Wherever I adventure, so does a massive rucksack of equipment! The beads, sequins, marabou, pipe cleaners, different hoop sizes, pliers, envelopes etc are all organised into containers and packed into one bag- they surprisingly fit quite well. I source materials from all over the place and some I buy locally to save costs. Travelling with BTH means I can flexibly make orders wherever I am.
Whilst being flexible with production, BTH strives to be diverse with designs so that my creations can be interpreted by all different people to reflect their own style. There’s such a variety of products as I aim to have something for everyone and to suit all occasions – whilst still being expressive. However I would say the prominent theme at the moment is festival statement earrings to make people stand out- very much like the fluffy hearts I’m selling on Bellisa X. I want to provide people with earrings that they can feel confident in and be complimented on, so when I hear back from customers for the love of their purchases it makes me so happy! The whole process of coming up with new ideas and seeing the joy it brings to customers is the number 1 reason why I do what I do!
So how did I get to where Bigger the Hoop is now?
Since a young age I’ve always been very creative with a passion to collect as many things as possible to make other ‘things’ from them but really I was just a hoarder until I started making earrings. I’ve also shared a love of festivals and travelling which all coincides with my sociable personality. Originally, I started making beaded earrings for fun and for my myself and friends, but there’s only sooo much you can make for yourself! So on Dec 27th last year I took the plunge and embarked on a secret depop venture and set up BTH as a brand just to see if there was any interest out there. I was testing the water. But soon enough, after selling my first pair for only £2.50, I was immediately hooked coming up with many new designs due to such a positive response from the public. Fast forward a couple months and I was making money that really helped me to survive like a normal uni student. However it became a real challenge to balance my responsibilities running BTH (designing new stock, taking photos, uploading listing, making orders, social media etc) alongside studying and having a social life. It got very stressful (and still can) as BTH is never something I’m doing full time, its always been something I do in addition to my normal life. For example, I would often make earrings in whatever spare time I had, such as before a night out. This would leave very little time to just relax and do nothing and consequently I’d get overtired. Time is always a struggle and I constantly have a massive to do list that doesn’t always get completed (I’m working on it, I promise!) I make everything myself and some designs can be very time consuming therefore I have to price accordingly- such as a pair from the new definitive collection can take over 90 mins to make.
For the future my plan is to make mass stock (maybe even hiring people to help) to ease the pressure of making to order in busy periods whilst keeping everything up to date online so I can move BTH forward releasing new collections. Using social media to promote doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m learning and trying to love it. After the success of my first photoshoot recently, I plan to do many more alongside collaborating with other brands. I have so many ideas for new directions I’d love to take Bigger the Hoop in such as involving charity, sourcing materials local to home and creating recycled products to be more environmentally friendly. Since graduating I am excited that I now have more time to explore the massive list of evolving ideas I’ve had for ages and to combine them with all the influences from my travels too!” – M X
You can view and purchase our hand-picked range of Bigger The Hoop from Bellisa X here.