A popular belief about small towns, that happens to be somewhat true, is that everybody knows everybody. When there is a new person in town, the word quickly spreads around. I was at the downtown Post Office one day, and Danielle gave me Blanche Kern’s business card with the words “You have to meet her! You are going to love her!” And I did. Blanche was kind enough to invite me for cookies and tea in her new home in Washington, and tell me all about what she does. As always, I will share the photos and the story with you.
Meet Blanche. She has been living in Washington for only two months, and she already loves the town a lot. Moving was her mom’s idea, and Blanche didn’t think she’d like the small town life so much, since most of her friends live in St. Louis. However, the historic charm of Washington quickly won her over.
This is what Blanche does. She owns the Honeycomb shop on Etsy which offers whimsical nature-inspired hair accessories. Every piece is crafted with care and love, with exquisite attention to detail. Her work is truly beautiful.
Although Blanche has just moved in, her studio is already in impeccable order. She’s been doing this for three years and she loves it. Before the Honeycomb shop, Blanche was in college pursuing a degree in Graphic design, while working in retail (a job she didn’t like so much).
It wasn’t until Blanche discovered Etsy – the online spot for everything crafty and hand-made – that she decided to follow her passion and start her own business.
She went to Michael’s with $300 in hand, and bought a bunch of supplies. Then she started to create. It took six months for her easy shop to take off, but Blanche was stubborn and didn’t give it up. Now she imports materials from over 15 suppliers located internationally, as well as some retail shops in Missouri.
In the beginning, Blanche spent a lot of time reading message boards, searching for feedback, and exploring the different ways of promoting her business. Now people e-mail her and ask her all the time how her shop got so successful.
25% of Honeycomb shop sales are international. Blanche is proud that many of her beautiful hair pieces get shipped to France, the UK, Australia and even China. Becoming so successful took her a lot of time, but she says that if you are willing to work hard, stick to it and don’t give up, everything is possible.
Where does her inspiration come from? Vintage fashion, old hats, antique malls, nature, the flowers in her garden. Blanche loves recycling and upcycling, and a lot of times she uses unique vintage details to create one of a kind orders for her clients.
Sometimes girls mail her a piece of lace from their grandmother’s dress, which Blanche puts into a hair comb for their wedding. It ties wonderfully with the “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” saying…
Fresh flowers and a cup of tea always help Blanche’s inspiration.
Some of Blanche’s gorgeous pieces…
The materials she uses vary – from artificial flowers, ribbon, organza, silk to a new natural line with dried flowers and natural grapevine.
Lots of feathers, too. And rhinestones. And vintage hats and buttons.
But, most of all, lots of creativity and love.
Blanche models her own pieces and takes her own photos for her Etsy shop. Since she works from home, time management is essential for her. When she is inspired, she creates, but she also needs to put aside some time for marketing, communicating with clients, packaging and shipping.
However, all of her hard work pays off. One of her hair combs was featured on the cover of the Bride & Groom magazine!
Blanche’s delicate nature-inspired hair accessories are not only for brides – they are for anyone who wants to feel special and bring some beauty into their day.
To see more of Blanche’s work, visit the Honeycomb shop here or follow it on Facebook.