Interview with Pigeon Wishes
April of our year long MAL is sponsored by Pigeon Wishes! A family owned fabric and button supplier, we had a chat with Megan and Yuhao all about their passion for crafting and navigating a small business.
We're also delighted to let readers know that they have offered a 10% discount for you! Use the code pompom10 when shopping via the Pigeon Wishes website or their Etsy shop. This code is valid 17th April to 19th May 2023.
Tell us about your creative background and how you started Pigeon Wishes?
My (Megan) love for crafts started when I was a child. I would make friendship bracelets, hand sew small items, screenprint and loved trying lots of crafts! It wasn’t until my early twenties that I took formal evening classes and began really committing to learning all I could about dressmaking. Slowly but surely, sewing became a part of my daily routine, with my day starting and ending with thoughts of fabrics and stitches. It was my passion for sewing that led me to start Pigeon Wishes in 2015, a blog where I shared my sewing plans, pattern reviews, creations and tips.
In 2017, together with my partner YuHao, we started sourcing and selling fabric. It was a way for us to share our love of fabrics with other makers and entrepreneurs. YuHao's background is in finance and customer service. Together, we focus on sourcing beautiful fabrics that are not readily available on the market.
For our buttons, sometimes the best business ideas come from a personal need that isn't being met. This was the case for Pigeon Wishes Buttons. I was looking for buttons for a sewing project and just couldn’t find any that suited the style I wanted. We started with a few styles and they proved to be very popular. I wanted colourful, modern and unique buttons that would highlight the fabric or yarn chosen. I’m so happy other makers have felt a real connection with them.
As our business grows, we remain committed to the craft community which started our venture and remains at the heart of it.
We love your company name! What is the story behind it?
The name was never intended for a business. Pigeon Wishes was my old blog name! I chose my favourite animal. Yes, Pigeons! We have a fairly small but dedicated fanbase and combined that with my favourite blog name at the time, ‘Wish Wish Wish’. Thus, Pigeon Wishes was born.
What does a typical day at Pigeon Wishes HQ look like?
We’re a small business of two people with a part time freelancer, so our days are fairly varied because of all the hats we wear!
A fairly large amount of time each day is spent packing orders. We still do this personally and spend about half the day quality checking and going through retail and wholesale orders. Replying emails is also a daily task. We often plan marketing strategies and create content. We are planning a sourcing trip so right now we are planning our journey and getting ready for that.
Our son is still only four and finishes school at 2.45pm, after he comes home not too much can be done! If one person has more tasks to complete they get the time to continue working. It’s great running our own family business as we get to be flexible around childcare and can spend more time with our son.
We know that sustainability and the provenance of the products and materials you stock are important to you, can you tell us more about this?
We believe in providing your customers choices that are better for our world. To achieve this we believe certifications and transparency are key. We have chosen to focus on plant-based cellulose fabric from Lenzing which is traceable, certified and operates on a closed loop. Closed loop means 99% of the water and colouring used in production is continuously reused.
We also focus on sourcing deadstock fabric, this provides a unique selection of products without creating more waste in the world.
Our buttons aren’t made of plastic and are actually made from bio-resin which comes from cotton or woodpulp. This process of making bioresin creates the unique patterning in the button.
All our choices reflect our desire to give our customers sustainable, beautiful and durable products they want to cherish.So people can wear them longer instead of put into the waste bin after a few days' time.
We are delighted by your button collections! Where do you find your inspiration and how do you decide on the final designs that you create?
We love creating button collections around seasons. Our first collection was for Halloween and now every year we look forward to celebrating certain occasions. Every year we see what patterns are popular, which garments people will be excited to start wearing and making, plus what is inspiring to us. Art and fashion are my passions so I always keep an eye on the runways, street style, films and shows.
The final decision always comes back to our customers. We love being part of the makers community and want to keep our products engaging and current. We want our buttons not only to be visually appealing but also meet practical needs.
As a sewist do you have a favourite Pigeon Wishes fabric, or perhaps a favourite thing you’ve made with one of your fabrics?
My favourite fabric is sitting beside my desk, I’m working up the courage to cut into it! Late last year we opened up a fabric printing service and one of our first customers, Hey Sew Sister, printed a gorgeous retro inspired floral print called Joy! A joyous multicoloured floral print on a high thread count cotton poplin. Black background with pink, green, lavender and yellow flowers. I bought three metres for myself! This Spring it will be made up into the Tilly and the Buttons, Marnie Dress. I love supporting small, female owned businesses and those two are amazing, so I know the dress will be a favourite!
What has been your proudest moment so far as owners of Pigeon Wishes?
There have been so many moments, it really is impossible to narrow it down to one! When we started I had a list of dream people to work with and I think I’ve crossed everyone off, including Pom Pom Magazine!
It really has been incredibly unpredictable these last few years and the fact we’re still in business and can give people happiness and inspiration is nothing short of wonderful. Everytime I read a review or when people say how much they love our fabrics and buttons I am so thankful and proud.