‘In the Spotlight’ is a new series which focuses on a diverse range of young creatives who are making a difference. In this first interview, The New Collection caught up with Hollie, owner of the small business HayoMayo.
Hollie humbly introduces herself as an 18-year-old lover of cow print, lilac and care bears. She’s sweet – she punctuates with emojis, and at first, she doesn’t mention that she is the owner of successful small business, Hayomayo, a brand she began working on at the tender age of 14. “I started off as a small Depop shop selling jewellery, which then grew bigger, so then I made my Instagram where I now sell so many different items”.
Characterised by Hollie’s handmade resin ashtrays, jewellery and accessories, Hayomayo soon blossomed into a glitter-laden sensation, amassing over 12,000 followers amongst two platforms.
The brand’s success, however, is not completely material. Hollie describes that having a good relationship with her customers is absolutely key, adding that she is not just a business owner, but a friend to her shoppers. “The amount of support and friends I have made through my brand is just unbelievable, and makes me feel so loved!’”.
Depop soon grew to be her main source of income, providing a platform for potential buyers to discover her items. She gained 1200 sales. However, in November 2020, the dynamic of her business changed forever. “I had recently released a new ashtray collection. I woke up one day ready to check if I had sold any, but I was logged out of my account”.
Hollie’s Depop account had been deleted for ‘drug paraphernalia’. A single search on Depop reveals hundreds, even thousands, of similar products that have not been deemed inappropriate by the guidelines. So why Hayomayo? “I personally feel due to my following and support, I had some people who reported me as they may have felt intimidated or jealous by my work”. Hollie was left heartbroken as hundreds of her followers angrily emailed Depop, asking them to reconsider their decision. “They responded back to me fifteen minutes later saying they simply cannot give me my account”.
The permanent loss of her Depop sent Hollie into what she called ‘a silent depression’ as she was forced to balance stress, lack of motivation and a huge delay in orders – issues that still impact her today. But she remains optimistic for the future of her business. “I absolutely think it’s opened new doors for me. It was a really hard journey to come to terms with… that my business I had since I was 14 was gone forever, but I personally earned a lot more via Instagram after that situation”. Currently, Hollie is preparing for the release of her new online shop and continues to promote her products on Instagram.
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