I Started as an Etsy Seller and Now I Make $200K a Month Selling Eco-Friendly Products

Today we are happy to interview Simona Rimkiene, founder of notPERFECTLINEN. Simona started on Etsy in 2014 and now makes over $200,000 a month selling sustainable products.

Key statistics:

  • Niche: Sustainable fashion
  • Income: $200,000 per month
  • Founder: 1
  • Started: 2014

Can you tell us something about the financial growth of your company?

Remembering the very beginning and the first steps we took together really brings back memories!

Back then, my parents cut materials for napkins, pillowcases, and aprons, while I packed the garments and sent them to our customers before going to work.

We started taking orders through the Etsy platform, and I even took the first photos myself!

As time passed, we noticed more and more orders coming in, but it was difficult to meet the demand. Ultimately, after figuring out our finances, we were able to hire our first employee, and from there we gradually started hiring more people.

We couldn’t hire everyone at once because we didn’t have much money, but we hired one employee at a time every few months because we saw purchases growing and we needed extra hands to keep up.

It’s been quite a journey – we started with simple items and now we have around 180 products to choose from!

We have been in business for almost 10 years now and from the beginning we knew that we wanted to have a positive impact on the environment by choosing the direction of slow fashion.

We’re so grateful that more and more people are choosing sustainability, and it’s all thanks to people that we keep moving forward!

How did the idea of ​​starting a business as a family come about?

My mother started working with textiles as a baby. She is an engineer by profession, but had lost herself in sewing, creating and designing.

I grew up among fabrics and scraps and always feel that wonderful smell of the brand new fabric. It’s the smell of my childhood!

Somehow I decided to pursue a serious profession for myself. So I finished my law degree and worked as a consultant for almost five years.

But I didn’t end up in that profession. After returning home, I helped my mother with her work. And one day I didn’t go to work…

So it happened that the whole family started working together! Now we are a small family of creative people who have created a ‘not PERFECT LINEN’ house full of creative atmosphere and built-in positive energy. Our small family activity is based on making simple pieces of linen (flax).

If you love linen, linen loves you back. Linen is a travel saver, while being breathable and highly absorbent. Moreover, it is recyclable and biodegradable.

Although it may seem expensive at first glance, it will save you money as you will need less clothing due to its strength and durability.

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That is why we opted for linen products. Starting a business takes a lot of courage, hard work and dedication. It’s a rewarding journey full of challenges, but with perseverance and a positive attitude, anything is possible!

How do you ensure that you are committed to sustainability in your products and processes?

Sustainability is a very important factor that determines what our future will look like, what kind of world our children and future generations will live in.

Sustainability not only determines what kind of environment we will continue to live in, but also what values ​​will be important to people. At our company, we believe sustainability is important and we take steps to minimize our impact on the environment.

We hardly use plastic and instead use cardboard tubes to roll up our materials. When we need to replenish our materials, we reuse the tubes and wrap new fabric around them.

We also love to reduce waste by giving fabric scraps to people who can make great things with them, like wallets, shopping bags and even clothing! We are proud owners of @nplcares, where we offer less privileged people the opportunity to engage in sustainable fashion.

Additionally, we try to keep paper use to a minimum by not adding paper invoices to packages, but instead offering to send them by email upon request. We pack products in 90% recyclable bags or cardboard boxes and use paper tape.

And if you ever need to return a product, you can use the same box or bag to send it back to us. We buy the best European linen available. The material we use is OEKO – TEX® Standard 100 certified and is produced entirely in Europe, from the field to the fabric.

It also means that the linen fabric has been tested for harmful substances and has been grown with fewer raw materials and energy. Our linen fabric manufacturer uses only green energy, meaning that all energy supplied for the weaving, softening and dyeing process comes exclusively from renewable sources.

We are aware of environmental, social and animal cruelty issues worldwide, and we ensure we produce with a conscience. We are focused on ensuring quality, promoting transparency, using sustainable practices and doing it all as ethically as possible.

We act with honesty and integrity, while maintaining high standards of personal and business ethics, and we expect all our suppliers to conduct their business in the same way.

To take this into consideration, we only select suppliers who meet our social and environmental criteria or have adopted sustainable practices.

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How do you balance family relationships with professional responsibilities?

Within our family there is actually no balance between professional and private life. We talk about work during the holidays, family gatherings, or even during evening phone calls. But again, I see it as a strength, not a burden.

How else would you get up at night to help a customer track the order? It really helps our company grow because we can develop new ideas.

As family members, we are not afraid to point out someone’s weaknesses or immediately ask for help when needed.

What were the key milestones and challenges you faced as your business grew?

All stages took place in small steps, the very beginning took place at my home, my parents cut the materials, sewed garments, then I packed them and sent them to the customers, since there was a demand, we saw that we had more hands necessary, so the search for employees took place gradually, the seamstresses we found worked from home from the beginning, then we found premises, they were small, but that was enough for us at that time.

As sales increased, we noticed I couldn’t pack the garments, so we found an employee who ironed, wrapped and shipped packages, and even hand-wrote people’s addresses.

We have grown in small steps, expanded the building and increased the number of employees. We finally decided to create our own website, and my husband helped us build it last year.

The pandemic has presented us with a number of challenges. If an employee became ill, the entire department had to be isolated and at one point the shipping department had to be closed for a whole week. This wasn’t easy, but we persevered.

Finding loyal employees who meet our standards has also been a challenge, but we can proudly say that we have no employee turnover. We value our team and treat them like family.

We are grateful for everyone who contributed to our success, and we are excited to see what the future holds.

How do you maintain quality and passion in your products?

We maintain high quality standards, if a garment is missing a thread or has the wrong buttons, we will not ship it. We want to make sure our customers are happy with their purchases, so we take the time to get everything right.

We get customer requests, with custom work, so we try to make as few mistakes as possible, because once it’s made, we do it again, which takes a lot of staff time.

Some employees have been with the company since the company opened, our team consists of some of the most skilled and dedicated individuals around. They are passionate about their profession and always want to share their knowledge with new members of the team.

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We believe that if you love what you do, it will show in your work. That’s why we put so much care and attention into every thread and stitch.

We keep our supply chain local to minimize our environmental footprint.

Our linen fabric manufacturer is located within a 50 mile radius of our workshop, as long as the entire operation of designing, cutting, sewing, labelling, packaging and shipping is done exclusively in our workshop.

It eliminates the need for intermediaries, significantly reduces flight miles and helps us keep a close eye on the entire process.

Part of our mission at Not Perfect Linen is to give back and perform simple acts of kindness as much as possible; That’s why we often take part in charity projects for our local community and try to support various charities around the world.

We believe this is essential, especially in times like these, when many people are struggling both financially and mentally.

How do you deal with your customers?

We communicate with our dear customers every day and it is always a pleasure! We offer custom clothing services, so we make it a point to review each order and personally contact our customers to ensure we can accommodate their unique requests.

We also love interacting with our followers on Instagram, answering their questions about what people are wearing and giving them honest and simple advice. We pride ourselves on getting to know our customers, even their measurements, and we are so grateful for the trust they have in us!

We have received a lot of positive feedback recently and this is a testament to the quality of the service we provide. We’re thrilled to have such great customers, and we’re excited to see our community continue to grow!

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting out?

Starting a family business is a fantastic dream!

To ensure it becomes a reality, we start with a well-drafted business plan that outlines all the steps needed to implement your idea.

This plan should include your future product or service, sales channels, expected customer segment and market share you want to achieve.

The key to any successful business is building a happy and motivated team. When your employees are satisfied, they deliver quality work that you will be amazed by!

And of course, providing excellent customer service is crucial to the success of your business. Make sure you train your employees to be attentive and caring when serving your customers.

Where can you find more information?

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