Meet the engineer turned businesswoman who is making a name and badge for herself and others, online
Krystina Pearson-Rampeeare is an Aerospace Engineer who turned a common observation about her day job, into a profitable business.
“You don’t look like an engineer!” It’s a comment Krystina and many other women in jobs traditionally associated with men, have heard 100 times or more. As a Flight Systems Engineer at BAE Systems, Krystina decided to mix her love of pin badge collecting with an important message about equality and possibilities. In 2020, she launched AviateHer, an Etsy shop which stocks and sells her inspired pin badges.
“I initially came across The Women’s Organisation on social media and attended a few talks at 54 St James’s Street. When I started my business during lockdown, I contacted The Women’s Organisation to see if they could offer me any support with setting up a business.
Before she contacted The Women’s Organisation, Krystina said she was looking for support to progress her idea, she said: “As someone with little business experience I was hoping to gain insight on how to run a business and what I needed to be aware of.
“I balance AviateHer with my day job where I have worked for seven years after graduating from university with a master’s degree in aerospace systems Engineering. I live in Liverpool with my husband, 2-year-old boy and our dog, and in my spare time I volunteer as a STEM Ambassador and mentor.”
AviateHer is a one-woman operation as Krystina uses her creative flair to design and sell enamel pin badges to highlight diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. She sells them online via Etsy and hopes to launch her own website in 2021.
“The advice that I got from The Women’s Organisation was invaluable. I was asked questions during sessions with my business advisor Huda, about my products that I hadn’t considered. She really opened my mind to possibilities and approaches to help my business succeed. I had regular sessions which helped me to remain accountable to the running of the business.”
Krystina feels proud of her new skill set as she manages the inventory, product design, photography, packing and marketing herself. Her Enterprise Hub business advisor also helped with setting monthly targets which Krystina says improved her management of inventory and to plan.
“I wish we could have met in person, but the remote meetings did enable more flexibility with balancing work and family life.”
Now a small business owner who has raised over £1000 for various charities since opening her online shop, Krystina has received more than 500 Etsy sales since going live in July 2020 and lots of positive reviews.
“The response was better than I ever expected, I started with a pin badge for Engineers and due to requests, have expanded to include further careers such as Scientists, Pilots, Coders and Mathematicians, with more to come!
“Part of the proceeds from each pin badge goes to charity which has been a great way for me to give back. I’m looking forward to the future and seeing what comes next by expanding AviateHer further and setting up a Community Interest company which aims to benefit women in STEM.”
To find out more about AviateHer, you can check out the Etsy shop here.
If you are thinking of starting a business in the Liverpool city region or have a new business under three years old, you can speak to the Enterprise Hub team via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 706 8113. Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and is free to access.