Take one step into APT F, and you’ll immediately feel at home. The cozy and welcoming space features ethically-sourced, handmade goods from around the world for a thoughtfully curated selection of lifestyle wares like home goods, apothecary and one-of-a-kind rugs.
Featuring goods that come from independent designers rather than being mass produced is the driving mission behind APT F as founder and owner, Ashley Yetter, tells us below, “I decided early on that I wanted to start an ethical business.”
Read on to find out how Ashley got started, what a typical day looks like for her, and her best advice for aspiring business owners.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before opening APT F?
Just before I opened the shop I was freelancing with an automotive brand in Event Marketing & Production, prior to that I was with a Parisian-based fashion house in NYC.
What were some of the first steps you took to get started with the business?
I gradually started the business over several years of saving and (trying to) time it right. Some of my initial steps though were to find what I wanted my brand to be. I decided early on that I wanted to start an ethical business, and knew from the very beginning that I wanted to eventually open a store front in addition to the online shop. I began traveling to prospective cities throughout the U.S., and chose Austin as the home for the first brick and mortar in January 2016.
Was entrepreneurship something you knew you wanted to pursue someday?
Yes and no. It was always sort of a plan, but also incredibly scary. I had a major fear of failure, and still do, of course, at times.
What has been the most unexpected part about owning a business?
A big feeling of relief, some days. Of course there is a TON of stress involved, but then I come back down to earth by reminding myself I am doing something that I truly love.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I start working the minute my brain wakes in the morning. I know this probably isn’t healthy for most people, but the morning is when I am most creative and productive. I begin my day with coffee and some computer time, then head to the shop around 9am to get the shop opened by 10. I am usually playing catch up and packing orders before noon, and then in the afternoon I get to have some fun with my customers as they start to trickle in.
As a business owner, where do you go for inspiration? What fuels your creativity?
I travel! I, unfortunately, can’t [travel] EVERY time I am starting to feel a creative block, but I do still try to take a few trips throughout the year. I am always most inspired by going back to Brooklyn and taking a walk where it all started.
How has community played a role in your journey as a small business owner?
I had always wanted APT F to be a community-driven business, but I actually never realized JUST how much the community would play a role in the business. The Austin community has been so inspiring and supportive. I meet the most interesting and warm people in the shop, and I really don’t think APT F would be where it is today without having the ability to invite the community into our space.
Favorite way to unwind after a long week?
A nice charcuterie & cheese board with a glass of red… somewhere outside! I love hiking, too, when the weather is right.
What is your best advice for someone who wants to start a business?
Outline what that life looks like for you. I.e. What are the hours? What do your days consist of? What are the financials involved? …And if you are truly okay and on board with all of that, then you can make anything work!
All images by Erica Tello for Movers + Makers.