People called us crazy but now we make a living from Taylor Swift

Two friends who quit their careers to open a market stall were called "crazy by everyone."

But now Ariel Robertson and Becky Kayll, both 31, have managed to make a living selling all things Taylor Swift. Ariel, originally from Virginia and Becky, from Garston, both run online shops called Dark Magic Prints and Becky Kayll Designs respectively, and have been based in Red Brick Market, in the Baltic Triangle, for just over four months.

They share a space in the venue for both their stalls, but also sell at other markets across the North West. It all started in 2022, when they met at Makers Market in the Albert Dock and bonded over their shared love of pop icon Taylor Swift.

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Ariel said: “When I started doing the Taylor stuff, it went really well with [Becky’s], and Becky was like, ‘Do you want to get a stall together at Red Brick Market?’ and I didn’t even have to think, I was like, ‘Yep!’ I couldn’t have done it without her.”

“We knew that Swiftie-made merch was a thing [in America] but we weren’t sure if it was a thing here in the UK. With the Eras tour coming, we thought it could be a good thing.”

“[Selling] online was fine, but when we started a market stall, everybody told me I was crazy. They were like, 'this is so niche, why would you do that? ’”

Recently, the friends have seen a huge rise in sales in Liverpool, which they believe is due to Taylor coming to Anfield for three nights in May as part of her hugely successful Eras tour. Ariel, who is also a chef, sells a variety of things dedicated to Taylor including badges and tote bags.

She was born and raised in Virginia, but decided to come and sell in Liverpool in 2020. She currently moves back and forth balancing her various businesses, but hopes to settle in the UK for good one day. She said: "It sounds weird, but there’s not really any culture in America. Some buildings here [in Liverpool] are older than America. In Liverpool, there’s this vibe, this sense of community - it’s artsy, the music, the food… it’s endless, really."

Becky, from Garston, was previously a primary school teacher, but decided to quit her job in 2021 and focus entirely on making her art to sell. She now has Becky Kayll Designs, and while she sells Taylor Swift merch, she primarily focuses on prints and posters highlighting body positivity.

They told the ECHO they're “super excited” for the Eras tour stint at Anfield Stadium, adding that they relate to Taylor’s struggles throughout her life, adding: “If she can make it out, we can too.” You can watch the full interview with Ariel and Becky in the video above.

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