Women Mean Business

It's International Women's Day today so in celebration we thought we would focus on some of the amazing women behind some of the businesses that we deal with.
Read on to get an insight into the women who run your favourite brands after we quizzed them for the low down;
Now seems like an ideal time to introduce myself, I'm Nichola - the face behind Flaww
Starting Flaww has given me an opportunity to work from home and spend more time with my 4 children and husband. Having previously worked at an estate agents (don't hate me!), I always felt I wanted more from life and to somehow get the work life balance right. Don't get me wrong, it can still tricky now but at least I can go to work in my pyjama's right?
My top tip for women thinking of starting out in business is to follow your passion. Doing something you love and is close to your heart makes those busy days in the office all the more bearable. Also practical tip - stock up on coffee and chocolate!
Funny fact - I have to set my alarm clock to an even number but NEVER ending on a :00 that's just weird.
What made you want to start your own business? "I wanted to create a sustainable tool to help end nappy poverty. As a cloth parent, I also found a gap in what I personally wanted to use and what was being offered on the market."
How long have you been running your business?
"The prep process started in 2018 which took over a year, and we finally launched in January of 2019."
Do you have any top tips for someone starting out?
"Don’t listen to the naysayers. Believe in yourself, hold yourself accountable and never cut corners.
I’m a mother of 2 young children (still one in cloth). Started the business when my first was 2 while I was pregnant with my second. It’s definitely busy but they are the inspiration behind the Petite Crown products and I wouldn’t have it any other way."
Has anything held you back in getting started up?
"Researching the product compliance rules and finding supplier with an ethical manufacturing practice is what took the longest during the preparation."
Funny or interesting fact about yourself?
"I’m an immigrant from Japan married to a Chinese American husband. Before having children we loved traveling the world, and hope to start again when our children are a little older."
What made you want to start your own business?
"I saw that there was a gap in the market for a cleaning service with a difference - with each job tailored to suit the customer's requirements, and eco friendly options too! My sons are 22 and 18 now, but while they were younger being Mrs Sparkle was great for fitting around school, football, and family life in general. I often look back and am so happy that I created a job for myself that really suits me, fits in with my life - and that I enjoy! Over the last 2 years my husband and I have developed a range of natural cleaning products that are based on what I use at work, and we are so pleased with how they are turning out! We have always done our best to be 'green' but wanted to do more, and to help others to find ways to be eco friendly too! We have so many ideas that we want to bring to life, and the time is right now that our children are older."
How long have you been running your business?
"I started Mrs Sparkle 11 years ago after a chance conversation with one of the other Moms at school, which led to me helping out with some of her cleaning jobs for a few months." Do you have any top tips for someone starting out?
"I would say to anyone that wants to start a business, go for it - if you have an idea that you really believe in, others will see that and believe in it too! The best things that you can do are build good relationships with your customers, and stay true to your beliefs."
Has anything held you back in getting started up?
"There may be setbacks - we have had a few, mainly health issues in our case but even if you need to adjust and follow a different path you will get there in the end. With starting up the natural product side of our business, the thing that has taken a lot of time and slowed us down a little is understanding and ensuring that we are adhering to all relevant safety legislation, but it is so good to know that everything is completely safe for our customers' homes and families!"
Funny or interesting fact about yourself? "As well as being hippyish and loving all things peace and rainbows, I also love Halloween and everything associated with it, horror films, music festivals and Stephen King"
What made you want to start your own business? "I wanted to start my own business so I could work from home and be more flexible. I didn't want to be out of the house working long hours in a job that wasn't inspiring, and I didn't want to be away from the kids for too long. I'm a creative person and always knew I wanted to do something creative, so creating Lunarue dolls was a perfect for me!
At the moment me and my husband share our time so I only get two and a half days painting currently, as we run 2 businesses. We have both kids home most of the time (besides Reuben in nursery for 3 hours a day) we need to work around them and make sure they are getting what they need from us. During lockdown we've had no help so we've just had to get by! We end up working a lot of evenings."
How long have you been running your business? "I started painting peg dolls in March 2020 while we finalising CE testing on our Lunarue dolls. We started officially selling Lunarue dolls on the 15th of June 2020 😊"
Do you have any top tips for someone starting out? "Be passionate about what you're doing and the product you're making. If you aren't passionate, it's hard to push yourself to where you want to be." Has anything held you back in getting started up? "We've had some hurdles in the past year but we've always overcome them. At first it was a huge hurdle finding out all about toy safety and testing our toys to make them safe for children. We didn't want to sell without testing and getting everything right so it took a few months to get there. We then also became a fully family run business in September when our business partners decided they didn't want to make the dolls with us anymore. It took us a couple of weeks to catch up and learn the process from start to finish but we came out better for it."
Funny or interesting fact about yourself?
"I was studying Fine art at University before I became pregnant with my first child. I ended up having to leave in my third year because I had severe sickness known as HG and there was little to no support from the university. I went to university so I could do a job being creative, and I've managed to do that anyway. You don't always need a qualification to get where you want to be, if you want to do something you'll get there 💚"
"I am Amina, a brown woman, pregnant, mother to a beautiful 2.5 year old girl."
How it all began:
"I started thinking about developing my own line of cloth nappies, late in the night whilst breastfeeding my daughter. It became somewhat of an obsession, trying to come up with nappy designs that were simple and functional. I would research constantly whilst on maternity leave. I went back to work when my daughter was a few months old but couldn’t let my ideas rest. She was 18 months old when I launched the nappies and we found ourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Fiyyah was launched a year ago and juggling it alongside my job and toddler without the usual support systems has been interesting to say the least!"
Do you have any top tips for someone starting out?
"My top tip is don’t hesitate. Sometimes we’re looking for perfection and in doing that we can talk ourselves out of taking the first step."
Funny or interesting fact about yourself?
"I do karate! Despite being out of practice the last couple of years , I can still throw a decent kick 🙈"
"Hello, my name is Taryn and I am a mother of three girls, three five and thirteen.
My two youngest babies were chunky and I used cloth with both, but I struggled to find nappies that suited them. I decided to start sewing my own nappies which then led to the birth of Little Lovebum, my fifth child, husband being my fourth.
Working from home comes with it's challenges, especially from the short sharpie stealing people that draw on the walls, but I wouldn't have it any other way"
How long have you been running your business?
"I started planning in 2018 and officially launched in June 2019."
Do you have any top tips for someone starting out?
"Take the leap and don't be afraid of failure. Learn from it and move forward. It takes grit to succeed so don't give up"
Funny or interesting fact about yourself?
"I was born and raised in South Africa and made UK my home in 2003”
How it all began:
"It all started with a passion for handmade, non-toxic organic products, organic agriculture, a love for nature, a sustainable & plastic free lifestyle and being creative.
I have a passion for creative hand made products and have a real love of nature. Five years ago, I made the decision to put my beliefs into action. In a small Warwickshire village, in an even smaller cottage kitchen, Cherry Tree Naturals was born. A space where I lovingly make products that celebrate my beliefs.
I started making soap in an ongoing attempt to make healthy and environmentally conscious decisions for myself and my family. As I started becoming more aware of the questionable ingredients used in commercially sold bath & body products, I realised that making my own soap, body and bath products was something I could really get into. Now I love the creative process and I love knowing exactly what goes into what we use daily.
Being a keen gardener and growing my organic botanicals for my products is a huge satisfaction. I love the process from the start to the finished product. It is a sustainable achievement.
I really enjoy working for myself and making my own decisions and I love how dynamic the retail sector is. I also enjoy learning all the time. I had no retail, business, social media, manufacturing or branding experience before I started Cherry Tree Naturals. There are so many groups online to support you, so much to learn. It is really empowering and exciting. I love how diverse and interesting it is to run your own business."
Hopefully you will see that us women mean business and we put our hearts and souls into creating and running the brands you know and love.
Why not join us in our celebration of International Women's Day and comment to share your own experiences in business.
*Blog written & originally posted on 8th March 2021

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