What is the nature of your business / what services do you offer?
Bespoke uniform manufacturing
How did you come to be in the industry you are in? What is your background?
I've always worked in retail management, and I had a stroke while I was pregnant which was a very like scary time. I was told that I would never be able to walk but I kept pushing and pushing to prove people wrong. After I had my daughter Isla, I was on maternity and then decided that it was time to go back to work.
I couldn't go back to the job I was in before, so I had to get a job in a Call Centre which I wasn't really a fan of. When I was applying for jobs, it was like everyone thought I'd been sacked because of my CV; my past jobs were always high up within the company and I was applying for just a job on the tills, and no one will give me that chance.
Whilst on maternity leave, I volunteered one day a week at Ronald McDonald House which I loved. They then offered me a full time job which I jumped at.
Due to having the stroke I couldn't sleep, I used to have really bad insomnia and I spent this time to create my new business. I used some savings to buy a new laptop, vinyl cutter and a keypress and I started by doing baby grows which became quite popular. I was getting my nails done and the girl asked me what I did so I had to explain the situation just starting up doing baby grows, she asked me would I be able to do some uniform for her, just simple with her name in font so I thought why not, if I can do baby grows, I could do uniform. I took it to her she was absolutely over the moon and shared it for me on her Instagram, this was my starting point, this is where it all began.
I noticed a room advertised on Instagram at The Secret Warehouse to which I made an enquiry. People around me questioned my decision based not the fact I didn't really have a business. I took the plunge and rented for three months, I thought if it didn't work then at least I had tried. I’m four years at The Secret Warehouse now and proud to say I’m doing fantastic! I have moved rooms three times due to my business expanding so rapidly and I have employed two staff. I’m not stopping there; I intend to be the biggest uniform supplier in the whole of the UK.
How would you like your clients / customers to describe your business?
Reliable, good quality items. Some customers have had uniform off me going back three years ago and are still going strong now.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Getting staff as I feel like it's the next level in the business and I like the fact I've given someone a job. Also, I am now going into my third room in the warehouse and it's a lot bigger, all to do with growth.
How does your business align with the values and ethos of the Secret Warehouse?
Since my stroke, I have always followed The Secret and the law of attraction and carried on with this within my business. This business would not have happened if I didn’t have a stroke. I always wanted to be a director of a company by the time I was forty but having a stroke make me do it faster and I am so lucky to be a director of my own company.
How has being a part of the Warehouse community benefitted your business?
I don't believe the business would be anything if I was not here at the Secret Warehouse. The support from other residents is amazing especially when I first moved in. Being around businesses that had a lot more followers than I did sharing my page non-stop enabled me to grow so quickly.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business what would it be?
Keep going, even the down days. It's easy to quit when life gets tough.