Little Bou mumpreneur tells us about going it aloneMay 14, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Baby Fashion, Something for Mum, Work & Life | Leave a comment
Tags: baby clothes, Boys Clothes, Little Bou, mothers who work, mumpreneur, mums in business, mums who work
Lucinda Hawley, founder of Little Bou, a gorgeous online boutique for boys clothes tells us about setting up her own business as a new mum.
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When I was younger I either wanted to be an actress when I grew up or own my own business. The slight problem with wanting to be an actress was that I wasn’t willing to risk being poor and going to one audition after another. I guess if I wasn’t going to be spotted on the street as the next big A list star, then I wasn’t going to bother. So it really only left me with one option and that was to set-up my own business. Although it’s still not too late to be an actress so watch this space (any talent scouts out there, I’m in Oxford quite a lot)!
I have always had an entrepreneurial streak in me, right from when I was 5 years old, I used to pick lavender and rosemary, mix it in water and sell it to the neighbours. It was great as nobody wanted to turn away a 5 year old so nearly everyone bought some. Then I moved onto making hair accessories and started a very lucrative car cleaning business all before the age of ten.
However wanting to start a business and actually doing it are two very different things. After graduating with a business degree I spent six years climbing the corporate ladder not quite daring to take the plunge. In fact, it took me until I was expecting my son to decide that it was a good opportunity to start my own venture but it still felt very scary writing my resignation letter. A big part of my decision was down to the fact that I didn’t want to go out to work all day and leave my little boy and felt that having my own business would offer me the flexibility I needed. I was very apprehensive of giving up the regular income just at a time when are outgoings had increased dramatically but I guess that spurred me on because that left me with no option but to make the business a success. So no pressure then!
- It took a long time sourcing the brands that I wanted to stock but feel we have a good mix of contemporary to funky classic to vintage and to just darn practical with a huge cute factor.
The challenge for me was building the website as I had to write the website (it’s amazing how much copy is involved) in just over two weeks when we were in-between nannies which meant working during nap times(Oliver’s, not mine) and well into the early hours. It was really exhausting but so rewarding to see the finished article. Going live was very exciting and we were lucky enough to receive our first order within two hours of going live. Before launch, I hired some help with the PR and we launched a great PR plan which has generated some great press. We are now in the process of rolling out all the marketing but it takes time when our budgets aren’t huge. I keep having to remind myself to be patient, and that it’s the small steps that will get us to where we want to be.
If people ask me whether I made the right decision then I can say hand on heart that I did. Whilst going back to work would have given me the regular income and the chance to switch off at the end of the day, Little Bou gives me the flexibility to work around my family as well as having a business that I can grow and be proud of which makes it all worthwhile.