It’s 2022 and it’s time we ladies take over the business sector. If you’re thinking of finally taking the leap to start your own business or love small businesses or even want to read about strong independent women taking charge, then this is the perfect article for you. This week I was lucky enough to catch up with 5 female business owners to discuss their journey in navigating the entrepreneur world, learning about their highs and lows and what motivated them to take that first jump into the unknown. Speaking to @lashesbygb, @bakesandboobies, @facesbymeganmay, @crystalsandcandles_ and @titzbyellie! So make sure you check out their instas, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
What made you decide to start your own business?
@crystalsandcandles_: “During lockdown, I made a few candles out of boredom but the idea mostly developed from reading the book called The Magic. It made me realise that if I put my mind to something I am pretty much capable of anything! As I started during lockdown I was able to put a lot of time and effort towards it due to being put on furlough with full pay which was really lucky, so I would just stay up all day and night making candles. I think I put around £300 originally towards the business.”
@titzbyellie: “In all honesty, I didn’t plan to start a business. I had never painted before but during lockdown, I told my sister whilst walking around the shop it is something I want to try. From that, I went home and started painting the female form in the brightest colours I could find and then created an Instagram account to post my paintings just to show family and friends what I had been doing during lockdown. Suddenly I was getting inboxes from ladies asking me to paint special pieces for them, as my artwork grew I realised it wasn’t just a lockdown hobby. I was making art that was giving women so much empowerment which I felt honoured to be part of.”
@bakesandboobies: “I began baking during lockdown as something to just fill the time and realised I wasn’t too bad at it, so made it a weekly tradition to try and make something new. It wasn’t until I was giving the baked treats to friends and family that they suggested starting an online bakery which at that moment’s time because of lockdown seemed very tom, dick and harry. However, the concept of women becoming their own boss, being in control and using their bodies to multiply their previous salary was interesting to me henceforth the creation of Bakes & Boobies as a combination of this. The charity aspect of my business holds credit to the first-hand effects I witness breast cancer having on my mum, I wanted to create a platform and a business that helps educate others on the topic whilst donating profit to an important charity.”
@facesbymeganmay: “I was about to start my career as a nurse and felt kind of trapped due to the fact of working sociable hours and not getting enhanced pay. I wanted a second avenue of income as I am saving for a house and want a flexible lifestyle. With my aesthetics business, I don’t feel so isolated and with the extra income I have more freedom to do things with my spare time.”
@lashesbygb: “Working in retail and being in my second year of university, I loved the idea of being self-employed and starting a business that I could go manage alongside my degree. I had a strong interest in lashes and beauty so knew it would be a good avenue to go down. Even though it seemed like a lot of money to invest in something I wasn’t sure would work out, I took the plunge, and I am so glad I did.”
Did you experience any difficulties or setbacks when starting your business and how did you overcome these?
@crystalsandcandles_: “At the start, I very much felt I was thriving; I live in a small town so many friends and family members were keen to buy my products which help me get the ball running so I use to hand-deliver everything. When I created my Etsy my products weren’t as popular as I had hoped, so many other accounts were selling similar style candles but I didn’t let that stop me. I carried on buying new moulds and creating new concepts to give my business that edge which paid off as eventually my business is one of the top shops on Etsy currently!”
@titzbyellie: “As a self-taught artist it defiantly hasn’t been an easy ride, trust me my throw away pile is huge. I used to get frustrated with myself when I started the boobie cast as I was wasting product whilst trying to figure out how to make it right but I guess I was able to overcome it with my persistence and passion. I also found financing my business pretty difficult but I was extremely fortunate that so many wonderful women had chosen me to paint their beautiful bodies. I had to use a lot of my savings to get this business on its feet which was super scary but the only way forward was just to trust and believe in myself.”
@bakesandboobies: “One of the main difficulties was balancing the business with my day job as I work full time so I had to do all my baking done over weekends and evenings which left me with little free time. I’m not a particularly organised person so during busy periods I really had to learn how to plan my time effectively! Also, recently I moved from my hometown to a city up North, so packing up my business and starting afresh with no customers has also been difficult, to say the least. But through local Facebook groups and social media, I have been able to establish a new client base which I can only hope that this continues to grow.”
@facesbymeganmay: “A setback for me was definitely down to my own confidence and time. Starting as a nurse and creating a business I had underestimated the amount of time I would be able to spend on social media in creating a brand and reaching out to potential clients. Due to the nature of my business, it is very much word of mouth and visual work, I learnt for my business having an aesthetically pleasing Instagram helped me gain followers and therefore clients.”
@lashesbygb: “Starting a lash business takes a lot of dedication and consistency which I think for any business can be a difficulty especially if it requires a new skill on top of building up a clientele. I was lucky enough to have family and friends that allowed me to practice on them and support my social media accounts. With the more practice I got the more confident I got especially as there are continuously new skills and trends in the industry so having the confidence and educating myself really helped this.”
Since becoming a business owner, how has this empowered you and made you feel?
@crystalsandcandles_: “Since becoming a small business owner I honestly feel like I can do anything which sounds so cliché. Before I use to be so close-minded and believed that successful businesswomen had to be ‘smart’ and ‘rich’ but I realised I was the only person stopping myself from becoming that, I now know that wherever I put my energy will become successful.”
@titzbyellie: “Empowerment is a huge part of why I continue to work on this business. There is always something bigger, better, more empowering and colourful to come which excites me. I guess one word I would choose to describe how my business makes me feel is an honour which is why I want to take this moment to say the biggest TITTIN thank you to every single person that has chosen me to paint or cast their beautiful boobies.”
@bakesandboobies: “Starting Bakes & Boobies has really made me realise how capable I am of doing something that I set my mind to. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have my own business if you had asked me a year ago! I am also really proud that whilst expanding and creating new products, I am also spreading awareness and important information about a disease that has unfortunately affected everyone directly or indirectly at some point in their lives.”
@facesbymeganmay: “I feel empowered as I have the flexibility and I now have returning clients who appreciate the work I do, it is flattering and I feel really lucky that clients are wanting me to do work on their face which in turn gives them more confidence.”
@lashesbygb: “I feel extremely lucky and grateful to experience the success I have over the past few years. Having enough clients to go full time after finishing my degree was a great feeling, also having such lovely clients makes me enjoy my working day so much more. This feeling of empowerment encourages me to go further with my business as I have become a qualified educator which will give me the ability to offer courses and teachings to others wanting to hopefully start their own business as well!”
What advice would you give to other women thinking about creating a business?
@crystalsandcandles_: “Some advice I would give is to just do it. If you can find a way to make effort and time it will take off. Don’t give up easily and ask your friends/family for advice and ideas! They are you, customers, after all, and definitely don’t listen to self-doubt or any doubt in fact from others because it will work out.”
@titzbyellie: “My advice would to any fabulous woman out there wanting to start a business is to make sure you love what you do. Be passionate and be your biggest supporter because you need to be. Trust yourself and believe in yourself even on the days when it feels like it isn’t working out, somethings take time and more practice than anticipated but that is ok because YOU ARE TITTIN FABULOUS!”
@bakesandboobies: “The advice I would give is to always throw yourself 100% into it! Make sure you take the time to plan every aspect of your new project and that it is something you’re passionate about as this will help carry you through the difficulties and push through. I would also encourage trying to find your own niche where your idea can expand. Don’t doubt yourself if your idea is strange or unusual as these are usually the best ones! Don’t be afraid to set yourself apart from others and explore something that hasn’t been done before.”
@facesbymeganmay: “I would say believe In yourself and take things slowly as it can be at times overwhelming. Always seek advice from friends and family as they are some of your biggest supporters and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd!”
@lashesbygb: “DO IT! Push past the fear as it will be worth it in the long run. Make sure you do lots of research when starting up and really think about your target audience. Dependent on your business, stay on top of social media as it will make a big difference to your success.”
Each of these women business owners has taken a small passing idea they had and created something that empowers them and their clients. They took the highs and lows in their stride which meant their persistence and passion had paid off! Check out their accounts as you may find your new favourite small business.