New business Mum Marilu is with us on the blog today to tell you all about her business Ocky Olly. She is also kindly offering my readers a £5 off Spring Voucher if you enter the code ‘Spring13′ at the checkout. Thanks so much for your time Marilu and telling us all about Ocky Olly
Who are you?
I’m Marilu Wren, founder of Ocky Olly. A Mum of four, living near the beach in Devon with 3 dogs, 1 cat, 3 ducks and 2 chickens and my patient husband Gordie!
What do you do?
I design and create innovative, fun & practical clothing for kids. Our first product is the Smocka, a practical fun play top for pre-school children,that encourages them to play and learn outside. Made of fleece with fun, digitally designed canvas trims, it’s ideal for little explorers who like to collect things. The large pocket has a waterproof lining which is perfect for conkers, leaves, shells and other discovered treasures. It also folds down to a simple pouch, but folding the Smocka and turning the pocket round it, so it stays clean and dry in your pram, car or bag.
When did you establish your business?
I came up with the idea two years ago, registered the company in Nov 12 and finally took in stock Summer ‘13
What made you start your own business?
My husband sustained a spinal injury during surgery and we were forced to take stock of how we were going to support the family. We looked to the family, my past experience and love of design for inspiration. Our youngest Daisy who was 18 months at the time, was obsessed by pockets, collecting and “owning” things and she, along with my love of the Cornish Smock and the outdoors, inspired our first product.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I really enjoy tapping into my creative side which was very under-utilised as a mum and I love being able to make so many things happen, especially bringing my designs to life.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
I have found it very lonely and would have loved to have another woman in the mix, to bounce ideas off, but I’ve enjoyed joining Female Business Groups and mixing with other entrepreneurs and inspirational people. It’s a double edged sword being a mum and working from home, both jobs cause resentment of the other. I wish I had more time to work and more time to be a mum
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
Every set back I’ve had has taught me so much and been valuable in their own way. We are currently looking to raise equity investment through Crowdcube and in hindsight I would have worked harder on the social media communications programme so as to have maximum impact at this beginning stage of the pitch.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Some advice I was given early on has held me in very good stead; the higher my goals and aspirations at the beginning of my journey, the more powerful my decisions will be for the long term good of my business. Believe in yourself and think BIG!