Please say a big HI to Bernadette who is our Mumpreneur feature for today – she is also offering you a fab 10% discount on one of her parties; check out her interview before visiting her website 🙂
Who are you?
Bernadette Lawley, Wife, Mother of 2, Cook and Mumpreneur
What do you do?
I own Blueberries Junior Cooking Company which runs children’s fun cookery parties, workshops and courses in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area. We also sell children’s cookery equipment.
When did you establish your business?
Blueberries Junior Cooking Company was launched in August 2010, so we have been trading now for 3 months.
What made you start your own business?
Having left my job as a senior manager working for a local authority, I wanted to do something that enabled me to spend more time at home with my family. I also wanted a change from the corporate world and to do something that was more creative. I enjoy cooking for friends and family and have always baked cakes with my children, even before home baking became ‘trendy’ again. When my children were little, I loved organising big birthday parties for them and creating fun cakes and activities. Also, I feel passionately that young children should learn to cook and to appreciate good food and ingredients but many mums have increasingly busy lives and have little free time….. hence Blueberries Junior Cooking Company was born!
What do you love about working for yourself?
I have always been a very work orientated, focussed individual and as a self confessed control freak, I love that I am responsible for every aspect of my business, from the branding, the marketing, the party formats, even the colour of the gingham ribbon on the party bags! I have also enjoyed working (and bickering!) with my son; he has a degree in Illustration and we have designed my website, party invitations and flyers together. I enjoy the flexibility of working from home and it’s great to be able to spend more time with my husband.
What I love the most though, is when I get the positive feedback from customers ; I absolutely love feeling that I have helped to make someone’s birthday extra special.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
My CRB check took longer than I had anticipated, which meant I didn’t launch the business before the school holidays. This initially made it more difficult for news of the business to be spread via word of mouth. I think it’s important to remember that when dealing with other organisations, that your business may not be as much as a priority to them as it is to you! I would also recognise sooner the networking opportunities and support offered by social media; I’m still learning the finer points of Twitter.
Finally if there is 1 thing that you could tell other Mums who want to start their own business; what would it be?
I would say be prepared to become obsessed and spend all your waking hours working, talking or thinking about the business; it’s like when you first fall in love (but not necessarily with the weight loss!)
You can find Bernadette’s Website here http://www.juniorcooking.co.uk/ & also find her on Twitter @juniorcooking and if you book a party before Christmas she will give you 10% off!! Thanks so much for your time Bernadette – so good to read about you and your business 🙂