Who are you?
I’m Jennifer Robertson and my sister and I created www.scampbabygifts.co.uk in 2010. Everything sold by Scamp Baby Gifts is handmade by either myself or my sister – the product range consists mainly of personalised keepsakes for children including appliquéd pictures, blankets, cushions, babywear, bags and cards.
The business stated in 2010.
What made you start your own business?
With five young children between us, we saw a gap in the market for a range of lovely, distinct and affordable items for children’s rooms in particular. We’ve been interested in making things since childhood. Combining the idea of handmade children’s products with my experience in the marketing and creative field seemed to make for a good business idea.
What do you love about working for yourself?
Seeing what my sister and I are doing directly benefiting our company gives way more job satisfaction than I ever got in my previous jobs.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
My last job prior to Scamp was working at the BBC which is obviously a big organisation with a lot of employee support. Working for yourself (in my case with my sister) and having no-one else on hand to call if there are problems means that any computer issues we have to deal with ourselves, accounts is dealt with by us, sales negotiations are tackled by us …. you get the picture! In the past there was always someone else dealing with the areas outwith your specific role and now it’s just down to us to try to do it all – which can be a challenge in a field that is not our expertise!
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
Anything that in retrospect could have been done differently has usually led to a better decision being taken when we look at how to move forward with the business. So, I can’t say that there is something that I would specifically change – we seem to be very good at learning from mistakes and making sure we do it better in the future.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Starting my own business has been at times a steep learning curve and challenge, but one I have no regrets taking on! My main advice would be to do your research to make sure your idea can fly in the first place. Assuming it can another very useful area I have worked on is social networking – it is worth investing time in following related organisations, mums doing similar things, other small companies etc on Twitter and Facebook – they are often very useful for help on issues, finding out about relevant events that might be going on and sometimes just nice to know you aren’t the only one trying to do what you are doing!
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Good luck! UK entries only please. The winner will be drawn by random.org on December 19th 2011 x