Our Mumpreneur feature for today is Jo Fazel from Best Baby Shower, please read her interview and say hi before heading off to her brilliant site with a 10% discount code (see end of post)
Who are you?
I’m Jo Fazel, mum to 2 beautiful little girls aged 3 ½ and 1, wife to 1 long suffering husband and owner of www.bestbabyshower.co.uk!
What do you do?
I own www.bestbabyshower.co.uk which is an online specialist baby shower party supplies & gift site. I sell baby shower themed tableware & decorations that are practically impossible to find on the high street, baby shower games (many of my own original creation), favours & cards plus loads of gifts suitable not only for a baby shower but also just as a new baby gift. I even sell gifts for the new parents, siblings & grandparents too! Many of the products are handmade & unique such as my nappy cakes, baby bouquets, sock pops, baby smoothies & cupcakes amongst others. I have many suppliers who are also talented mums working around their families, to give something really different to what you can buy mass produced in the shops.
When did you establish your business?
I first incorporated the company in the Spring of 2008 and spent several months getting the website up and running, researching suppliers, creating my own range of gifts and generally making sure that I was all ready to go. I went live in the Autumn of 2008 and within 10 minutes of placing my first google advert I had my first sale!
What made you start your own business?
I was on maternity leave with my first daughter at the time and as time went on I realised that I just didn’t want to return to my old job with the commuting into Central London and the office politics. I wanted to be with my daughter and see her grow up. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy without something of my own not connected to being a mum – I wanted to keep some of my old identity which can easily become a little forgotten in the day to day routine of family life when you are the main carer. I had become aware of baby showers via my lovely sister in law Heidi, and realised that they were becoming more and more popular in the UK – however after a bit of research I found that there were hardly any places to actually find nice baby shower themed partyware so I set up the business to give people a totally one stop shop to buy everything they need in one place.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I love making my own decisions about how to take the business forward, what items I’d like to create or source and how to plan my own time. It’s lovely to be able to do the school run or take my youngest to playgroup without having to worry about asking for time off. Obviously it’s hard work juggling, and it does mean that I work long hours, mostly in the evenings, weekends and nap times but it’s worth it to be with my children and not miss out on any of their ‘firsts’.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I may have spent less time researching and just gone for it a little sooner. However, having said that it is really important to do your research and make sure that you have the essentials in place before putting your money into a business. I would also have done more Search Engine Optimisation work at the beginning to try to boost my site’s ranking in the search engines – however when I started out I’d never heard of it! I wish someone had told me about it before I started.
Finally If there is 1 thing that you could tell other Mums who want to start there own business; what would it be?
If you know you have a good idea & the commitment to see it through – just go for it! In my experience of the people I’ve met, mums are an immensely talented, creative & hard working group who can do anything they put their minds to!
Jo has kindly offered a 10% discount code for my readers just use the code “thismummyloves10” at the checkout. Valid until the end of December 2010 to help save some money for Christmas! You can also find Jo on twitter @bestbabyshower1