Who are you ?
My name is Ruth Lopardo. I live in Newcastle with my husband and two daughters Evie (aged 6) and Livia (2). Come and say hello on Twitter! (@loveitloveit)
What do you do?
I run Love It Love It Love It, a web store full of bright, colourful clothes for babies and children aged 0-5. I also drink industrial quantities of tea and watch very rubbish TV shows.
When did you establish your business?
It was launched in April 2010, but took a fair amount of planning and work beforehand.
What made you start your own business?
Necessity really. I used to have quite a pressured job that involved lots of travel and very long hours. After my first daughter was born I really struggled to be a good mum and maintain my career. It just didn’t work and I ended up completely burning myself out. By the time Liv arrived, I knew I couldn’t continue, but didn’t know what else to do. I found some unusual clothes for her, started looking on the internet for more and the idea for the business began to form.
What do you love about working for yourself?
Almost everything! It’s an absolute rollercoaster with massive highs when something works well and the lows of sleepless nights when the bills roll in. Not having a regular, predictable income is scary, but the sense of achievement you get from tackling a job you’ve never done before, getting a lovely comment from a customer, or being completely in charge of your own time and success is second to none.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
A few things, like taking certain advice or buying some types of stock but really, I couldn’t have done them differently as it’s only with the benefit of hindsight that I know they were the wrong things to do!
Finally If there are 2 things that you could tell other Mums who want to start there own business; what would they be?
Contact Business Link, (http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home) or the equivalent in your area and find out about the business start up courses the do for women. They’re aimed at women like us, with busy lives, so are on at convenient times, and they can often also provide practical help such as funding or childcare. They are packed full of useful information and the all-women groups are so supportive. We spent the whole time swapping ideas and cheering each other on!
Be realistic – although there’s no point chasing an impossible dream, if you have a sound idea and some determination to make it work, you can do it. Have faith in yourself and keep going.