Sally Huggett from The Lime Mag is our mumpreneur feature this morning – I hope you’ll all say hi 🙂
Who are you?
I am a happily married mum to Daniel, 3, and Matthew, 22 months. I live on the South Coast and I love to spend as much time as possible having family days out going for nice long walks and enjoying nature and the sunshine. I feel very fortunate to live near the sea, which is always beautiful and relaxing to watch.
What do you do?
I am the Editor in Chief of The LIME Magazine for Parents and Carers of Children with Special Needs. I am the Managing Director of Digby & Sprout Ltd, who publish the magazine. Digby & Sprout also sell sensory toys and hand crafted Bubble Tubes. I have been editing the magazine since June. It is a bi-monthly publication which has received rave reviews so far. It is meant as a resource and support mechanism for families of children with special needs. I know from personal experience that there is very little support out there due to lack of funds and other issues, as my own son Daniel has Autism and Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I have started this magazine to fill the niche that exists out there.
When did you establish your business?
I started my business, Digby & Sprout Ltd, in January of this year. I have sold many puppets and several hand crafted Bubble Tubes. The main bulk of the business is now focused on the LIME Magazine which commenced in June.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I love working for myself because it means that I can juggle it around looking after my two little boys full time. I can work when I want, and play when I want. I also do not have anybody else to answer to – so I can do the things the way I want to do them and I have the final say on everything. So I basically have creative licence with the magazine. If I don’t like the way something is written, I won’t include it. Working for yourself gives you the drive to do so well. You want to do well because it is all yours, and if you don’t do well it affects your income. So it gives you the impetus and determination to strive to be the best you can be all the time. It is truly wonderful.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
Sometimes it is a little daunting – the very things that make it great working for yourself can be a little scary. The fact that if you make a wrong decision you do not have anyone else to fall back on. And it is hard work to juggle around two young children who are not in school. I have to do most of my work till very late in the evenings, as the day is spent looking after the boys. The other thing I suppose, is that if you are used to working in a team, as I am, then it can be lonely at times. I used to be a theatre nurse in a general hospital, and so it was very much teamwork oriented. I must admit I do miss the strong bonds sometimes and have lost contact with a lot of my old colleagues now that I have been out of that life for a year.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would have made a concerted effort to find and employ a good accountant at a much earlier stage if I had had the foresight. I think this is a single most important thing you can do, and I have only just found my accountant. And so I have almost a year of what I thought was ok book-keeping, which actually, on the face of it, is pretty poor book-keeping. Luckily I have found a wonderful accountant who is going to sort me out and she is not over expensive either. But I would definitely have found her sooner if possible!
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Become a limited company. This way, if everything goes wrong, the business is a separate entity and would go into liquidation, but would not affect you or your house etc. If you are a sole trader, and it all goes horribly wrong, you could end up losing your home. Also, get yourself a good accountant. They are worth their weight in gold. And finally, go for it! If you truly have the drive and determination, and you feel you have a product that fills a niche in the market, then take the plunge. There is nothing more satisfying than working for yourself and being your own boss. It provides a real sense of achievement. And if you are like me, and you have precious little ones at home, you will never get that time back with them. So make the most of spending as much time as you can with your children and take on a role that you can work on in the evenings and when your children are in nursery.
Thank you Sally for a lovely, helpful interview!