Please say Hi to Tracey who joins us and tells us about herself and her business Bras4Mums today 🙂
Who are you?
Tracey-Jane Hughes, but known as T-J (yes, as in the famous discount shop!)
What do you do?
I’m the owner of bras4mums, bras4all and bralady.co.uk. I’m a specialist bra fitter, offering maternity bras, nursing bras, mastectomy bras and sports bras online and through a home fitting service. The home fitting service is through a team of bra ladies who are self-employed agents trained by me offering specialist bra fitting in their area. I cover Lancashire & North Manchester.
When did you establish your business?
2004 was the original start date, but that was with a fairtrade business as well. I only got properly started when I was made redundant 3 years ago.
What made you start your own business?
I got bad advice from a bra fitter when I bought a new nursing bra set (as a treat), which fitted when I bought it, but didn’t a week later. I wasn’t best pleased! So, when I looked into it, I found there was very little information about what happens to your breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and even less information about what bras you should get! bras4mums was born when no.2 son was 3 months old! I haven’t looked back.
What do you love about working for yourself?
The opportunity to make a difference to women’s lives in a very real way. I do enjoy the freedom to work as and when, but it’s not an easy juggling act, and hasn’t always been easy through times of growth.
Is there anything you do not like about working for youself?
The financial impact on the family if things don’t work out. Not having other people to share ideas with and bounce things around with.
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I’d get a loan upfront to keep the finances separate between family and business. I may even have set up a limited company to protect the family from business financial problems.
I’d have got peer support earlier on, and learnt that getting others to support you in your business is good, and not threatening. Other business owners are focused on their business and don’t want to steal your ideas! They want to help you and watch you succeed!
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Think through carefully what it is you want to do, and why you want to do it. Are you looking to work for stimulation or to make loads of money? The money may not come for a while, so have you got contingencies for family income?
Get support and as much as you can! I use my twitter friends for support as much as my local business owners I’ve met through a business course.
Here is a fab Discount code for my readers – Mumlove = free postage until end of Jan.