I love sharing the stories of fellow mums that have worked hard to build up a business, and this month’s MumBoss I find particularly inspiring, she found a gap in the market and promptly set about addressing it. We all know that Hen Parties can end up being tacky when that’s all you see on the high street, well that doesn’t need to be the case. Team Hen creates and sells beautiful Hen Party gifts and accessories. I wish they’d been around when my Hen Party was being planned! If you’re getting married, or are being a bridesmaid then you really must read this interview and check out what Danielle and Team Hen offer.
Hi, I’m Danielle and I’m the founder and creative director at Team Hen. I’m married and have two children, Harriet (3 years), and Edward (15 months). We currently live in Milton Keynes, though started our lives together in London. My previous career was in IT in London, which I loved, but had to give up when I had my first child as with commuting and childcare, it just wasn’t a viable option to continue.
Tell us a little bit about your business
I started my company Team Hen in January of last year. Team Hen offers a much needed alternative to the garish and tacky Hen Party paraphernalia so widely found on today’s High Street. We design and make original, on-trend gifts and accessories for Modern brides and their Hens.
What made you want to start up Team Hen?
I was organising my best friends Hen Party; when looking for gifts and accessories for the weekend it quickly became apparent our options were limited – everything was cheap, tacky and over the top. I designed and had made some some items for the event – and so Team Hen was born!
Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?
I designed some badges and gift bags and had them made for me – I started selling on ETSY, and quickly turned a profit. I invested all profits into producing more items and new designs. In Feb of 2015 we were accepted by Not On The High Street, and the business really took off. We launched our own website in February of this year, and are now concentrating on building our brand in to a national ‘go-to’ for anyone organising a Hen Party.
Have you made any mistakes?
Oh yes! Where do I start! As the designer at Team Hen I have a very personal relationship with the products – we’ve launched one or two items that just haven’t sold (despite me thinking they’re great!) Luckily, we only launch new items in small runs, so it’s never been a disaster!
Best thing about running your own business?
I didn’t start my business to become a millionaire – I started the business because I needed an outlet for my creativity and passion. Being a mother is such a privilege, and don’t take it for granted – but I need to do something that fulfills my brain, and soul; Team Hen does that for me – my children have my heart.
Also, its nice being able to work in your pyjamas (some days!)
The hardest thing?
The guilt – my children are still young, and are not yet at school, so we juggle childcare between grandparents and nursery sessions. They are both happy, content children, but the guilt i feel when I’m later than usual to pick them up because the postman hasn’t arrived to collect the days orders is horrendous.
What inspires you?
Other women, especially other mothers, running their own businesses. There are some unbelievably talented women out their, doing it for themselves – add a child or two into the mix and i don’t know how I, or any other mothers, do it.
Any advice for anyone out there thinking of starting up their own business?
Fail Fast – Fail Cheap. By that I mean, if your launching new, untested products don’t buy thousands! Even if the margins aren’t great for the first run, buy small until the product is proven. A good margin counts for nothing if they don’t sell!
Also – don’t try to do it all. I ran the business alone for so long – whilst pregnant with my son and only took a 3 week break after he was born. Looking back it was ridiculous. My husband finally convinced me to take on some staff, and I’ve never looked back. We now have a merry team of 5 plus myself, who do everything from making our products to packing up the orders and dealing with day to day enquiries. Its a fab team and I love them all!
I find Danielle’s story really inspiring and love the products that she creates. Team Hen have kindly given us a discount code, so head on over and take a look.
15% OFF WHEN YOU USE THE CODE
AT THE CHECKOUT