It’s been a few months since I shared a MumBoss interview, so it’s time to get back on track. I’ve loved setting these interviews up with inspiring mums that run their own businesses and I hope you enjoy reading all about them. I’ve got lots of fantastic interviews lined up and the businesses vary in size, time they’ve been running, and the sector they’re in so there’s something for everyone and each are super inspiring. This month we have a creative business and mama to showcase – Steph and her screen printing business, Flat102. You lovely lot can get a discount in Steph’s online store thanks to her generosity! I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about Steph and her screen printing business and hope you do too.
Hi, I’m Steph! I’m 37 and married to James, Mum to Max and expecting a baby girl in 4 weeks! We live in Buckingham after swapping London life for the country 18 months ago. I had an amazing 10 years at Disney working in film marketing on some fantastic films, but while on maternity leave I made the difficult decision to leave my fab team and concentrate on family life while also pursuing my dream of launching my own screen printing business.
Tell us a little bit about your business
I originally set up an Etsy shop in 2011 as a bit of a hobby and creative outlet for the cushions and bags that I made of an evening. The name Flat102 came from the number of the flat I owned in East Acton where my dream of one day owning my own business first started. It wasn’t until I took an evening screen printing class that I discovered my passion and knew what I wanted that business to be. I now create hand screen printed art in my home studio aka the garage! The pieces of art I design and print are a reflection of what I love and would like to have in my own home. Over the course of the next few months I am hoping to branch out and start printing home textiles. Cushions, tea towels, napkins etc.
Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?
The first step was to bring my old Etsy shop ‘back to life’ and then with a lot of help from my husband turn half of our garage into a studio. Having a dedicated space to work (and make a mess) has been a real turning point as it feels less like a hobby and more like a business. Like many small businesses Flat102 is still very much a work in progress, but I am looking forward to some exciting collaborations and wholesale conversations that are happening.
Have you made any mistakes?
Yes! Too many to mention, but I try to not dwell on them and instead look at them as lessons learnt.
Best thing about running your own business?
The best thing is getting to do what I love while also being able to stay at home with Max. After that it would be getting feedback from customers who love something I have put my heart into. When that order comes in, knowing they have spent their hard earned cash on something I have made is a thrill that I don’t think I will ever stop feeling. I love the process of making, having something tangible at the end of each printing session, after having spent so long in the corporate world I find this so rewarding. Finally having the flexibility to work to my own timetable and the freedom to try anything is great.
The hardest thing?
The freedom to try anything! I often feel completely overwhelmed by all the ideas that are swirling around my head and all the things I want to achieve, but I am gradually learning to prioritise. I also struggle with self-belief…give me a product that someone else has made and I will market it like a pro for them, but for some reason I find it so hard to do that for myself and my own products. For now I’m just faking it ‘till I make it!
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from a huge range of sources…fashion, nature, my crazy boys! At the moment I am inspired by anything striped! I LOVE Breton tops and if you ask James he would say I have far too many! I am also inspired daily by the amazing supportive network of women that Hayley Southwood has brought together in her Southwood Social Hub.
Any advice for anyone out there thinking of starting up their own business?
Just go for it and remember its progress not perfection that matters. It can be so easy to compare yourself to similar businesses and feel like you’re not good enough, especially if they are well established. It’s important to keep an eye on what is out there, but you are on your own journey so just enjoy it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Steph’s story and picked up a few tips.
If you have any questions leave them in comment or contact Steph via social media.
HERE’S THE DISCOUNT INFO –
20% OFF WHEN YOU USE THE CODE
AT THE CHECKOUT
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(discount valid until October 21st 2016)