I can’t be the only one that has those moments in their life that they remember always, tiny moments that shape the choices we make and the people we become.
This is just one of those moments, one evening at Christmas time 14 years ago I remember talking to an American at a Christmas Party, she was older than me and worked for Habitat for Humanity , she had loads of fantastic stories.
“I have a TIP for you, perseverance, initiative, tenacity” she told me as she pointed to her arm pit while winking, “just remember PIT” she said, “That’s all you need to succeed in life.”
Now, we were at a Christmas party, it was the early hours of the morning and she may have been a little tipsy but this doesn’t take anything away from what good advice it was. I just wish I could remember her name and find her to tell her how much this advice, which lets face it she probably won’t remember giving to a British teen in the Middle East all those years ago, has impacted my life and my way of approaching things. From studying at Uni while Noo was a baby, to juggling working and bringing up a family, to coping with life without my mum, these words are never far from my thoughts.
They definitely help me now that I’m trying to run my shop. I first started the journey into owning my own business about 2 years ago. I bought the book, ‘Build a business from your kitchen table’, by the founders of Not on The HighStreet Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker I knew that I wanted something of my own rather than go back into social work but I just didn’t know what it was. Then a year ago I started to play around with the idea of having my own shop, I picked Jenny’s (Kyna Boutique) brains and tried to figure out whether it would be a good fit for me. I can’t thank Jenny enough for the advice and the time she gave to me to talk things through. I chatted with Kelle (now owner of Dinky & Dandy) and we shared how we both wanted to start something of our own besides our blogs. There are so many cool independent shops out there, honestly just ask me and I could name so many and they are all fantastic in their own way, would I be able to make mine stand out?
Instagram played a huge part in giving me the confidence to take the plunge. I follow so many inspiring women that run businesses or are self employed. There is such a supportive community on there and seeing so many living out their dreams just made me more determined to go for mine. If they could do it, surely so could I. There have been many bumps in the road over the last year, with set backs and opportunities falling through meaning that at times I second guessed myself and wondered whether I wouldn’t be better off just doing something else. It sounds cheesey but it was at those times that I remembered PIT and kept pushing, if something is worthwhile you need to work for it and persevere. I cracked on with my business plans, spending hours poring over spreadsheets and researching brands, desperate to make Little & Fierce a reality.
When another setback came along and it looked like my plan to launch in September just wasn’t going to happen, it didn’t even look like I’d be able to open until Easter! I really did feel ready to give up. Then I came across this quote on Pinterest and I found that last bit of hope to cling on to..
Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith
Not long after reading that I finally got the financial backing to make this dream a reality, thanks to Virgin Start Up loans and my dad and stepmum. I didn’t get to launch in September but I did get up and running before Christmas. It was as if I was being tested to make sure that I really wanted it, that I was really ready to take on such a big commitment. It’s been good for my girls to see the journey that we’ve been on. My seven year old already has plans for her own business and tells everyone she wants to be a #girlboss! No matter what I do I want to be a good mum and role model to my girls to pass on the TIP or PIT from all those years ago.
I hope that Little & Fierce in the form it’s in now is just the beginning for me. I have so many hopes and dreams that I know that with a bit of PIT and a lot of hard work I just might be able to achieve.