Interviews

The Businesses Behind The 2020 Raffle Prizes

The Notable

Thank you to all who entered and donated, together we raised £350 for CalmZone!

Freya – Let’s Talk About Work

In a few words, please could you explain to our readers, what is your brand and how did you come about setting up your business?

I am a qualified career coach and founder of Let’s Talk About Work, specialising in helping university students and graduates to build careers that make a difference – ones that they are passionate about and motivated to succeed at. 

I offer various coaching services, including my signature ‘90 Minute Intensive’ designed to help graduates who are either struggling to decide what to do after university, or have a dream job and need help getting there. This includes 14 days of messaging support so that I can be with you every step of the way as you start building a successful career. 

I offer my coaching services outside of my 9-5 role in healthcare leadership. I founded Let’s Talk About Work because, since graduating from university in 2018, I’ve had lots of fun building a successful career and I want to use my coaching skills, and industry-knowledge of HR and graduate recruitment, to help other university students and graduates to build successful careers too. 

What do you enjoy the most about running your own business? And what are the biggest challenges? (How do you overcome challenges?)

I most enjoy being able to work directly with university students and graduates to design coaching services with your biggest graduate job-search challenges in mind- how to stand out from the crowd, how to network for success, how to decide what career will make you bring you success, whatever that means to YOU. 

The biggest challenge for me is not being able to help as many university students and graduates as I would like. I am committed to to continuing my professional career so that I can keep my expertise up-to-date and give you the best support possible to build your own successful careers but this means that I can only take on a limited number of clients at any one time. 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to all of your clients looking to improve and expand upon their career?

The best piece of advice I could give someone looking to improve and expand upon their career would be not to feel pressured to specialise too soon. Your next career move doesn’t have to be your dream job’. Use the opportunity to learn about your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and start building a ‘checklist’ of all the qualities you want in a career because you will never achieve your dream job it if you don’t actually know what it is! 

For those who enter our raffle, please can you explain a little more about what the winner will receive within the career coaching session?

If you are lucky enough to win the raffle, you will receive a FREE 60 minute coaching session with me. We will start to tackle the biggest challenges you are facing right now in your graduate job, and put together a career plan that will help you start building a successful career straight away.

Faye James – Oopsiedaisieuk

Firstly can you tell us a bit about the bags, and what inspired you to set up your shop on Etsy and Depop?

All my tote bags are 100% cotton. I machine embroider all my own designs onto the bags. Recently I have been designing more totes for a coloured collection releasing soon. 

I was inspired to start my own business during lockdown as I wanted to focus my mind on something  and it has always been a goal for me to start my own business. I have always been passionate about current fashion treads and textiles designs. During my gap year I wanted to nurture my passion for this and that’s when I decided to start my own business.  I have always loved embroidery, it was one of my favourite media’s to work on in textiles A-Level. I was inspired to look into tote bags as I believe in day to day life it is a product everyone needs whether for shopping, carrying your belongings or laptop for work. I believe these embroidered totes bring a more personal feel. Also being eco-friendly and organic hopefully they will stop the use of plastic.

What have been the highs and lows of running this business?

There are definitely highs and lows of running a small business, the highs for me are every time I get an order, even if it’s not many, you get this rush of joy. I also love the design process of coming up with the ideas and having new bags being released soon. The lows are that it can get stressful having to promote on different platforms daily and sometimes when you don’t get any orders in the day I can feel deflated.

What are you long-term goals for Oopsiedaisyuk?

My long term goals for Oopsiedaisyuk would be to expand my business even more looking at different varieties of products to embroider and expanding my designs further, reaching a bigger audience.

What have you found to be the best the platform to promote your bags?

I have found that the best platform currently to promote my products is Instagram. Having connected with other small business owners like myself brings a sense of community, we’re all helping one another.

Do you have any advice for people wishing to create and sell their own products?

My advice for anyone wishing to start their own business would be to be organised with it all, even though I may have some days where I don’t feel like this at all I will make sure I always have a to do list with me! Also another point would be having a USP (unique selling point) which makes your brand stand out from the rest and makes it unique to you.

Milly Hall – Prints by Milly

Firstly, please may you tell us a bit about Prints by Milly, and when did you set it up?
Well…Prints by Milly began as a little bit of lockdown procrastination. I downloaded Procreate on a whim, drew my sister’s puppy for a bit of fun, posted it on Instagram, and the messages came flooding in! Leading from this, I played around with Procreate more and more and created some fun, wall art print designs. I then decided to open up an Etsy shop to sell these prints, and have been overwhelmed by the response ever since! 


Is there a moment you feel most proud of in running your business so far?
One moment that came running back to my mind when I read this question was the moment I hit 100 sales on Etsy. I had a little cry! I never dreamed of making 5 sales on Etsy, let alone 100.


Are there any challenges you’ve had to face, and if so, how have you overcome them?
Most definitely – one of the largest challenges is running this little business alongside being a full time trainee music teacher! However, although this may be the busiest year of my life to date, I wouldn’t change it for the world.


What keeps you motivated on a day-to-day?

The responses I receive from customers, especially when I send them the previews of my personalised pet portraits! 


Do you have any advice for people wishing to create and sell their own products?

Honestly, just go for it. Whether you have been contemplating it for a while or whether it springs upon you almost accidentally, work hard and make something out of it – you definitely won’t regret it!

Sophie Goldsmith – Windflowersewing

In a few words, please could you explain to our readers what your brand is and how did you come about setting up your business?

Over the first lockdown in the summer I was asked by my family to attempt to sew some masks. Having not sewn since I was at school I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out but ever since then I have just grown to love sewing more and more and eventually this new hobby turned into my small business Windflower Sewing! I now sell lots of different handmade goodies (scrunchies, tote bags, cushion covers and more) from gorgeous and vibrant material! 

What do you enjoy the most about running your own business? And what are the biggest challenges? (How do you overcome challenges?)


The thing I love most about running my small business is being part of such a lovely community, meeting lots of new people and being able to see people using and wearing my products! It’s just so satisfying. The biggest challenge has to be finding the time to make sure I can do everything exactly to the standard I want to because I am currently studying for a masters as well! 

What keeps you motivated on a day to day basis?


I think what keeps me motivated is just seeing all the happy customers and receiving lovely reviews from them always make me want to keep going! However, I do think giving yourself a break and time away is also helpful to keep your creativity and enthusiasm going!

For those who may be looking to set up their own business, what advice would you give?


I would say to those looking to set up their own small business to just keep going and if you love what you’re doing it doesn’t matter how many sales you get at first, they will eventually come and if you enjoy making/creating your products then others will love them too! 

For those who enter our raffle, please can you explain a little more about what the winner will receive from your brand? 

The winner will receive one of our Purple Polka Dot Tote Bags!

Lily Donworth – Baked By Lil

Can you tell us a bit about Baked By Lil, when you set it up and what inspired you to start?

I set up Baked By Lil in May of this year, so as a project it’s still very young! As a hobby baking is something I’ve enjoyed for a very long time but it isn’t something I’d ever considered myself particularly talented at until I had a lot of time on my hands in the first lockdown. Due to having so much time to bake I started sharing it and people loved eating it as much as I loved making it so it took off from there! 

What baking have you felt most proud of? 

One piece I was particularly proud of was a 50th birthday cake I made for my auntie, it was lemon and blueberry and it did taste wonderful! I felt a bit intimidated by larger cakes before this one and it made me realise there’s really nothing scary about them they’re just scaled up! 

Do you have any long-term goals for Baked By Lil?

In the long term I’m excited to see where the project is going to go, I think I’d love to have a space for baking outside of my house whether that be a little bakery or even a small test kitchen, but I’m going to graduate first before I can even think properly about that! 

Can you tell us a bit about the tempting treat you will be donating?

For my donation I’m going to go for a classic favourite of many with some triple chocolate brownies, and I hope they’re enjoyed as much as I loved developing this recipe! 

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