What’s your name? Suzi Williams
How many children and old are they?
I have two lovely kids – Lola is six and Woody is three.
What is the name of your business? Rock Villa Designs
What is your business and when did you start it?
I started Rock Villa Designs at the beginning of 2012. I design and make Prints, Collaged Artworks Laser-cut Greetings Cards and Textile Hangings. I am also a do freelance designing for fashion and homewares.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I am a textile designer by trade so have always been passionate about print, pattern and design. I wanted to have a small business I could run from home that would allow me to work and have a creative outlet whilst still being able to work around the kid’s school day.
Can you share 3 positive aspects about being a business mum?
The flexibility – being able to take the kids to and from school, and go to any events shows they are doing and to be around in the holidays – I consider this to be a luxury and probably the best part of working for yourself.
Having an outlet for my creativity – There is so much satisfaction in producing things that make people happy. I love doing fairs where you meet customers and they are happy to have found a piece of artwork they love.
Meeting other like minded people – who are doing similar creative jobs.
Time – or rather lack of it – having so many ideas and not enough time to get them all out!
Running your own business on your own, especially part-time, you need to do everything yourself. This means sourcing suppliers, creating the products, taking time to do fairs & events, advertising and promoting your work, bookkeeping &accounts and keeping up with the social media side of things too – this isn’t really a downside as it is fun to deal with the different aspects but you need to be very organised and efficient to maximise the time.
How do you keep motivated?
Being your own boss keeps you motivated and I love what I do! I am constantly inspired by everything around me – nature, pattern, texture, vintage finds – I love going to car boot sales, thrift shops and vintage markets to find ideas and inspiration. Finding a special little something can spark off so many ideas.
Bouncing ideas around with other creative people is always good to get yourself back on track if you’re feeling like you need a little focus! Going to galleries and other design event are always inspiring to me.
Would you change anything you’ve done in building and developing your business?
My business has had to start very small and work around my little boy who is not yet at school – so it is sometimes frustrating not having time to get everything that you would like to do done. However I know these early years fly by so quickly and there will be plenty of time when they are both at school to step things up a little, so at the moment I am enjoying the time I have.
What tips would you give anyone wanting to start their own business?
Choose something you are really passionate about, and something that you believe in – then your enthusiasm will shine through. Trust your instincts and expect to invest a lot of love and time to get it right.
Start small, with a few well chosen products and test them out. Through doing events like craft fairs or trade shows you can actually meet your customers, hear their feedback and see which of your products they really like and why – this will allow you to go forward and expand your range with confidence.
Get involved with local creative networks, and get involved in craft fairs – you will meet a lot of lovely likeminded people – and can help, inspire and encourage each other.
Check out what is going on locally – there are so many creative people about who can help you and in return you can help them! I started doing the Minifolk Markets and met lots of lovely creative people, my friend Diane did all the photography for my website www.dianewabyphotography.co.uk and another local company did my website www.darktext.co.uk
Also – a slightly boring tip but….always keep on top of your accounts and receipts – it makes it soooo much easier.
Take some chances and enjoy it!
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