What is the name of your business? MiaFleur
What is your business and when did you start it?
MiaFleur is an online home and garden boutique, which was founded in October 2012 by myself, my Mum, Jacqui and my Sister, Amelia. We stock an eclectic collection of homeware and garden accessories and scour craft, trade and design shows both in the UK and abroad to source a selection of really unique items. We also design and hand make our own range of cushions.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
My mum and sister both have degrees in textile design and I have a degree and background in the business side of fashion and textiles. We have always wanted to combine our skills to do something together, but it was a case of finding the right time and the right way to do that, but once my sisters graduation was in sight in 2012 we knew this was our opportunity.
My mum has been passionate about interiors, sewing and design for as long as she can remember, a love passed down to her from her grandmothers. A love which has since been passed to my Sister and I. We were spending our spare time making our own homewares and scouring the country’s craft and design fairs to find the most individual pieces from other designers and artisans. We came up with the idea of MiaFleur because we realised that not everyone has the time, ability or inclination to do that. We source the very best homewares on offer and bring them to you in one place.
Can you share 3 positive aspects about being running your own business?
1) I’ve never been one for being told what to do, so being my own boss is ideal! If I make a mistake I get very annoyed at myself and I learn from it, but at least I haven’t got someone else shouting at me in the board room!
2) I love working from home, I can be out of bed at 6.45am and at work, computer on and ready to go for 7am!
3) I absolutely love that feeling when something you’ve been working hard on pays off, it’s so much more than anything I’ve experience in previous jobs. What might seem inconsequential to others means so much to us, because every single step forward is a step in the right direction.
One huge factor in running your own business is that the work is never over. I’ve always worked for busy companies before, putting in extra hours and taking work home to get done in the evenings and at weekends, but it’s nothing compared to working for yourself! I’ve heard people say before that they love that they do, so it doesn’t feel like work, but I’m not sure as that’s quite true- of course it feels like work! The reality is, no matter how much you love something, doing it for 70 plus hours a week is going to get tiresome sometimes, but when something great happens, that feeling of elation and joy far surpasses any feeling you get working for someone else and that’s what keeps me going!
How do you keep motivated?
From day one it has always been the case for us that time during working hours is strictly for work only. It would be easy to get distracted, cleaning the house, meeting friends for lunch, a quick trip to the gym, but we found it best to treat our day no differently than if we were working for someone else.
Would you change anything you’ve done in building and developing your business?
We’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, in the beginning we spent quite a bit of money on advertising which didn’t pay off. This is with the beauty of hindsight of course, but nowadays there are so many ways to promote your business for little or no cost (albeit very time consuming!) and we rarely pay for advertising now.
What tips would you give anyone wanting to start their own design/craft/interiors business?
Research, research, research! Before starting the business we researched everything as fully as we could. I also believe that if you’re looking to hire someone to do a job for you- like build a website, you need to fully understand what they’re supposed to be doing so you can make sure they’re actually doing it! I can’t build a website, but I know the keys things to look out for to make sure what they’re doing is right. Don’t just hire a company and let them get on with it, monitor what they’re doing until you know that they’re the right company for you and you trust what they’re doing.
Thanks so much to Holly for sharing her inspirational story. You can follow and find out more about MiaFleur in the following places: