Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
I launched my new online homewares boutique www.myluxe.co.uk in September 2013. My Luxe stocks a handpicked collection of unique, mostly handmade homeware accessories.
We aim to offer something unique for ladies who like their home to be stylish, quirky and a little luxe. All products have been carefully sourced from South Africa, Scandinavia, France and the UK and some products have been especially commissioned for our site.
What inspired you to launch your business idea?
In short my 3 month old daughter! I'd been running an interiors and beauty blog for a few years in my spare time and I'd always wanted to own my own business in some shape or form. Not long after my daughter was born I spent some time with a family friend who is an interior designer in Cape Town. We talked about my blog and decided that with her design contacts in South Africa she would help me source products that I could import and sell online in the UK.
I've always had a passion for interiors and was on maternity leave for a year so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try and build a business of my own so I could eventually work from home full time to spend more time with my daughter.
My dad has his own business so growing up my whole family got involved and helped out and I wanted to build something that hopefully one day my daughter would want to get involved with.
What problem does your business or organization solve?
We like to offer unique and individual homewares and accessories that you can't find elsewhere online or on the high street. We work with local designers, artisans and small producers to source our products so as well as sourcing unique products we can also support small scale producers who create these beautiful products.
Many of our suppliers are female designers and artisans and I really enjoy working with them and sharing ideas.
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
Setting up a new business as a new first time mum was one of the biggest challenges of my life! Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy but I knew there wouldn't be a better time as I was planning to go back to my office job for a while after maternity leave.
I'm now back at work full time while building my business in my spare time. It's a long term plan and I need my salary to help fund my new business for the short term. It's a lot to juggle and can sometimes feel overwhelming but I keep in mind my long term goal and I know that I won't have to do my 9-5 job forever.
My background is in marketing which has helped greatly with building my new brand, however I had no experience of website build and design which I've had to learn. I'm also making time to meet up with other female entrepreneurs which helps massively as we all face similar challenges and it helps to know you're not alone.
Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Reading blogs and stories from like minded ladies is hugely inspiring! I don't have any female friends who have their own businesses so sometimes I feel like no one understands the pressure you put on yourself to make it a success. Forums like Project Eve are an invaluable way to keep you motivated.
Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
When running an online business be best friends with the relevant bloggers in your industry as they are a great way to drive traffic to your site.
Company: My Luxe
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