A few minutes with… Anna Butler – Butler Stewart

Anna ButlerAs Butler Stewart celebrates its second birthday this week, I wanted to share with you a bit about this lovely tweed company and its founder Anna Butler. Here’s her ‘a few minutes with…’

Tell us about you and your background

I am incredibly lucky to have had a fantastic childhood growing up on my family farm in Essex. With my love of design I completed a degree in BA (Hons) Exhibition, Museum and Event Design. I then went on to live in London where I discovered my love for fabric and tailoring. I have always had a passion for the countryside; I regularly participate in country sports and spent a numbers of years working in the shooting industry where I gained invaluable experience and contacts.

What made you want to start Butler Stewart?

After working in London in the high-end retail industry for many years I decided I wanted to start up an exclusive brand selling country and town clothing for men and ladies. Tweed is often associated with muddy farmers and English gentry but my aim is to help change this perception by designing beautiful timeless garments that can be worn with your everyday wardrobe. 

How is Butler Stewart different?

Butler Stewart focuses on high quality tweed, exquisite tailoring and intricate detail. Butler Stewart also offers a popular made to order service allowing customers to create a unique garment, a niche when exhibiting at shows around the UK.

What makes your products special?

I have an amazing tailor who takes my designs and creates the most beautiful pieces. All the collections are tailored in limited edition ensuring you stand out from the crowd. The collections are made up of unique styles, distinctive features and colourful fabrics creating understated British elegance.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?

Specialising in tailoring and tweed. 

Do you have a motto or ethos?

My personal favourite: What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?Joanna Jacket Butler Stewart

A strong and bulletproof business plan and budget is key. I regularly update and refer back to my business plan to make sure that I am staying on track with what I would like to achieve. It is very important to create a clear brand. Customers must understand what your business is all about and this is fundamentally built around your brand. 

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

I can’t live without Photoshop! The design programme allows me to customise images so that I can regularly update my website and to promote the brand and garments through newsletters, social media and print advertising and to have excellent visual merchandising at the shows.

Best thing about running a business?

Being your own boss is exceptionally satisfying (and terrifying). It can be extremely hard work but the rewards are more than worth it. 

Worst thing about running a business?

Being a sole trader can be very daunting, I have found it is very important to have a strong network of business connections and also supportive friends and family. 

Top business blog you follow

I regularly read Drapers’ Blog, featuring different key industry leaders, which helps keep me up to date with all the latest fashion, retail news and advice.

Top business book you’ve read

When researching about a start up business I picked up many useful tips from ‘Build a business from your kitchen table’ by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker (the founders of notonthehighstreet.com

One thing we might not know about youButler Stewart

My ancestor, George Courtauld, established a successful textile company in the Essex countryside called George Courtauld & Co. and was a worldwide manufacturer of fabric, clothing and artificial fibres. My curiosity in my ancestors from a young age helped strengthen my interest in fabric and tailoring. 

Top business achievement

Building a successful and profitable business within two years of launching. 

Where can people follow you or your business online?

http://www.butlerstewart.co.uk/ 

https://www.facebook.com/butlerstewartclothing/ 

https://www.instagram.com/butlerstewart/

https://twitter.com/ButlerStewart1

How to get featured in magazines – part 4

how to get featured in magazinesIn part four of my how to get featured in magazines feature (part one, part two and part three are all available to view too!), I look at you – as an expert. As someone who can share their knowledge on a particular subject for the greater good. This can be a really powerful offer for magazines and is something that has allowed my clients to enjoy a lot of column inches in the past. And you know what’s even better? Everyone wins. The magazines gets free, exclusive content for their readers, the readers learn something the didn’t know before, and you get publicity that could attract work or sales.

So, how does this work?

It can work in a few ways. Some magazines run question and answer sections where, each month, people send in their queries and questions and the most appropriate person from a panel of experts answers it. Or maybe you’re providing a more in-depth feature about a bigger subject, that works alongside a features list or a current, topical issue? Either way, offering your skills as an expert in your field and offering your knowledge for free can earn you brownie points from lots of different directions. Yes, you get the feature in the magazine, but what’s to stop the magazine calling on you again when something else inside your area of expertise comes up? If you’ve played nicely, been helpful and grateful and supplied what the magazine editor or writer has asked for by the deadline they asked for it, very little.

Things to think about…

  • Again, think about looking at the publications you want to feature in – do they have these sections? How do they work? Do the questions being asked fit into your area of expertise?
  • Make contact with the editor/writer responsible for that section. Call or email (see what they prefer) and sell yourself (concisely).
  • Work with them – they might say no, they might have someone who does that area already. That’s fine. That’s life. But be nice about it.
  • Help them. If you get to the point of contributing do all you can to make their life easy – this will mean providing the info they want when they need it, but also sticking to word counts and maybe providing relevant images in a timely fashion. And deadlines. Respect deadlines. It stresses people out when things come in late and you get a black mark next to your name.
  • Be grateful. Yep, you’ve helped the magazine out, but they have helped you too – in a massive way – so show your appreciation for what they’ve done to help you.

What do you think? Have you reached out to any magazines and offered your services? I’d love to hear below.

When should you stop posting on your social media?

When to stop posting on social mediaThis blog post is not one I had planned on writing. Not one that was on my schedule. But it light of the horrific attack that took place in Manchester on Monday night, I felt a need to write it as it’s something I have been asked a lot since. When should you stop posting on your social media?

I woke up to the news of the bomb in Manchester and that was quickly followed by a stream of DMs from clients who were rescheduling all their posts for that day. We chatted, via DM, and agreed it was the correct thing to do, for the morning at least. People were shocked, Facebook and Twitter was full of people’s thoughts about the incident. Some were trying to find loved ones. Some were sharing useful numbers. Some were offering and organising help. It was a horrifying yet warming scene. Something truly awful had happened but people were pulling together, using social media for good, to allow information to reach more people faster than would have been possible previously. Now. How does a product post fit that picture? Is it appropriate to be shouting about your successes when others are distraught? Should you be telling everyone why they should spend their money on your services when some people have had their world torn apart overnight?

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it. It sounds like I’m having a real go at people who chose to post, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

When should you stop posting on social media?

After being involved in the world of marketing and PR for a very long time, I view things differently to your average person. I look at the possible impact on a brand when something is worded incorrectly, when customer service falls below par, when the packaging isn’t fitting. And also I have children and various other life experiences that change how I views things. We all do. People view terrorism differently too. Some people believe that we are letting the terrorists win by changing what we as a nation do – by letting their actions impact on our daily lives. I get that. But that’s not why my clients halted their social media activities. I think it’s fair to say that they gave little/no thought to the terrorists when they made their decision to pull their social media posts. They were thinking of the families and the people involved. It didn’t feel right to tell people to go and look at a new product or anything of the sort. Some chose to share a message of support. Some chose to share useful numbers. Some waited until much later in the day, when people’s initial shock had subsided and they had started to come to terms with it all.

Was it right to hold back? I personally think so. Social media is social and it’s important to read the mood as much as it is to read a room when you enter it and talk about relevant things. Were people wrong who posted? Not necessarily – well, not in my eyes BUT there are lots of caveats to that. I think some people were. Their own beliefs matter and also the actual content would make a big difference. I saw some posts that were done very well and some than made me wince. Physically wince. Would these posts have made me wince on a normal day? Maybe, but not as much.

Luckily we don’t see that many events on this scale, but in our own niches bad things happen. Horses and riders can sometimes die or sustain horrific injuries in various equestrian sports, drivers die racing, players become paralysed playing rugby. These are all tragic. So what do you do then? Do you carry on as normal or do you adjust your content and your tone appropriately. I would say the latter.

What do you think? Did you stop posting on social media?

It’s not about letting terrorists win. It’s about being human and being respectful to people who are suffering. How you decide to do that is up to you. That might be carrying on as normal or it might be changing your social media plan for the day. But just one final thought – if you’re unsure and you don’t post… will anyone be upset?

A few minutes with… Emma Warren – Hiho Silver, Dimpsey and Doris & Co!

Emma WarrenEmma Warren is a lady you’ll hear me talk about a fair amount. She kindly provided a testimonial for my site a little while ago, but she’s best known as ‘Queen Bee’ at Hiho Silver. Well, I say best known, it depends on when you first encountered her! If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the luxury glamping shepherd’s hut Dimpsey, you’ll know her from there, or if you’ve met her British creamware brand Doris & Co you might know her from there… and if you came to the Farm Innovations Show she was a speaker on the Canopy and Stars panel too! She’s a lady of many talents. Here she tells us a bit more…

Tell us about you and your background?

Hi there, I’m Emma and I’m based on a small Blackdown Hills Farm in Somerset with my hubby and two boys.  I originally trained as a Management Accountant and worked in manufacturing, ending up as a Finance & Operations Director.  I left and started my own business in 2008, helping entrepreneurial businesses to grow.  Through that I met some really great companies and now am an owner of Hiho Silver and Doris & Co and run a small glamping business called Dimpsey Glamping.

Dimpsey

Inside Emma’s luxury glamping shepherd’s hut, Dimpsey

What made you want to start a business?

I generally worked in small divisions of very large companies – I really enjoyed the energy and vibrancy of them and the fact that I had the opportunity to learn lots about the whole business.  However, once I’d had children the long hours I was working made me think it was time for a change.  I’d had a hankering to work for myself for a while and decided to it was time to give it a go.  I still work really long hours, but I can be flexible and fit other things in as well.

How is your business different?

Oh tough question, because I think we all like to think we’re different from the competition – but I can say hand on heart that customer needs are always at the heart of everything we do.

What makes your products special?

The fact that we are passionate about what we do and I’d hope that shines through whenever someone deals with us – we love our products and we love to share that with people.  We work with our customers to see what they are wanting from us – and then we work really hard to deliver that in a consistent and on-brand way.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?

Quirky, country, customer-led, trust, quality

Do you have a motto or ethos?

Only work with people you like!

Hiho Silver Cherry Roller

Hiho’s Cherry Roller, photographed by Jake Eastham

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Just do it – it’s never as bad as you imagine it to be…

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively 

I would be absolutely lost without my iPhone and calendar

Best thing about running a business?

Having an idea and making it happen and then seeing if it goes down well with customers.  It’s such a great privilege to be able to have such a close connection between rudder and boat (so to speak)

Worst thing about running a business?

The unpredictability and the need to always be on your toes!

Top business blog you follow

I am a big Seth Godin fan and I also really like to read Inc.com posts 

Top business book you’ve read

Purple Cow – Seth Godin – I could have chosen lots of books here but I really think Seth makes a lot of good points in this book.

One thing we might not know about you

I absolutely love singing!

Top business achievement

Hiho – launching the cherry roller and the Country Shows Journal – I love working on that with Rhea

Doris & Co Stern Stuff Mug

and Nathalie on the CSJ and the whole of the Hiho team have been involved with the cherry roller and its development.

Dimpsey – winning Gold in the Somerset Tourism Awards

Doris – securing the business

Where can people follow you or your business online?

Hihohttp://www.hihosilver.co.uk

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/hihosilveruk

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/hihotweet

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/hiho.silver.jewellery/

Doris & Cohttp://www.dorisandco.co.uk

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/dorisandco

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dorisandco

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Dorisandcolimited/

Dimpseyhttp://www.dimpsey.co.uk

Instagram- http://www.instagram.com/dimpsey_glamping

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dimpseyuk

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/dimpsey.uk/

All wrapped up – behind the packaging… Leroy & Bongo

Leroy & BongoWe all know that I have a bit of a thing for packaging. OK. It’s a bit more than a thing. I see the power it has and how it can elevate a product and a brand or fall wide of the mark and make people believe that whatever is inside the packaging is distinctly average. In a new occasional series, I’ll be speaking to people who create packaging that (I feel) hits the nail on the head. And here’s the first. Caroline from Leroy & Bongo had a chat with me about her packaging and how she feels it makes a difference to this fun, dynamic brand. I’d love to hear what you think…

Tell us a bit about Leroy & Bongo and what you do

Leroy and Bongo is a new British brand,  founded by a little team of equestrians and designers in Marlborough, Wiltshire.  Together we love creating useful and beautiful equestrian stationery and lifestyle products!

Let’s start with your branding – how did you decide on your logo, the colours and your branding overall?

Our aim with our logo was to create something contemporary, clearly equestrian and proudly British. We wanted to keep it simple, easily recognisable and flexible enough to work across lots of different applications. Our logo is used in a number of colour-ways  depending on the application. 

We wanted our brand colour palette to be fun and eye-catching, as well as appealing to a wide demographic across the horse-loving world.

How did you decide on your packaging? What elements did you consider?

Right from the beginning we wanted our packaging to be fun and appealing to our customers, as well as unique to Leroy and Bongo. It also needed to be flexible enough to be used across our product range and “different” enough to stand out in a retail environment.

Leroy & BongoQuality was also important, as we wanted the packaging to reflect the quality of the product inside.

The end result is (we hope!)  like our products – useful and functional, but lovely to look at too! All of our product packaging features a paper “band” with a description of the product and our little black acrylic mini-pony.

The mini-pony has also featured in social media campaigns, which has really helped with customer engagement and brand recognition.

We also include a personal note to our customers when they buy from our website – handwritten on a Leroy and Bongo correspondence card.

What kind of response have you received to your packaging?

We’ve had a wonderful response to our packaging and the mini-pony already has a following of his own! Customers send in their own photos of the mini-pony in various situations, which is absolutely delightful. It’s lovely to have that level of engagement with our customers.

Do you think packaging adds to a product and the customer experience? Was this something you factored into your product quite early on or something that has evolved over time?

We like to think that packaging really adds to the customer experience. It makes the purchasing and gifting experience a little more fun – something that was definitely in our minds from the outset. If a product is beautifully packaged, it’s going to feel like a treat – either for yourself or the person you are gifting it to.

Are there any other brands who have packaging that inspires you? Or that you think is done really well?

Leroy & BongoWe love anything that’s simple, functional and beautifully designed!

Anything else you’d like to add?

For us, packaging is an important part of the Leroy and Bongo brand identity. But most of all, we hope our mini-pony makes our customers smile! 

Where can we find you online?

You can find us at leroyandbongo.com 

How Hiho Silver nailed it with the last Country Shows Journal

Hiho Silver Country Shows JournalI make no secret of the fact that I help Hiho Silver with its PR, marketing and other bits and bobs. Actually, more than not hiding the fact, I’m incredibly proud to be part of such an amazing team of talented, creative (and blummin nice!) people that are happy to explore ideas, push boundaries and create amazing things. And I don’t just mean the jewellery that they design in Somerset! The journal – or the Country Shows Journal to give it its full title is one example. I’m proud to have been involved with this from the start, and proud to be part of the team that that creates four fab issues each year. Here’s a link to the journal. And here are eight reasons why you need to take a look – now – if not sooner!

  1. You know I’m a Fairfax & Favor fan? You know that they’re a really big deal in the equestrian and country field? Well, in this issue there’s a great interview with Felix and Marcus, the two gents behind the brand that has taken the rural sector by storm. And that is no exaggeration. See p24
  2. Another brand I love is Evemy & Evemy – and if you’d met the brains behind it, Sophie, you’d love her too. The other ‘behind the brand’ feature this time is all about this company and its exciting British made products. See p14
  3. Solid gold. The brand might be Hiho SILVER, but don’t overlook Hiho if you have a thing for gold. With solid gold pieces and other carefully designed items that blend gold and Hiho silver competitionsilver, you will LOVE the new collection. I do. See p26
  4. The competition. If you like Fairfax & Favor, Evemy & Evemy and Hiho you will LOVE this issue’s competition. You could win over £800 worth of prizes. Yes. OVER £800. See page 12
  5. Gin. I love gin. Hiho’s team love gin. And Doris from Doris & Co loves gin. So she shared a couple of her favourite recipes… <hick> See p28
  6. Behind the rider– Emily King’s grooms, Fran and Becca, share some of their secrets in this feature. As a child I always dreamed of working for… OK, being… Mary King, and reading Fran and Becca’s account of life with the Kings makes me just a teeny bit jealous. But it also shows the dedication, the hard work and their genuine passion for the horses and riders. See p18
  7. Foxtail and charms. I’m SO excited about the Hiho Foxtail Bracelet. Actually, if you follow me on Instagram you will have probably seen a million (slight exaggeration!) pics of it on my wrist and being shaken at people. There’s a nice feature all about it on p27
  8. Behind the camera. I’m getting more and more into photography. Well, when I say that, I’m obsessed with my new iPhone and Instagram and spend far too long messing around with the phone trying to capture the perfect snap. So I was delighted to read Sophie Callahan’s feature giving some top tips. She takes the most beautiful pics and gives some amazing tips too. See p30

And that’s just eight reasons why – have a read and tell me which bit you love the most!

A few minutes with… Lydia Abdelaoui – Femmes Fatales

Lydia Abdelaoui Femmes FatalesThis week’s a few minutes with is all about the Lydia from the fabulous Femmes Fatales. Femmes Fatales is an all ladies shooting club that has a growing tribe of dedicated lady guns who are keen shots, great fun… and very stylish too! Here’s a bit more about how it all came about…

Tell us about you and your background

Well, I’m from a totally non-rural, non-shooting background. I was raised in a town and I live in a city, and as much as I adore spending time in the countryside, I just love the city life; shopping, lots of bars and restaurants nearby, and being able to get pizza delivered at 2am! 

Where I live, in Hull, is just a short drive away from some stunning Yorkshire countryside and lots of great shooting grounds. It’s the perfect balance for a ‘townie’ like me! 

I didn’t get involved in shooting until I began working for Gamebore (shotgun cartridge manufacturer) eleven years ago, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I really became very passionate about the sport. 

Femmes FatalesWhat made you want to start your group?

I’d recently taken up shooting more regularly (Shotgun Certificate granted in early 2014) and after a particularly fun day out with Rachel Carrie, we simply decided that clay shooting needed more girls and that we’d try to do something about it! That was when the idea for Femmes Fatales came about. 

How is Femmes Fatales different? 

Femmes Fatales isn’t a business, we’re totally not-for-profit and run by volunteers purely because we love it. It’s that love for the sport and the people we meet that makes us all so keen to run the events and get more involved. 

I’m no businesswoman! I’m a complete thicko when it comes to that sort of thing – I’m just fairly creative and passionate (My boss would tell you that what I lack in maths skills and business acumen, I make up for in enthusiasm!!) 

People keep telling me I should turn FF in to a business and start making some money out of it, but I don’t want to make it feel like ‘work’.

I’m loving things how they are, there’s just the right balance, I’ve made some lifelong friends, it’s given me an incredible social life for a mother with two young kids, I really don’t need or want to get any more out of it. In short: I’m extremely content with my lot, and too lazy to do more! 

What makes Femmes Fatales special?

The members! Undoubtedly. I’ve met so many completely badass women at Femmes Fatales events – women that have become close friends, in fact they’re more like family to me! 

The girls are all awesome, in so many different ways. This ‘network’ we’ve created is truly a force to be reckoned with. If ever anyone’s in need of advice, there’s always ‘someone who knows someone’ that can help. It’s great for women in business too! 

In Femmes Fatales, we’ve got an ‘army’ of these completely amazing women who have each other’s backs – ‘sisters in arms’ you could say! …and they’re all so supportive of newcomers, and so keen to make them feel welcome and like part of the community. 

If you had to sum up your group in five words, what would they be? 

A HUGE barrel of laughs!

Do you have a motto or ethos?

I do like this quote by Rudyard Kipling, taken from The Jungle Book;  “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack” 

It’s perfect for Femmes Fatales because our emblem is a Shewolf, and collectively we’re like a ‘wolf pack’ made up of strong women who like to support and empower each other. I think it sums us up pretty well! 

One thing that helps you run your your group more effectively

Quite basic, I know, but we have a team WhatsApp group chat, made up of Femmes Fatales representatives, which we’re communicating on daily – running ideas past each other, making plans, and generally supporting one another. It does sometimes veer of subject, but that’s cool (and often highly amusing!) We’re all at work during the day so can’t talk on the phone, so messaging threads are perfect for us to plan things discreetly. 

Best thing about running Femmes Fatales?

The people I get to meet, spend time with, and become friends with. Plus the many exciting opportunities that have arisen as a result – for example, a couple of fun TV appearances and of course, lots of shooting! 

Lydia and DougieBiggest challenge about running Femmes Fatales? 

Not being able to switch off! With everything being social media based, it’s not a 9 to 5 situation, my iPhone is constantly lighting up (I have it on silent all the time because it never stops beeping!) I find it really hard not to reply to emails or Tweets at 1am when I should be sleeping!

Obviously our events all take part at weekends, and that’s the only time I get to spend with my lovely partner Dougie as he works away during the week. Luckily he doesn’t mind tagging along. Being the only bloke surrounded by fifty gin-fuelled women at the recent DryFire Party must’ve been really hard for him. (Laughs) No, seriously, he’s a massive help to me, and really very encouraging, supportive and proud of me, bless him! 

Top blog you follow

A Girl About Country – by Harriet Lily. It’s a good, honest account of someone relatively new to shooting, experiencing the same learning curve we all have when we’re getting to grips with the sport. It’s refreshingly accurate and I think a lot of women can relate. 

Also Clare Sadler’s ‘Gracing the Field’ is another interesting perspective in to ladies shooting. Very well written, genuine, and hugely informative. Another woman who’s supportive of other ‘females in the field’

One thing we might not know about you

I’m terrible at shooting! 

A lot of people assume that I’m a good shot because I work for Gamebore and I run Femmes Fatales, but sadly that’s not the case! I like to think of myself as more of a social shooter, though I would love to become competitive, realistically I don’t have the time to hone my skills – I work full time, and have two children, Yani (9) and Nathalie (6) who are bloody awesome! I hate not being with them and try to bring them along to as many events as possible, but unfortunately they don’t share my enthusiasm for the sport (yet!) 

I do feel quite guilty about dragging them along to shoots, so make an extra effort to do the things that they want to do as well. It’s all about finding a happy medium – but all credit to them, they’re both so lovely, proper little characters, I think a lot of the Femmes Fatales actually quite enjoy helping me out at events by keeping the kids entertained! 

Top achievement

I’m pretty proud of the fact that we we’re runners-up to Olympic Athletes the Brownlee Brothers in the Sporting Achievement of the Year category at the Yorkshire Choice Awards last month! 

I was also awarded ‘Volunteer of the Year’ by the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association last year for my work with Femmes Fatales, but it was the recent surprise gift that my ‘gurls’ presented me with at the Northern Shooting Show for being (in their words!) ‘Femmes Fatales Queen Bee’ that was the most overwhelming and meaningful to me. I love those ladies! 

Where can people follow you online (website, social media handles, etc)

Our website is www.femmes-fatales.co.uk which is where you’ll find a full, up to date Shoot Diary. There’s also the occasional interview, featuring notable female shooters or women who inspire us. We’re particularly keen to feature women in the shooting industry and other related businesses, and we love to try and promote anyone that our followers might have an interest in. 

We’re also pretty active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – plus you can sign up to our mailing list for our occasional newsletter (I promise not to spam your inbox!) 

All wrapped up – behind the packaging – Hanrose

HanroseI’ve been an admirer of Hanrose for a little while now, so you can imagine my delight when Johanna at Hanrose was happy to talk to me about the packaging of her beautiful candles and photoart. I think packaging is so interesting and adds such a lot to the overall experience, and as companies like Hanrose prove, it’s the little details that make it special. **Spoiler alert – a video review will also be available soon**

Tell us a bit about your brand and what you do…

Hanrose was created simply from a Christmas gift I wanted to make for someone! The photographic letter idea is not a new concept, but nobody does else does it; well not in the UK anyhow! 

The Christmas decorations were rather special last year. I decided to improve them from the previous wood version to metallic and glitter infused acrylic. I’ve also produced the Willberry Decorations for the past two years. All profits go to the Willberry Wonder Pony charity and I love seeing pictures customers post of them hanging on their trees. 

The Quote Posters & Cards came about from posts I used for Instagram etc. Someone asked if that’s what they were, so I produced them!

Can’t remember where the candle idea came from (I’m always thinking of ideas!) but it definitely was a lightbulb moment! I get so excited when I think of a great name, however Unicorn Fluff was thought of by one of the Twitterherd, I just matched it to the candy floss scent; and as promised I sent her the first one.

Let’s start with your branding – how did you decide on your logo, the colours and your branding overall?

Recently rebranded due to the candles. My first logo was actually created from the Photoart. I have a giant one in my workshop. 

As I started to add new collections it changed to a very simple text version. I’ve I always wanted a round logo and when the time came for the candle tins to be designed, there it was. (I’ve still got my original drawing on a green post it, stuck on to one of the candle tins) 

Hanrose Pick N Mix

How did you decide on your packaging? What elements did you consider?

The hay idea for packaging was another lightbulb moment and ties in perfectly with the equestrian theme, plus doing my bit for the environment. The popcorn idea came when selecting the the bags for the wax melts. 

What kind of response have you received to your packaging?

Everyone appears to love the hay their candles are nestled in and the popcorn has got people talking! I’m sure there will be a few more options to follow. 

Do you think packaging adds to a product and the customer experience? Was this something you factored into your product quite early on or something that has evolved over time?

From the lovely comments I receive, I feel the packaging does add to the customer experience. We often like things and never contact the company to say, so when people post pictures etc I know I’ve put a smile on their face.  I love the fact that the packaging for the candles & wax melts is quirky. The luxury of being in control is, I can do what I want, when I want. It’s always evolving, if I think of something new I usually do it. Just like the popcorn, off I went to buy a popcorn maker and a box of kernels!

Are there any other brands who have packaging that inspires you? Or that you think is done really well?

I simply adore fancy packaging, gorgeous boxes with embossed writing & bows. The packaging that the larger businesses can provide, which get you excited before you even open it! 

Hanrose Candle

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to say thank you, it was great to see your reaction when opening your Hanrose parcel. Watch this space, my light bulb moments usually go into production and a new product could appear at anytime! 

Find Johanna and Hanrose online here…

 www.hanrose.co.uk

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How to get featured in magazines – part 3

How to get in magazinesIn part 3 of how to get featured in magazines (how to get featured in magazines – part 1 and how to get featured in magazines – part 2 are here), we look at how to make YOU something worth featuring. Yes. You. Whether you’re a product creator or you sell a service, this can work for you.

Making you the star of the show

A lot of magazines run profiles on people. This could be what they’ve achieved in their career, the people that they’ve helped, the barriers they’ve overcome, etc. etc. If you’re happy to step into the limelight and reach out when relevant features appear (or, even better, get in touch with the magazine with your angle – which must be something that fits the profile of the magazine and fits their style). Some magazines will run a piece like this in each issue. It might be a case study or a profile – or it might have a million other names too. Of course, as with everything in this how to get featured in magazines series, there’s a way to do this. Here are six tips to help you.

  • Think about the magazines you’d like to be featured in and buy them. Get a feel for the magazine, the readership, the writing style and the kind of stories that they tend to publish. Do you fit this? Or can part of your story fit this?
  • Find out who the person responsible for the relevant section/s of the magazine is and get in touch. Email them or call them and make sure you know what angle you’re going for and that you show your knowledge of the magazine.
  • Be prepared to help them out as much as you can. As in how to get featured in magazines part 1, we discussed making the editor’s life as easy as possible when submitting product copy, the same applies here.
  • Be prompt. If the editor needs x, y or z by a, make sure you do your best to get it to them them AND keep them informed if there is going to be a problem.
  • Have imagery sorted. Depending on the title, they might arrange a photoshoot, but it’s always good to have some snaps of you that you’re happy to share with the world.
  • Be nice. Editors are under a lot of pressure. They might say no. They might have a million people who want that slot, they might not think you’re right for it. And that is fine. That’s life. Be nice. Be helpful. Be gracious. Because although you might not be right for this opportunity, you have no idea what they’ll be working on next week, next month, or next year.

Have you been featured in a magazine? Which one and what was your story? Please comment below – I’d love to hear it!

A few minutes with… Emily Mumford – Inkpot & Press

Emily Mumford from Inkpot and Press is the focus of today’s ‘a few minutes with…’ Emily provides PR, marketing, social media and copywriting support to equestrian and artisan businesses. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily for a good while now and I wanted to share her with you!

Tell us about you and your backgroundEmily Mumford Inkpot & Press

I have a degree in English (Lit and Lang) and a Graduate Diploma in Law (I really didn’t know what I wanted to do!). After finishing my GDL I floundered for a month or so and then fell into a job at a beautiful privately owned Doddington Hall, near Lincoln working in their tiny cafe, I ended up developing and running a beautiful Country Clothing Store on the estate which I completely loved! 

While I was working in the store I received an email from Anna Buntine offering me the chance of an interview for what I thought would be my dream role at Bede Events Ltd as Assistant Event Director for 3 International FEI and 5 National BE events and I jumped at the chance – popped along for an interview and two weeks later rolled up at Shelford ready to start my new chapter! And what a chapter it was. I was with Bede for just less than 3 years and the opportunities and experiences I was lucky enough to have were phenomenal. I certainly wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without them! The respect I have for any event organiser in unending – the dedication, blood (literally, I have a huge scar on my hand as testament to that), sweat, tears (there were plenty) and hours it takes to do what they do is immeasurable.  However there was only so long that I could work silly long hours chasing someone else’s dream while running our busy tree surgery company (Springwood Tree Services Ltd), bringing up a beautiful boy (Finn, now aged 4 and 3/4s) and looking after my own horses so the time came to take the leap and here I am – one whole year on!

What made you want to start a business?

The obvious time came to leave Bede and our tree surgery business was doing pretty well which afforded me the opportunity to have a go at doing what I love – I couldn’t not take it really!

How is Inkpot & Press different?

My little business focusses on supporting small artisan, rural and equestrian companies on their journeys (although I do have one rather large amazing client who I am very proud of!)

What makes your service special?

I listen…

Emily Mumford Inkpot & PressIf you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?

Helping other people’s dreams come true 

Do you have a motto or ethos?

Carpe (the freaking) Diem

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Consistency is everything – remain consistent in the journey to your goals and the destination will be better than you ever imagined!

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

Rhea and her blooming amazing business coaching brain… (and the fact she puts up with my neediness!)

Best thing about running a business?

The freedom in terms of time and decision making and the opportunities to work with people and businesses who ignite your passion. 

Worst thing about running a business?

The constant feeling of impending failure… (and never being able to switch off completely!)

Top business blog you follow

Sophie Callahan, Carrie Green and Gary Vaynerchuk – I can’t pick one…

Top business book you’ve read

She Means Business by Carrie Green – It made complete sense.

One thing we might not know about you

I technically died at 21 months old when I had an anaphylactic reaction to a piece of cheese that I had managed to get hold of… 

Top business achievement

There are a couple of very different ones: 

Being an integral part of the team who substantially increased the ticket sales at both Belton and Osberton International Horse Trials for two years running was a huge buzz!

Leading the team who achieved a turn over in excess of £85,000 in a tiny little Country Clothing Store’s first 9 months of trading was pretty cool too. 

Find Emily Mumford online here…

https://www.facebook.com/InkPotandPress/ – FB

@InkPotandPress– Twitter 

https://www.instagram.com/inkpotandpress/ – Instagram

www.inkpotandpress.co.uk