This month’s Featured Mumpreneur is Anna Seagar of Little Crab Designs.
When did you start your business and why?
What is your role within your business?
I am a sole trader at the moment so I do everything!
However, as the business grows I am getting closer to capacity and within the next 12 months I expect I will need to either take on an employee or change the way I produce the products.
What do you like doing most in your business?
I love doing everything!
As a person, I get bored quite easily – so the variety of being designer, administrator, manager, marketer, web designer, sales person etc. suits me well – every day is different!!
What do you like doing least in your business?
I’m not so good at promoting myself… feels like bragging to me! (though I’m getting better! )
How many people do you work with in your business?
There is just me.
My friend Sarah provides me with most of the designs these days – but she is just a supplier – she has no role in the day-to-day running of the business.
However with my plans for growth this will probably change in the not too distant future.
Either I will have to look at changing my production model or get someone in to help me.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Sarah and I were long-term friends and I had long been an admirer of her artwork.
She had done pictures for both our children’s bedrooms and one summer when I was staying with her she mentioned she would love to get back into her art after taking time off to have a family.
I said I thought her style lent itself well to the children’s market and would love to create some products out of her designs.
What is the best thing about being a Mumpreneur?
I think I am a great example to my kids.
I am a mum first and foremost and they know they will always come first but I am contributing to the family income and they are proud of the work their mum does.
What is the worst thing about being a Mumpreneur?
I don’t really like that word!! It’s everywhere and I am getting used to it, but when I was first described that way I felt it was quite patronising.
It is better than “mousewife” though, which is what someone once called me in an interview!!
What is your biggest challenge juggling family life with running a business?
When the children are at school and there is a routine, everything works really well but in the holidays when that all goes out the window, it can get quite manic!
Thankfully now the children are older they are really good at entertaining themselves and giving me time to do some work so we can go play later in the day.
They are also pretty helpful these days and post my parcels, paint frames etc.
What business training did you have before or since you started your business?
I had worked as a distributor for a health & nutrition company for a couple of years before and although I learned this job was not the one for me, I also learned a lot of things about working for myself.
How has this helped you with growing your business?
It gave me the confidence to believe I could set up something on my own.
Have you received financial help in setting up in business? If yes, from whom? E.g – bank, investor, etc.
No, I have funded everything myself. My first website – a DIY one, cost £25. Every penny I earned I put back into the business.
I am very proud of the fact that I have just funded a professional website redesign from the business profits.
How important do you see networking to help your business?
It is hugely important – you never know where or what it can lead to.
What Social Media networks do you use to promote your business and how effective have they been?
As a result of my twitter usage, I have received two awards and been nominated for another, had numerous profiles and blog posts written about me and was recently featured in the local newspaper.
I held a flash sale on Facebook recently and sold everything within the hour.
Do you think there is enough support for mothers who are also business people?
I think there is loads of stuff out there if you look for it – and once you find one or two good websites or blogs you can relate to, they tend to lead you to others.
What are the biggest challenges facing you right now?
The debate of whether to seriously step up growth or continue at a steady rate that is manageable without the need for other employees.
My children still come first and I don’t want to miss out on precious time with them because I have too big a business to run.
On the other hand, making more money from something that clearly works is a very big carrot!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” (Dory from Finding Nemo)
What advice would you give to other mothers who are thinking about starting a business?
Just dive in, do your research of course, but don’t procrastinate too much, learn on the way, there was nothing special about me and I always had the “will this, won’t this work” thing going on in my head but I just kept going little by little and gradually it all came together.
Now that you know more about Anna and her business go visit her website Little Crab Designs