Our Featured Mumpreneur this time is Fiona Traynor of Fent Clothing
When did you start your business and why?
I started my business in February 2009. There was a gap in the market to bring quality children’s character clothing at affordable prices to the market.
What is your role within your business?
I maintain my website and all the administration work to go with it. I process all the orders, look after customers and maintain my accounts for the business.
What do you like doing most in your business?
I like to find new items that will bring smiles to children’s faces with their favourite character on them. I also like to build up a relationship with my customers.
What do you like doing least in your business?
Day-to-day paperwork and tax returns.
How many people do you work with in your business?
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
My little girl gave me the idea for my business as she is Minnie Mouse mad and I couldn’t find good quality Minnie items at affordable prices at the time.
What is the best thing about being a Mumpreneur?
I get a great sense of achievement of being able to run my own business from home and still have time for my family.
What is the worst thing about being a Mumpreneur?
Feeling guilty having to work in my case if I have to do a stock take on my range and this could disturb family time.
What is your biggest challenge juggling family life with running a business?
The biggest challenge for me is having enough time for the business to promote and advertise and also enough time for family things like cleaning, cooking, shopping and taking care of my little girl, etc.
What business training did you have before or since you started your business?
I studied marketing & accounting and finance. I also worked as assistant accountant for a number of years in my old job.
I did a Start Your Own Business course in 2012 with the Enterprise Board.
How has this helped you with growing your business?
These have helped with the accounts and marketing side of the business.
The start your own business course was a great help also with the social media like Facebook, Twitter and also legal issues and of course IT skills, especially as my business is online.
Have you received financial help in setting up in business? If yes from whom? E.g – bank, investor, etc.
I received a grant from the Enterprise Board for my website apart from that no other financial help.
How important do you see networking to help your business?
I find networking a vital part also to the business to build relationships with other fellow small businesses and customers.
What Social Media networks do you use to promote your business and how effective have they been?
I use Facebook and I find this very beneficial to my business as I can display all my products on this.
I also have my website and try to drive traffic to my website from Facebook.
I’m on Twitter also but have this linked in with Facebook.
Do you think there is enough support for mothers who are also business people?
What are the biggest challenges facing you right now?
The biggest challenge I have to face is to compete with cheaper brands from different big retailers on the character clothes even though they would be of cheaper quality.
This is not a big concern to customers in these recessionary times so sometimes makes it hard for small businesses to compete.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I received was don’t be afraid to try it as there is no such thing as failure.
I can always say I have tried my best.
What advice would you give to other mothers who are thinking about starting a business?
I would recommend that they did a training course and see how much time they would have to commit into running their own business with a family before they went ahead with it.
Now that you know more about Fiona and her products go visit her website www.fentclothing.ie and recommend it to your friends and family.