It's a scorcher of a Wednesday today which makes it all the more apt that this week's Willow Woman is the wonderful Kelly White, founder of Sun Jellies Retro Baskets. Grab your fiesta shopper, put on your sunnies and read her story.
1) How did your business come about?
The original idea was inspired by our move to Worthing on the Sussex Coast and it’s pebbly beaches requiring some kind of beach shoes for me and the kids! We started an online shop dedicated to the original French jelly shoes for kids through to adults. We expanded our online shop offering to include our own brand of jelly bags and accidentally started a wholesale business!
2) What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
Be prepared for life changes! You can’t just clock off when you leave the office as the business is inside your head 24/7 which is a huge mental adjustment.
3) What's the best thing about being your own boss?
No workplace politics. Flexibility of hours. Solving things your own way. Working at my own pace.
What's the worst? The grey hair! Not focusing enough on things I find hard like selling and figures. Not being pushed to work out of my comfort zone. Not having on the job guidance from a more senior/experienced person. No escalation point for those really hard problems – it’s down to you!
4) How has lockdown been for you?
Started off as a novelty then became very hard and guilt ridden as I tried to juggle supervising their work and the demands of an increasingly busy full time job.
What coping mechanism works for you? Ummmm
Have you had to adapt your business to fit in with the 'new normal'? With the kids around every day I’ve had less time to work so my overall response time has had to slow to below my normal level, which has been VERY hard as I am passionate about providing the best possible service to customers and I hate letting them down. Up until very recently I felt I was always apologising for my delay in replying to enquiries or processing orders.
5) Where's your 'Happy Place'?
Wide open spaces with views, my favourite café, someplace with no phone signal!
6) What's your favourite song?
California Dreaming although I love a lot of golden oldies.
7) Who would play you in a movie?
Elle in Legally Blonde.
8) What did you want to be when you were younger?
An archeologist. A secretary like my mum. An air hostess. Join the military. I wanted to try everything!
9) What advice would you give your younger self?
Save money to buy a car, travel and study business, or at least marketing, as you will learn skills that can be adapted to any industry. Or learn a trade if you can’t think of anything else as you’ll always have something to fall back on.
Thanks so much for taking part Kelly. Check out all Sun Jellies loveliness here https://www.willowboutique1.co.uk/sun-jellies