Specialising in wooden decor for your home and nursery, Penny Lou offers personalised products with custom painting to suit any colour scheme. The amazingly talented Biz Babe behind Penny Lou, Bek, chats with us about her family and her inspirations.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My husband Gordon and I have been married for almost 7 years and been together for over 10 years. We have a 19 month old daughter named Penelope (Penny). I work part-time in the airline industry specialising in Change Management and spend the rest of my spare time (there is very little sometimes) working on my business Penny Lou. I am a very organised person and thrive on having a lot to do (although my anxiety doesn’t like it) which is why I love running a small business.
How did you get started with your biz?
I took a little over 12 months maternity leave when I had Penny and whilst I was on leave I got a little bored. Now when I say bored I mean creatively, not time wise because as Mums know, there is never time to get bored when you have a little one. I started to loose a sense of myself in between sleep deprivation, dirty nappies and endless rounds of breastfeeding so I needed a creative outlet. This is how I gave birth to my second baby, Penny Lou. On 6 September it will be 1 year since we have started and that makes me so happy to see what we have achieved in that time.
What (or who) are your biggest influences?
Other handmade mums for sure, there are too many to mention! I am not great in the photography department so I love seeing the creative flatlays, stacklays and all the other lays that they come up with. I take inspiration from their creativity and also their ability to juggle the mum, work, handmade business life.
Penny and my niece Phoenix are also a great inspiration because they are at the age (2 years and 3 years old) where they are starting to explore and learn and I’m constantly thinking of what new things I can create for their busy minds.
Do you experience mum guilt and how do you tackle that?
Now that Penny is a little bigger, I try and have her around whilst I’m painting, I just let her explore and play with my paint pots. I used to feel absolutely horrible having to complete orders whilst I sat her in front of the TV. But what I always try to do is, do as much as I can whilst she is sleeping (during the day and at night) and also start an order as soon as I receive it, rather than sitting on it. This means I am ahead of my turnaround time allowing me to stop for a day in between when Penny really needs me without impacting my customers.
If you could sum up your day in three words what would those words be?
Organised, stressful, creative.
What does your workstation look like?
As you can sense, I am a very organised person so my work station is extremely organised. I have taken over half the garage (our poor car lives outside) and many of my husbands tools.
Give me your best kid distraction strategy:
Wiggles, always The Wiggles. Penny absolutely adores them, they are the best babysitter in the world.
Most embarrassing moment as a mum, or in your biz?
I really can’t think of anything too bad apart from posting a picture on Instagram and Facebook of a set of Alphabet Squares that I had just finished and a put the letters in the wrong order. It took one of my customers to point it out before I realised it was wrong. Seriously, how do you not get the alphabet right #tiredmum
What are you most proud of achieving biz wise?
I am really proud of the educational products that I have created. They are extremely popular, especially our Alphabet Sets and I get so proud when I see photos of little people playing with them.
What are your big goals for the next 12 months?
I have a few new products that I am working on which I would love to release and I’m also working on introducing gift boxes containing a range of our products, perfect for baby shower and baby arrival presents. I would also love to increase my exposure on social media. It can be so time consuming but it is a great way to get our name out there and share our love for the handmade world.
Exclusive reader offer
Bek is offering Nestling Collective readers 25% off STOREWIDE! Just use code NEST at the checkout (valid to midnight 18 March 2018).
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