Today we have Michelle here from Meeny Miney Mo. Michelle, hello, can you tell us a little bit more about your business please?
Yes, Meeny Miney Mo is a personalised gift brand. I started with children’s gifts mainly but now it has sort of progressed into a wide range of gifts for grown ups as well.
That sounds very interesting. Obviously you do this now, can I ask if you did something different prior to setting up this business?
Well, yes this is kind of really it brings together all of my previous skills and experience. I started off in graphic design and photography and then actually went into fashion so my range for Meeny Miney Mo covers all those areas really with sort of graphics for the educational puzzles, and place mats for children, and the fashion side in the clothing or the T-shirts and organic baby rompers and things like that.
Sounds very interesting that you have actually designed a lot of your own products effectively. It must be very rewarding.
Yes it is very rewarding. It is nice to see my products selling when I put them online. It is nice to see that other people like them and enjoy them.
Sure, now some people think that they can’t start their own business because the set up costs are huge. Was that the case for yourself?
My set up costs were quite a lot because I produced all my own range of clothing which when you are working to minimum order quantities that does often involve quite a lot of set up costs and because I had to buy in specialist equipment for doing all my own printing for all the personalization, it has actually involved quite a lot set up costs but I was lucky in the way that I was able to go to the bank and I put together a whole business plan and, I was lucky enough that they liked what I was doing and believed in me so lent me the money.
Do you find it hard to get motivated because of working for yourself?
No, not at all, I have worked for myself on and off for the last 15 years so I am pretty used to it now. I have worked for companies as well but no, I’m so passionate about what I do that I never have any trouble getting motivated, you know obviously occasionally but I think that is the same with anyone, in any job, whether they love it or not, you have the odd day where it is difficult to get motivated. On the whole no I don’t find it hard.
I must admit I have done quite a few interviews now and the big theme running through them is how much people really do love what they do now, it is really great. Anyway, you said that the bank were very helpful and supportive with starting out, were there any other particular resources you did find were of a great help to you?
I think just really the internet and you know I did loads of research on the internet, thank god that that’s around now, just makes everything so much easier. My other resources really were mums because I have started out predominantly a baby and children’s gift brand I spoke to loads of other mums, mums at toddler groups, just to find out what kind of thing people you know would like to buy for other babies, their friends who had babies and that was my most helpful resource.
I do love your company name, it is such a lovely name Meeny Miney Mo.
Aw, thank you.
So, anyway you mentioned speaking to other mums, do you happen to juggle your own family?
Yes I do. I have 1 son, I am a single mum with a 4 ½ year old son and yes I do find it quite hard work juggling him and my business but the great thing about it is that I get to work from home and I get to, you know at least I can be a bit flexible with work, so I get to be able to go to things if there is anything on at his nursery, things like that so there is good and bad things.
Yes, I must admit being a mum of a 5 year old myself it is so lovely not to have to miss sports day or star assemblies, and things like that so I can relate to that. Now obviously you have told us that you are an online business. Can you give us your website address please.
Yes it is www.personalisedbabyclothing.co.uk
Great, thank you so much for talking to us. Before I actually let you go, can I ask what you like doing to relax and rewind please?
I love going to the cinema, I like going running occasionally when I have some time and I live right near the beach so I go walking on the beach a lot with my son, that’s my favourite thing to do.
Must be nice and I bet he loves that? Anyway, thank you so much Michelle for talking to us today.