Monday Mumpreneur with Lisa Kingsnorth
Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives to us. They share with us their motivation, challenges and proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves. It’s lovely to have them here at Mums Got A Business and we hope you enjoy connecting with them too.
The arrival of her daughter together with a life threatening illness meant that this week's Monday Mumpreneur took a step back to reflect on life.
She prioritised having the freedom to balance family and business and has drawn on her passion to create an award winning venture.
Your name: Lisa Kingsnorth
TopsyToesy.co.uk is an online boutique specialising in unique and desirable headwear and footwear for children from birth upward.
Lil’ Spin is a specialist PR agency providing publicity services to ‘Mumpreneurs’ and ‘Dadpreneurs’ alike.
How many children do you have? One extremely active and very lovely (when she wants to be), two-year-old daughter, Nariah
Where do you live? I am fortunate to live on the beautiful East Sussex coast, UK
PC or Mac?
I use both – each provides me something the other can’t
Tell us about your business
TopsyToesy.co.uk came as a result of my eternal struggle to find unique and desirable hats and shoes for my daughter to compliment her outfits and fit the occasion – whether for a wedding, naming ceremony, christening, portrait photography or every day wear, whilst providing the quality, fit, protection and comfort I desired. Nothing on the high street really provided me with all these elements combined. After speaking with other mums, I soon discovered I wasn’t the only one. After a lot of research, many sleepless nights and the support of our rather wonderful friends, the concept was brought to life.
Along the way, I have come across other ‘Mumpreneurs’ and ‘Dadpreneurs’ with some excellent products and businesses. Having spent the past 11-years running a successful PR agency with my partner specialising in live entertainment and celebrity, I was inspired to branch-off and form Lil’ Spin, where I draw upon my experiences as a parent, my connections in the media and entertainment industry, and my worldly knowledge of everything PR and media relations related; implementing my experience as a former editor and as a publicist, to help other mums, dads and parent duos in business, maximise their publicity potential.
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
Days after giving birth, I contracted a life-threatening infection. This, combined with my daughter’s arrival, led me to reflect on my life and the direction it was taking. I wanted to concentrate my efforts into things that I am passionate about, as well as draw upon everything I was and combine it with everything I am, whilst allowing enough time for my family. I enjoy being my own boss and the freedom it provides, enabling me to juggle life as a mother, a partner and as a business woman.
What's been your biggest challenge in business?
With Topsy Toesy there have been a number of challenges to overcome from designing the e-commerce site and in-putting the fundamental Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) through to sourcing suppliers.
How have you overcome it?
We were fortunate that a friend of ours was able to step-in and provide us with some much needed support with the web-design and SEO. I remember spending hours of an evening researching; clarifying precisely what makes a good e-commerce site and how to improve your SEO, this was swiftly followed by spending an equal level of time (and longer!) implementing everything I had learned.
Our suppliers are made up of independent artisans, designers and manufacturers and whilst I cannot recall how we have come to work with each of them, I do know that it has involved a great deal of time and dedication – I can’t count the number of conversations I have had, exhibitions I have attended or media I have consumed – I have however certainly learned why unique and desirable hats and shoes for children are so hard to come by!
What's been your proudest business moment?
It is without doubt receiving the accolade of ‘Gold’ in the Mumpreneur UK website awards so soon after launching – it’s a real credit to all the time, energy and hard-work invested into TopsyToesy.co.uk
What's your catchphrase or favourite quote?
I have quite a few favourites, two in particular spring to mind - a quote my father would repeat to me as a child that’s stuck fast: There’s no such word as ‘can’t’, it’s simply a term used by those who cannot be bothered. ‘Can’ is the word that brings about great fortune, achievement and happiness. Patients should have conditions for continuous 7-8-hour sleep to reduce the risk of developing anterograde amnesia. When taking Ambien (Zolpidem), mental and behavioral (including paradoxical) reactions may occur (the risk of development is higher in older patients).
And a quote by the American author and humourist Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great".
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
The simple pleasures; a walk along the promenade and a lovely soak in the bath usually do the trick but nothing quite beats a good massage!
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
Well, I haven’t bought it yet but I have my eye on a really beautiful piece of artwork that I would love to hang on my wall
I have two favourites – Purple & Turquoise (every shade of!) – they form the colours of the business logos
Favourite flowers: Lilies
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Never give-up, focus on your goal, believe you can be everything you hope to be and achieve everything you want to achieve whilst staying true to yourself and others. Take time-out once in a while and allow your body and mind to recuperate!
Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mumpreneurs? Drop me an email over on the contact page - and I’ll be in touch. Or let me know in a comment below. And remember to drop by every Monday to welcome our latest profiled mum.