Monday Mumpreneur with Sarah Stone
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.
This week's featured Mumpreneur is a true inventor and problem solver who has grown a whole business around a need that presented itself. She did all this and still kept an eye on saving the planet.
Your name: Sarah Stone
Your website: www.SarahsFleeces.co.uk
Brief description: Quality fleece garments. Eco friendly. Made in England. Off the shelf or bespoke.
How many children do you have? Richard aged 8 and Leon aged 8 (yes twin boys! Non-id)
Where do you live? Hastings, England
PC or Mac?
I use a PC, love Macs but don't want to spend the money on them
Tell us about your business:
Sarah's Fleeces make quality fleece garments that keep you warm whatever the weather. All our products are made in and around Hastings, East Sussex. We're an environmentally conscious company, lowering our carbon footprint wherever possible. We chose fleece as it's partially made from recycled water bottles.
Policies such as employees working from home; using recycled goods and materials wherever possible, and helping the local economy by providing local, attainable, ethical employment for those who otherwise might find it hard to find suitable work - all contribute to our greener way of working.
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
I've always invented things, ever since I was a child, I'm an engineer/problem solver at heart. When I needed work once my boys were at school it came naturally to me to try to earn a living by being self employed. I made myself a Thermal Top out of fleece to keep myself warm whilst working on my computer at home. I was determined not to turn the heating up just for me while the family were out.
My boys then wanted their own version and wore them to school. Within the week I had mums asking for their own ones and there it started. As soon as I found out that polar fleece is partially made from recycled water bottles (and had the potential to be made 100% from them) I stuck with this material as if I was going to run my own company I wanted it to be as green as possible and to help those around me. Our town is relatively poor and there is a vast untapped resource of mums around me that could potentially sew for me and that's the direction that I've been following ever since.
What's been your biggest challenge in business?
Finding out how to do things essentially on my own.
How have you overcome it?
I've searched out people, resources and websites that have at least some of the answers. Business Link has been an excellent source of answers and there's a company in our town called "1066 Business Enterprises" and they've been a huge help and great source of advice and inspiration. I'm also very blessed with a generous and skilful family I wouldn't have got where we are today in the time that I have without them 🙂
What's been your proudest business moment?
Last year it was when I handed 99% of the sewing over to the first lady on my sewing team. This year it was when we started bulk making Welly Socks ready to go in the shops in the autumn. This has also been the most scariest moment too as it's a big time and financial outlay to bulk make in advance. You have to be very sure that you can sell that much stock to take such a big risk!
What's your catchphrase or favourite quote?
If you don't aim at anything you won't know if you've hit it
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
I play badminton, that's a great stress relief, but every day I spend time with God as I'm a Christian too and He helps me stay focused and calm.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
Some new jewellery
Favourite colour: Blue
Favourite flowers: Cornflowers (blue!)
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Before you do anything work out whether you want a big business (potential empire! 🙂 ) or a one women band. If you want a one women band then make sure that you LOVE what you do as you'll be doing it an awful lot!
If you want a potential empire make sure that you're prepared to delegate as being the boss there will come a day when you can't possibly do everything but you may have to for quite a while first. Also make sure that you are prepared to be responsible for all the parts of the job that you might otherwise prefer not to do - like banking, accounts, paper work, tax, phoning people you don't know, making big decisions, working out people to provide things like IT, marketing, graphics, web design if you can't do these things yourself. The key skills I've needed are to be proactive, organised, responsible and determined.
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.