Posts Tagged ‘small business’
Back in December I was unsure about Quincy Lampshades so I cast my net and looked for a paid job. I applied for a post I found via Gumtree – a small Bristol-based business was looking for a customer service assistant. I could do that, no problemo, what with my understanding of ensuring every customer’s happiness, especially when it comes to small business. The reply I received was unusual… I was rejected on the grounds that perhaps I wanted to supply lampshades to them instead! A sign? Or serendipity?
Today, after 8 months (during which time I happily decided to go full-tilt with Quincy), Belle and Boo are now proudly selling beautiful lampshades made by me.
“Welcome to the world of a bob haired little girl called Belle and her adorable bunny friend Boo – a charming world of innocence, warmth and adventure. Belle and Boo is a British lifestyle brand known for original, nostalgic ‘story book’ illustrations of children. The collection includes gift items, books, framed artworks, stationery, home wares and a beautiful collection of girls’ clothing.
Belle and Boo has universal appeal and is available in over 500 stockists worldwide. The collection is loved by grown-ups and children alike, with every treasured product designed to embody all that adults and children love about traditional, old-fashioned story telling.”
I do love a good bit of stationery, don’t you? In particular, letterpress. Swoon. Alas, no cash to splash on that but I do have some great stationery designed by Ali Slater as part of our Logo for Lampshades skill-swap…
Over the years, me and my laptop have migrated from the sofa in front of the TV to the kitchen table. When my boys were smaller, it was important that I watched them as they sat glued to Tom & Jerry cartoons, while ideas for my lampshade business buzzed through my brain. At the close of every classic episode from the 50s, the producer’s name, Fred Quimby, would roll. Oh! That sweeping, curlicue, brush-stroke ‘Q’!
I wanted that too!
So, with a little tweak, the Quincy name was born. I had to ditch my own dull attempt of a logo and find something that would shine bright with colour, just like my lampshades.
Goodness knows how it happened, but Twitter really did produce the goods by introducing me to Ali Slater (designer and self-confessed typography geek) who being local and clever and having a great portfolio was the perfect person for the job. We agreed on a skill swap – a logo for lampshades.
Ali chose three large lampshades with translucent polypropylene diffusers and a small Black Beetles table lampshade for her home – a converted warehouse with very high ceilings. They are going to look just fab!
The lovely Quincy logo performs beautifully, don’t you think? (And are skill swaps the way to go for start-up businesses?)
A Design Diva? Moi? I love being featured on other people’s blogs. The focus of this blog is chic living and being a business mum…
How can you successfully make a lampshade with a 4-year-old boy kicking around?
- Postpone interruptions with promises of ‘in a minute’ until child reaches non-stop whining point.
- Accept the disturbance and just do/give whatever child wants.
- Limit subsequent interruptions by giving them an ‘adult job’.
- Take pleasure in child’s imagination and skill.
Voila! One beautiful lampshade and one happy lampshade-maker in the, well, making.
My head has not been on the business this week. I have been daydreaming and taking it easy. So much so that I forgot to tell Lois at OurGreenRoom that I’m not available to work this coming week. And when I did? Frantic emails! One of her customers wasn’t going to get the lampshade they’d bought for their daughter as a Christmas gift. Lois was about to buy a lampshade-making kit and have a go herself! I couldn’t let her do it. So with a nasty hangover and not much sleep I drove all the way to Bradford On Avon and made a lampshade in Lois’s front room – all so that lovely lampshade could be given in time. And it felt good. Good that I didn’t try to duck out. Good that I exceeded expectations. Good that I redeemed myself. Good that I made our customers happy. It made me realise that, as a small business, you really do have to go that extra mile. (And there’s no such thing as time off.)