28 July 2014

We did an interview!

Hello everyone! We hope you are well! We are super excited as we have just done our first ever interview, and it was with Nuffnang UK! Here it is....

Hi Lynette! Hi Jim! It’s a pleasure to interview you for the Nuffnang blog today. Let’s dive straight in: Can you tell us a little bit more about you: where are you from, what did you graduate in and what has been your career path so far?
Hello, and thank you for having us! We live in Brixham, a fishing harbour in South Devon, which is full of noisy seagulls and colourful houses. The people are all really lovely and everyone knows each other – it’s like living in a cartoon!
Beautiful Brixham
I [Lynette] graduated from the University of Plymouth, with a BA (Hons) degree in illustration, and also studied fine art at the Swindon College of Art a few years ago. I run the business, doing illustrations for children’s books, murals, food packaging, poster campaigns…anything I can draw on! Jim is coming in on the business soon, with something new and very exciting (but it’s top secret!).
Graduation Day! The start of the business!
How long have you had your blog and what do you write about?
We started our blog in March this year, so we are newbies! We write about our business and what new products we have coming out, and what services we provide. We mainly use our blog to chat about what we have been up to and thoughts on different subjects, so I guess it has turned into a lifestyle blog really. We hope our blog will always make people smile.
To what extent having a blog informed your desire to start a business?
To us, having a blog was essential. As a small business we needed somewhere to showcase our work, whilst being able to meet new people and interact. We felt we needed to build a ‘human’ side of our business to build rapport and trust with our customers.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business and when/how you started it?
The business was started just over a year ago. My Granddad was a cartoonist for the mirror in the 70’s, and he was my biggest inspiration. I always told him I wanted to draw for a living like he did, and he said, ‘go on then’. So I did. The business started once I graduated from University. I got a business loan to start up my own brand of merchandise, and set up a ‘studio’ in our dining room! I advertised myself on my car, set up a social media campaign and off I went!
Our 'Flossy and Jim' car
Do you think blogging played a role in giving you the drive, tools or confidence to make that desire a reality?
We were encouraged to follow blogs whilst at University to look at how other people in the industry work. I followed about five bloggers and became really inspired by their braveness and their enthusiasm. It really gave me a kick up the bum, and I thought if they can do it, why can’t I? I love following other bloggers and seeing what everyone is up to. I’m naturally a nosey person so having an opportunity to peep into other people’s lives, to me is fascinating.
Did you seek anyone’s advice or insights before you took the plunge and what is the best piece of advice you were given?
I used to work in marketing for ‘Triumph’ underwear, and saw many businesses start in their front rooms. These businesses are now massive companies. This made me feel that everyone has to start somewhere, and why can’t I do this? My mum always taught me that if you want something, you have to go and get it. You make your own happiness – if you know something will make you happy, go for it!
Did you set a timeline or goals for launching and growing your business or has it been very organic so far?
When I started out, I gave myself a year to see how things went. A year later I feel we are just getting going and building a good client base. I now realise that a year is no time at all! The first year has been a massive learning curve!
Would you change anything you’ve done in launching or developing your business?
If I had been more confident, I wish I had started my blog from the very start of my business. I didn’t do it at the time, as I was so busy with everything else. It would have been really interesting to look back at how far we had come over a year. Our blog has become an essential part of the business now.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Not wearing pyjamas all day.
...and keeping Jim out of my pyjamas!
What is the thing you have been proudest of?
We painted a giant mural on the wall in Brixham harbour. We were commissioned by ‘I.Scream’, which is an amazing ice-cream parlour, to paint giant seagulls, a giant pigeon and an ice-cream seller with a gigantic ice-cream on the wall. You can pretty much see the mural anywhere in the harbour, and it feels amazing to have put our mark on such a special place.
How do you organise your workday and how to you keep motivated/focused to deal with your different priorities?
Two children, they are our alarm clocks! Once they are at school, we crack on with the work. The working day is broken when they return for homework, tea, chats and cuddles, then work carries on from about 7pm – 10pm.
My amazing kiddos
What are the next steps you will be focusing on to grow your business?
We have just launched our new range of baby clothing, and this has been so successful we are now designing a pet range. We hope to expand our merchandise range and stock with more retailers. We are also looking into producing an ‘Autism’ range, which will be clothing without any seams or tags and sleeves that can easily be turned from long to short sleeves and vice-versa. We are currently in talks with some manufacturers in Turkey and India about this…so watch this space!
Setting up our screenprint studio
Is there anything you can share with bloggers wanting to start their own business too?
Don’t measure success in terms of money. If you enjoy what you do and it makes you happy, you will always be successful! Just make sure you earn enough to pay the bills.
Always be happy!
Thank you for sharing your insights and experience with us Lynette and Jim! Readers, you can follow them over on TwitterFacebookPinterest, add their blog Flossy & Jim to your RSS feed and say hello at flossyandjim@mail.com!
 Thank you for having us Nuffnang UK! X