PM Hub Entrepreneur interview – Alan of Hidden Hand

interviewbanner

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur interview

 

Alan Insua

Alan Insua

Meet Alan Insua

What is your background?

After completing a HND in Business IT at South Bank University I worked at a few jobs, mostly retail, with my last job being at John Lewis Head Office in an admin role where I worked for 8 years. While I was working there I came up with the idea to start “the Hidden Hand” and between the commutes to and from work, my lunch breaks and a few late nights after the children were in bed, I managed to start up my business.

Tell us about your business?

The Hidden Hand is a t-shirt brand that through our t-shirt designs and website aspire to give people just a peak under the veil of what the mainstream media doesn’t tell us, or doesn’t want us to know. The themes that are covered in our designs are mainly only covered in alternative media, but our aim at the Hidden Hand is to change that to where these themes become the mainstream as we feel that one of the major problems in this world is the suppression of information, and we hope to just do our little bit in trying to expose some truth.
Read more

We’re going to be on TV! Watch us on Find it Fix It Flog it

New TV Show, Elisicia, our Founder features as specialist valuer: Find it Fix It Flog it

Elisicia is a specialist valuer on this new TV show, we hope you enjoy it.

More about the show:

We  are  a  nation  of  hoarders  and  British  barns  and  sheds  are home  to  a  rich  and  forgotten  treasure  trove.  From rusty motorbikes to tarnished tea pots,  valuable medals,  stopped clocks, discarded  garden furniture and  20th century collectables, the  Find it Fix It Flog it boys  sifted  through  barn clutter, restored it then sold it for you. Read more

PM Hub Entrepreneur interview – Kat of Burnish and Black

interviewbanner

Kat (left) & Louise (right)

Kat (left) & Louise (right)

Meet Kat Nolan

We interview our latest hub members to give you the inside story behind their business. Read more about the hub here.

What is your background?

Burnish and Black was co-founded in 2012 by my best friend Louise and me. We both graduated from Middlesex University in 2012 with degrees in Jewellery Design and as we had so much in common it seemed the obvious thing for us to join forces and create a business.

BROOCH AND FELT PIECE Tell us about your business?

Burnish and Black is a contemporary jewellery brand. Re-working and re-designing existing forms is central to our design concept. Read more

Upcoming events at Petit Miracles

15136626225_b82e978dcd_z

Event name Business Name Date Time Book
Furniture upcycling workshop

UpcyclingWorkshopPoster2

Petit Miracle Interiors 1st & 2nd Saturday of each month 1 pm -4pm Tickets

Partnership project: Viridian housing

We have been working in partnership with housing association Viridian Housing to transform a communal area creating a warm and welcoming space for their residents.  Viridian residents volunteered to learn how to upcycle furniture and work with our team, over a span of 12 weeks the volunteers have been working very hard, learning restoration and upcycling techniques in our workshop.

Residents now have a lovingly refurbished communal area complete with upcycled treasures, It’s the first space to be redecorated under the new project Changing Spaces and the photos speak volumes. What do you think of the results?

Fancy having your space receive an overhaul?  Get in touch and see whats possible! info@petitmiracles.org.uk

Viridian photos

Reaching out to charities who want retail space

Our charity run project Petit Miracle Hub in Shepherds Bush, London in the West 12 shopping centre has spaces for unique products and services. We already host small businesses which sell a variety of products including clothing, shoes, jewellery, tea and more.

hub

If your charity either creates products, provides services or has quality second hand goods that they wish to sell you can share the space with other local businesses in exchange for a percentage of goods sold or monthly rental.
If you have a product or service that you would like to sell from the space you can read more about the options on our We are pop up profile, you can read more and download the membership pack or express your interest on our online form.

DSC02510

We are flexible and happy to discuss options that would be mutually beneficial. We can also offer retail work experience for beneficiaries / volunteers.

 

Contact Elisicia if you have a specific question elisicia@petitmiracles.org.uk

20060567561_2f5446c902_k   20028922496_5395ced59d_k

PM Hub Entrepreneur interview – Edith of All Thingz Nice

ATN Sickle Cell Hub Entrepreneur interview

Meet Edith Victoria

What is your background?

I studied Management of Business Information at University, which was a bore. I served nine years in total at the BBC as a Systems Administrator for the first three and a half years and then as the Freelance Co-ordinator for Post Production for the remaining time. It was during this period that I realised I wanted to do something more exciting and creative with my life, something that I was genuinely passionate about. I did an MA in Journalism which was thoroughly enjoyable and I started training to be a newsreader soon after completing the course. I left the BBC in 2009 to pursue my own interests and haven’t looked back since.

The Petit Miracles Hub, with all its stall owners and founder in attendence, in the West12 shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush opend to the public for the first time. Founder Elisicia Moore (black dress) with Dawn Newton (paterned blue dress). Photography by Fergus Burnett Accreditation required with all use - 'fergusburnett.com'

Edith’s display at Petit Miracles Hub in the West12 in Shepherd’s Bush. Photography by Fergus Burnett

Tell us about your business?

ATN Clothing specializes in beautifully designed culturally inspired diamante clothing. Inspired by pride, heritage and symbols I combine images representative of countries from around the globe with contemporary fashion trends, fusing them to create a unique clothing brand.

ATN Jewellery Collections are made up of carefully selected, exquisite pieces of jewellery. From casual outfits to glamorous cocktail dresses, there are beautiful pieces to suit every occasion. Both brands are inspired by my appreciation of glamour. I often describe ATN Clothing as casual glam and the jewellery just makes the wearer look fabulous!

Where did the idea for your business come from?

ATN United Kingdom I got the t-shirt idea at the end of 2009 from just simply wanting a t-shirt bearing my name made out of sparkly stones. That’s all it was. I am a person, who likes sparkle, luxury and customised things. I like having things that not many have or can get hold of and I am also very proud of who I am and where I am from, so I wanted clothing that reflected this. Then I thought…other people might want that too. The concept of All Thingz Nice jewellery came after years of always being drawn to large statement necklaces. An operation in 2001 to remove a growth from my chest left me with a large and in my opinion rather unsightly scar, so I started looking for fashionable and stylish ways to cover the blemish on a daily basis. Applying make up to the area was often awkward and inconvenient especially if I was wearing white or light coloured tops, so I started looking at fine jewellery and then costume jewellery, (the scar is also the reason the ATN t-shirt range is made on crew neck t-shirts). I became fascinated with gorgeous, bold, glamorous statement neck pieces and I often received compliments and I decided sourcing and selling costume jewellery could be a viable and enjoyable business.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?

Not having a consistent income, makes planning and expansion extremely challenging. Some days, weeks and months you might have decent sales. Other days, weeks and months you might not ;0( The bills are there regardless!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

ATN Jewellery You might have a great idea, but that doesn’t mean your business will take off. You need to have thick skin and be prepared for knock backs and disappointments. It is all part of the learning process. You should also look at how to keep your idea/brand/service relevant to your target audience. It is also important to know when to change direction or even stop and try something else.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?

The hub has been an excellent way to reach the public and a new customers. As a small business it is extremely hard to gain a high street presence especially in London because of the cost of rent. This platform has allowed me to see which of my products are most popular and what people are prepared to pay for certain items. This is important especially where ATN Clothing is concerned as I make the t-shirts myself and people don’t often understand the effort and time that goes into creating some of the designs I feature. This has also been a huge reality check for me – the sales speaks volumes! Having to constantly think of ways of getting people to shop has been good for identifying marketing opportunities and shopping trends.

ATN Jewellery - 'The Grecian' Gold Necklace £25 In 5 years time…

Hopefully if all goes to plan ATN Clothing should be available in leading department stores. There will be t-shirts and jumpers available for children. Vests and other t-shirt styles will be available for the summer ranges. The ATN Swimwear range will available internationally. Swarvoski crystals will be used for limited edition ranges. Knitwear (hats and scarves) will be available for the winter ranges. I would like to have a good number of wholesale contracts and I would like ATN products to be more widely at international tourist destinations. There are also charitable causes that I will be able to raise awareness (and funds!!!) through making diamante branded clothing.

20141206_163747 Connect with Edith:

www.AllThingzNice.com

Instagram
instagram.com/allthingznice/

Twitter
twitter.com/AllThingzNice

Facebook
facebook.com/AllThingzNiceATN

Upcoming events at Petit Miracles

15136626225_b82e978dcd_z

 

CharityMeetup

Make Thrift London sewing workshops

Charity Meetup

Networking event designed for people who work or want to work in the not for profit sector.

Share ideas, get involved with activities and listen to an insightful talk from LID author Simon Tyler.

Weds 9 Sept 17:30 – 21:00

(arrive anytime)

Book online

Make Thrift London

Ready to Sew

Beginner’s Sewing Workshop (full day)

Sat 22 Aug 11:00 AM

Follow a Pattern

Make a Circle Skirt (includes Goldhawk Rd tour) Sat 29 Aug 9:00 AM

Book your ticket

GamePad Veronica Rowlands

GamePad by mayamada

Get ready for real life social gaming with GamePad!, bringing together great games, music, fashion and tasty treats for a fun day out in London!

This is one for the gamers, cosplayers and anyone who enjoys their events served with a helping of J-Culture.

Saturday 17 Oct 2pm

Book tickets

Artist launch party

Veronica Rowlands our artist in residence is launching her product line.

This will be a gathering to view the artworks and products.

Free drinks provided.

Fri 18 Sept 18:30 to 21:30

(arrive anytime)

Book online

Upcycling Workshop Coffee with a copper

Furniture Upcycling Workshops

Every 1st and 2nd Saturday of the month we hold training sessions in our workshop so that you can learn how to transform a chair in an afternoon.

Sat 5 / Sat 12 Sept 13:00 – 16:00

Sat 3 / Sat 10 Oct 13:00 – 16:00

Book your ticket

Coffee with a copper

Come and have a Free cuppa with your local Dedicated Ward Officer.

This is an informal drop in session where residents can sit down with their local officer, ask questions and find out about crime in the area and get crime prevention advice.

Fri 28 Aug 12-1pm

Tue 29 Sept 12-3pm

Fri 30 Oct 12-1pm

Fri 27 Nov 3-4pm

Sat 19 Dec 12-2pm

 

Saturday afternoon furniture upcycling workshops

workshopsdouble710x270

Every first and second Saturday of the month is furniture upcycling day!

Join us at the Petit Miracle Interiors shop in the West12 shopping centre, London, Shepherds Bush, to work on an item of your choice….

Skills:

We work in a small group so the session will be tailored to your skill level and experience. In general, you will work on a small item, such as a chair, stool or side table, and you can expect the session to cover the following:

  • minor furniture repairs
  • sanding
  • painting
  • waxing / finishing furniture

When:
1-4pm on the first and second Saturday of each month.

Where:
Petit Miracle Interiors, First Floor of the West12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8PP (map)

Price:
£35 per person. This includes all tools and materials.
Please note: if you would like to purchase the item you have worked on, you will be given a discount off of the purchase price.

Sign up:
To reserve a spot, sign up at the Petit Miracle shop, first floor of the West12 centre, Shepherd’s Bush, or book via eventbrite. Any problems email info@petitmiracles.org.uk

Hub member interview – Nigel of mayamada

interviewbanner710

Hub Entrepreneur interview
Meet Nigel

mayamada-founders-nigel-lao

mayamada founders nigel (left) and lao

What is your background?

I’m an engineering graduate turned fashion entrepreneur. I did engineering at university then worked as a software developer for a few years…the obvious next step was to start my own anime inspired clothing brand. Naturally.

Tell us about your business?

mayamada is a story-based clothing brand inspired by anime and manga. We’ve created an original world of characters and produce a mix of clothing and comics based on those characters and their stories.

Our mission is to inspire and promote creativity through the brand. We do that through our characters and their stories, our events and also working with schools to get young people using their imaginations in positive ways.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

mayamada-cast It started with a group of friends wanting to make Japanese style t-shirts. The initial idea failed and the group went from five to two. It didn’t feel great at the time, but out of it came the idea for the mayamada brand so it worked out in the end.

Both myself and my co-founder Lao have been influenced by watching cartoons and anime growing up and really like the idea of creating our own characters and stories. We want to have our own brand that would allow us to do that in an original and interesting way.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?

samurai-chef-complete-edition Managing money is the obvious one! Knowing what to spend limited resources on is a constant concern for a small business.

Finances aside, the bigger challenge is knowing if you’re doing the right thing at all. When you’re in a job you have someone to tell you if what you’re doing is right or wrong most of the time.

Running your own business comes with an uncertainty as there isn’t always the same immediate feedback to let you know whether what you’re doing is the right thing or not. You don’t want to get too much wrong so it can be a daunting prospect.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

mayamada-clothing Be clear on why you are doing what you’re doing. Beyond the particulars of the product or service you’re offering it’s so important to know why you are doing any of it. The why will help you make good, long term decisions for your business and keep you going when things get tough…and things will get tough!

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?

Elisicia and the Petit Miracle Hub has given my brand a retail presence that it would not have otherwise have had in the same time.

It’s meant we’ve been able to get our product in front of potential customers on a permanent basis. I’ve also been able to get a better idea of the opportunities and challenges that come with being in retail. All this experience helps with the development of my brand and myself as an entrepreneur.

In 5 years time…

Downloads4 We’ve established all the characters (and there are a lot) and the mayamada brand world through a full collection of comics, clothing and animation too. We also have our own shop where people can visit for the full mayamada brand experience.

Connect

Facebook: /mayamada

Twitter: @mayamada

Instagram: @mayamadatees

Tag a photo of yourself wearing mayamada for 10% your next purchase online or at Petit Miracle hub.