For your 100% Egyptian Cotton needs – Sabani Linens

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur Interview

Meet Alena from Sabani Linens

What is your background?
I used to work as a GP in the UK for about ten years before I decided to retire from the profession because of my children. Once they were more grown up, I decided to start my own business with my son. He was keen to start our own business supplying bed linen.

Tell us about your business?
Our products are mainly Egyptian cotton bed linen and the other product is Egyptian Stonewashed Linen which has become a very fashionable item these days! We always introduce new colours. We have three ranges of Egyptian Cotton at the moment. Two of the 400 Thread Count Satin Finish which is very soft and silky and the other is the 180 Thread count Percale which has more of a crisp finish. They are all embroidered with double lines of different colours to suit every style!

Where did the idea for your business come from?
The reason why we decided to start a bed linen business is actually because my husband, who is Egyptian, has been in the Egyptian Cotton business for decades and his father before him so we felt it made sense to use his contacts.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
For us, the most challenging is to get my supplier to agree with the relative small quantities we order from them. They are used to working with major retailers and it is only because of personal contacts that they agree to supply us with much smaller quantities.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Certainly to not be easily discouraged because it is not easy to start from scratch! To have a very good knowledge of your chosen area of business is key. Another thing, is to have a good business plan in order for you to know where you want to be in a few years time. Don’t spend too much money initially. Don’t overspend.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
The Hub has definitely helped to improve my credibility. Other than selling online on website and a little on amazon, I make most my sales through Portobello Market. Customers love that I have a shop now where they can go and see the products with their own eyes.

In 5 years time…
In five years time, as much as I enjoy doing Portobello Market, I would love to be able to stop doing that. It is one of my main revenue streams at the moment but it would be nice not to have to rely on the market. I want to be established in a shop or hope our website will become more successful than it is at the moment.

Check out the full range here

A Vegan Delight – Maxine Cooks

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur Interview

Meet Maxine from Maxine Cooks

What is your background?
I have always been a vegetarian cook. I started off working as a KP in Portobello Road Market and I just worked my way up. I have also worked for Planet Organic and helped to open up their kitchens. After that, I went on maternity leave and I have now started my own business!

Tell us about your business?
I started my business about two years ago in November 2015. I run a vegetarian catering business called Maxine Cooks. I try to do most of my food that is free from. That’s basically free from eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar. It is good for everyone and anyone. I value the fact that my food is nutritious, delicious and healthy. I care a lot about leading a healthy lifestyle and I try to put this message across to my customers because it is really important to have a healthy lifestyle now while you’re young so that you won’t feel those aches and pains when your older.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
Well, I have always wanted to do something like this. After I finished my maternity leave, I had a little think about what I could do next. I didn’t really want to go back to my old job so I thought well, it was time for me to start my own business so here I am!

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
Being organised and having a clear head is key if you work in a kitchen by yourself. But I would say the most challenging thing, for me, is the marketing side of things. Being a start up business and having limited experience with marketing. Because you are new, people are basically going to take a chance on you compared with the other competitors that are out there already. That is the thing that is quite frightening. To get out there and do that and prove that to others.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give to other entrepreneurs is that before you go in their and start your own business. Research, research, research, whatever it is that you want to do, go out there and check out your competitors and check out if it is something that is needed and is what people want and see how others are doing it and how you can do it better. Why would people want to come to you over someone else? That is the question you need to ask yourself.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
They are very friendly and warm. The team have lots of great ideas and really want to help you out with your business. They send out emails and suggest links for you to check out. This is extremely useful as they sometimes think of things that you would not have thought about otherwise. The one day seminars they offer are also really good to go on!

In 5 years time…
I want to be set with my own cafes dotted around the place – everywhere across London. And a couple in Nottingham because that’s where I am from!

To find out more information about Maxine Cooks, please visit www.maxinecooks.com or go visit the Old Laundry Yard @ Shepherd’s Bush Market where you can Maxine Cooks every day Mon-Sat 9-6!

A Good Soap Opera – Interview with Entrepreneur Morokot Daniels

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur Interview

Meet Morokot Daniels

What is your background?

I used to own a company called via front which supplied and designed promotional products for other companies. I was working together with my sister in this business but I left last year. Since, I have started my own and very different business – Assisted by Nature.

Tell us about your business?

Assisted by Nature supplies natural soaps and candles made from exotic fruits and flowers from Thailand – my homeland.  The designs are unique and different. What’s more, they smell delicious – you almost want to eat them!

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I was actually on holiday in Thailand visiting my family. I knew that parts of my family were  involved in the manufacturing and distribution of soaps and candles of this kind but as I already had enough on my plate, it never crossed my mind to join them. This all changed when I decided to walk away from my other business. This is when I started Assisted by Nature.

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

The most challenging thing so far has been to grow my customer network and to make sure they keep coming back for more! I also want to increase my brand awareness but I need to improve my social media skills for this!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Be unique and do something different! Most importantly enjoy what you do and  I believe that this is when the customers will follow.

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

It has been really fantastic! They have been a big help and I have learnt a lot. Petit Miracles has the expertise to help me become successful. They advise me on brand awareness, pricing, sales forecasting, targeting. I love the community in the Hub. There is always such a buzz and all the entrepreneurs here teach and learn from one another.

In 5 years time…

In five years time I want to be on the moon! Just kidding, I just want to carry on what I am doing and succeed. I want to expand my range of products and be more adventurous!

 

Humans of Petit – Elise

What made you want to volunteer?

Elise I volunteered because after my University degree in Furniture and Product Design I found it very hard to get any replies from furniture design jobs due to the fact all the designing is now done via CAD. I was traditionally trained which is why I chose the course in the first place, I drew by hand and made by hand. This lead me to volunteer and Petit Miracles I needed some form of furniture creation to keep me using my hands.

How would you describe Petit Miracle Interiors?

Petit Miracles is a really nice place to be, the shop and workshop are bright and clean, everyone who works there is really friendly and helpful. The environment is relaxed which means cracking on with some upcycling is very therapeutic and enjoyable.

Have you developed new skills whilst volunteering?

I have learnt how to look at old furniture in a different way before I would chop it up and use the wood to make something new, but it has taught me to appreciate the original design, even when it is not my taste.

Read more

Upcycling in W12 with Petit Miracles – An inspired Mother’s day present – Guest Blog

In the days before the word upcycling had been dreamt of, I was hard at work with a paintbrush, slapping the wrong paint onto unprepared surfaces, covering walls and furniture with wonkily aligned stencilling and generally making everyone wish I’d just left things alone.

This is what my son Ben was channelling when he booked me into an upcycling workshop. He got the idea past my creative sensitivities by saying it was a belated Mother’s Day treat.

Arriving for the workshop

And so we turned up for one of the Saturday workshops at the Petit Miracles hub in Shepherds Bush’s W12 Shopping Centre. Our little group had grown to four with daughter Georgina and Ben’s girlfriend Kirsty, also keen to release their hidden upcycler.  Read more

Humans of Petit: Junior

My name is Junior, I live in Victoria and I have been volunteering at Petit Miracles for almost 2 years. I initially came to Petit on a work experience placement. I enjoyed it a lot; I met new friends, learned new skills and really enjoyed the work I was doing and skills learned. After the placement finished, I decided to stay on as a volunteer to continue my learning and develop myself and the skills I had gained. I have learned many different aspects of the workshop, from the correct use of hand tools and the traditional methods used, to learning how to use rotary saws such as the mitre saw and electric sanding machines.

Read more

Humans of Petit: Federico

My name is Federico and I am from a town just outside of Rome. I recently completed a degree in Furniture Design. The qualification involved all the stages from initial concept of a piece, right through to creation. I was offered to come to England on a 6 month internship through my college and was placed at Petit Miracles.

Here, I have learned more about commercialisation in the furniture industry but also have had the chance to learn and use different materials I had never used before; different types of paint, finishes, oils and stains. On top of all of this, I am also slowly improving my English!

Read more

Humans of Petit: Abdul

Abdul is currently on a 6-month placement with Petit Miracles. Originally from Italy, Abdul studied furniture design with a specialized focus on construction. After 5 years studying he has decided to throw himself, not only into a working environment but also into another country, test what he has learnt.

Within a short period of time he has developed an understanding of customer needs, standards, the demands and deadlines associated with the industry.

Read more

Humans of Petit: Kate Moore

Kate Moore – General Manager

I have always been interested in furniture and loved being creative but never really had the confidence to pursue it as a career. I saw an advert for an apprentice position at Petit Miracles and the rest is history! I am now general manager, my role includes Upholstery for the shop and bespoke orders, helping customers with their queries, making sure the shop looks beautiful and whenever I can I will be in the workshop!

Petit Miracles has given me confidence in myself and abilities and helped me grow as a person. I love working here because it’s a really creative environment, we have a great group of staff and volunteers and every day is different! My favourite piece of furniture so far has to be ‘Hattie’, a multi-media chest of drawers, one of the first pieces I worked on.

Read more

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