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!

 

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

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

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

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.

Hub member interview – Kate of KC loves

interviewbanner710

Interview – Meet Kate Cummins

What is your background?

I moved to London at 22 years old, from worthing, a small seaside town, have met some amaz-ing people and had been working as a visual merchandiser for many years, I have the love of making things look pretty!

  • 2005 / 2014 – European Visual Coordinator : My previous experience working as a visual merchandiser for a global company, bringing creativity and artistic flair to deliver high standards and results. Excellent attention to detail, organised, proactive and adaptable.
  • 2012 / 2013 –  At night collage, Studied silver smithing at Kensington and Chelsea college and have qualified in a BTEC level 1 in 3d design.  3D design products – distinction / 3D design crafts processes – distinction / working to a 3D brief – distinction.
  • 2012 / 2014 – I have been hand crafting Sliver Jewellery as a hobby, making gifts for family and friends for 3 years.
  • 2014 til now – started my own business designing and making handmade silver jewellery.

Tell us about your business?

KC Loves Designs and hand crafts unique Sterling Silver Jewellery, sometimes featured with other materials such as gemstone, shell, wood and natural hemp cord. Delicate, fine, natural feel, a sense of freedom, when wearing a piece. My professional services include making bespoke Jewellery for the customer either bought for themselves or a gift.

I am inspired to make my Jewellery by the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados, the warm excited feeling of being on the island, the tranquil surroundings of the beaches, the alive blue sea, the unaffected nature and the passion of the people for life its self. My Jewellery can be adjusted to the customer’s needs, in size, materials used, texture, colour and design.

The product is unique in design, suitable to wear for every day to evening. Ideal bought for a favourite holiday piece, can be worn to complement a daywear outfit to the beach, the same piece can be worn to dress up the favourite outfit for the holiday evening out.  If you are not on holiday, wearing KC Loves make you feel you are just about to walk out onto the beach front, no matter where you are in the world. Perfect bought as a personal gift, received in a gift box and bag made to feel special, to compliment the Jewellery itself.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

From the love of being in Barbados, I was inspired to make jewellery. Me and my boyfriend regularly visit Barbados to the sun, the sea, the beauty and to see family and friends. Our dream is to one day live on the Island and I would have my own jewellery work shop built on the side of my beautiful wooden house by the sea. I have always loved wearing and buying handmade jewellery, something unique and different. I can myself only wear nonmetal materials and silver.

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

I find the most challenging thing to be the marketing side, with running your own business you have to work on all areas (no one to do it for you) keeping up with social on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

I would advice to take small steps, it’s all very well to see the dream and the bigger picture, but you would have to take small steps to make it achievable and more real. Take on all the advice you receive from people that have experience. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas, don’t be afraid to make mistakes they can always be corrected.

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

Elisicia and the petit miracles hub have been really helpful to me and my business, this is the start for me and I have learned a lot from being at the hub. Working with other entrepreneurs and sharing each others skills, amazing training, there is so much opportunity on holding events, networking, getting to know your customer, feedback and great atmosphere. The concept is amazing!

In 5 years time…

I will be more established with more and regular customers, I will be a professional at marketing my brand. kc loves will be known in the industry and will be a popular jewellery brand 😉

Connect:

https://twitter.com/kclovesjewels

https://instagram.com/kclovesjewels

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-loves/578549282184773

Shop online: http://www.shop.masato.co.uk/collections/kc-loves-jewellery

Hub member interview – Patrizia of SensiChic

interviewbanner710

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur interview
Meet Patrizia Galeota

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

Elisicia (Left) and Patrizia (right) in front of the SensiChic display at Petit Miracles Hub


What is your background?

Beauty PR for over ten years working for a number of renowned brands with the L’Oréal Group and Estée Lauder Companies.

Tell us about your business?

SensiChic is passionate about creating exquisite candles in a variety of equally stunning designs to suit every desire. All our products are made using 100% natural soy wax from renewable sources and the highest quality oils to ensure clean burning for hours. Not only is each candle hand-blended but also hand-poured in limited quantities (batches of 10) in a tiny North-West London kitchen (mine) to guarantee best care and quality.

Lifestyle NATURE LOVER

Nature Lover candle – SensiChic

There are currently two core collections:
The Classic Collection: a premium and sleek line of divinely blended scents in heavy glass tumblers with a signature base layer of coloured wax finished with a silver lid. Available in five beautiful scents: Orange & Clove, Spiced Apple & Vanilla, Honeysuckle Peach, Rose Cerise and Seasonal Cedar.

The Eclectic Collection: Fun and frivolous, these gorgeous candles with fabulous hand-drawn illustrations inspired by my passions in life (beauty, fashion and nature) with embossed lids come in three divine scents.

  • Beauty Junkie – Spearmint & Grapefruit
  • Fashion Fiend – Green Tea & Fig
  • Nature Lover – Mimosa & Mandarin

Exclusive to the Petit Miracle Hub and next to launch online is the Vintage-Style Collection: Vanilla scented wax housed in traditional English teacups and two wick breakfast cups.

A bespoke service is also available which has proven to be extremely popular for weddings, christenings and other special occasions.

Customised candles - SensiChic

Customised candles – SensiChic

Where did the idea for your business come from?

It all began in 2011 with a wedding of Southern Italian origin and trying to decide on the perfect ‘Bomboniere’. In Italian culture, it’s customary to present each household with a gift known as a ‘bomboniere’. The bomboniere is the perfect way to thank guests for taking part in a special celebration whether it’s a wedding, baptism, first holy communion or confirmation, with five sugared almonds included symbolising health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. The bride-to-be (me!) wanted something original, quintessentially English and personal for her Italian family and friends, and hit upon the idea of hand-blended, hand-poured scented candles in beautiful vintage style teacups. This immediately became a craft love affair and a dream that one day would turn into a family business.

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

The greatest challenge for me is most definitely juggling motherhood with business; trying to work around my fourteen month old son, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, he is my courage, drive and inspiration to make the brand a success.

Rose Cerise candle - SensiChic

Rose Cerise candle – SensiChic

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

My very first steps into making SensiChic a reality was trademarking the logo and name, creating the website, writing a business plan, registering SensiChic as a Limited Company and hiring an accountant… the rest just followed naturally and it will. So start small, decide who you are and where you want to be and try… try… try… and try again! It’s easier to give up when things get tough but perseverance is the key to finding your way. There is so much help, info and guidance out there, it’s a matter of finding it and tapping into it, take what you need from each experience to make your business a success. It’s a long process so a lot of patience is required.

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

The Petit Miracles Hub is such an incredible initiative that gives entrepreneurs like myself an important stepping stone into retail; there really should be more projects like this up and down the country and Elisicia’s energy and creativity is infectious; it’s hard not to get inspired when speaking to her!

In 5 years time…

I hope for SensiChic to become a recognised boutique brand known for its style, quality and attention to detail for each and every candle created. I disagree that luxury scented candles should be extortionately priced, unfortunately the ones we all aspire to having in our homes usually are – I want SensiChic to change this perception.

There are so many creative ideas in the pipeline… it’s a case of watching this space!

Find out more and follow SensiChic:

www.sensi-chic.com

facebook.com/SensiChicLimited

twitter.com/sensichic

instagram.com/sensichic

Hub member interview – Olivia of Facial Therapy

interviewbanner710

Olivia Ipsioco – Entrepreneur

What is your background?
I have more than 10 years experience in the travel industry (admin, customer services), 6 years in skin care plus 2 years in healthcare.

facialtherapy_hub2 Tell us about your business?
The Facial Therapy House started out as a hobby business late 2008 doing mobile facial treatments during the weekends for ethnic minorities in West London.  That time, we only had one set of imported products to deal with acne problems and uneven skin tones.

  • In 2009, I started sourcing a new range of products to cater to the needs of my existing customers.
  • In 2011, we introduced a new range of skin care products for Anti Ageing, Skin Lightening and Acne Control.
  • In 2013, the new EU regulation on cosmetics was introduced so we sourced a local UK manufacturer to supply and create our products.
  • In 2015, we joined the PM Hub to make our products more available to our customers.

facialtherapy_hub1 Where did the idea for your business come from?
My friend’s mother who had a facial business in Earls Court migrated back to the Philippines in 2006. Her customers were still contacting for services so I suggested to my friend if we could revive the business – I provide the service and she provide the products, which were imported from the Philippines. My friend had other commitments so she decided to hand over the sourcing of the products to myself, and this is how I began researching and sourcing skin care products based on my existing customers’ requirements, and named the range – The Facial Therapy House.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
Cash flow. Keeping a full time job to finance a business is very challenging.  As much as I would want to spend more time on the business. I have to meet with other commitments to make sure I have cash flow.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Never give up, believe you will make it one day just like many successful entrepreneurs.  There will be obstacles, and these obstacles are part of the training process – to help us become better in what we do.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
Elisicia is very supportive and enthusiastic – she keeps me going. The hub is the perfect location for me in terms of reaching out to more customers.  The hub is also a good place to share experiences and lessons with fellow entrepreneurs. We work as a team and support each other in terms of getting people in the hub and promoting each other’s products.
Shepherds Bush is one of the best locations for us because it is easily accessible by our customers based in Kensington and Chelsea, Golders Green, Kilburn, Notting Hill and some parts of South London.

In 5 years time…
We will have a good number of customers in Shepherds Bush and have other retailers sell our items in their shelves or websites.  We will continue to develop new products to keep up with new demands in the market and introduce new services.

Discover more about Facial Therapy: