Marvellous Mum Lena Britnell turned her hobby and passion for jewellery design into a business and set up personally pearl. Creating bespoke, handmade pieces, Lena’s business idea has grown through word of mouth to becoming a successful venture.
Family members: Olly (Husband) and Harry (son – 20 months)
Sum up your business in a sentence:
Bespoke handmade jewellery to suit you.
What did you do before starting up your business?
I was a management consultant and business analyst but that seems like a lifetime ago!
When did you start your business and why?
personally pearl was born in 2010 as I wanted to turn my hobby into a business and try to get as much out of work as I put in. I have always loved colour but never been any good at art. Now that jewellery design is my passion and job I find I can draw, design and make things that I and others like. When orders for my handmade accessories grew by word of mouth beyond my immediate circle of friends and family I knew I had hit on a business idea – working with my customers to design their own jewellery whilst keeping it affordable, unique and bespoke.
The best part of your day / running your own business?
Meeting other like-minded mumpreneurs. Bucks Belles is a collective of local small businesses set up by some of us based in the Chiltern area. Apart from me, our founding members specialise in beauty, hair, make up products and greeting cards & stationery. We organise pamper and shopping evenings that not only offer a great selection of beauty treatments and gifts, but also help to support a local charity via our raffles. Our next event is in on 18th March in Amersham in time for Mother’s Day – check out www.bucksbelles.wordpress.com or find them on Facebook for more details.
And the worst?
Sometimes it’s not the most sociable lifestyle –you often have to look for opportunities to connect with the outside world rather than have colleagues at the ready to cheer (or wind) you up. That’s why teaming up with other business owners in collectives like Bucks Belles work so well for mums like me.
How do you juggle running a business and family life?
I don’t! I am repeatedly dropping all my juggling balls. I am lucky to have a very supportive husband who understands the way I tick and what drives me and enables me to be a good wife and mother. Together we continually reassess our priorities to ensure running the business is meeting our aims for our family.
What challenges have you faced?
2012 was a difficult year for us. I had a traumatic pregnancy suffering from severe condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) causing chronic pain. It is true to say at times I did not believe that I would come out of the end in one piece and I had zero confidence that I could manage motherhood. Time and a supportive family are wonderful things and unbelievably I have managed to become a working mum. For support, information and help with SPD during pregnancy check out www.pelvicpartnership.org.uk.
Your biggest success?
Being featured in Vogue Magazine’s Beautifully Bespoke feature. Oh and of course the birth of my son, both were the only saving graces of 2012!
What business tip/advice would you offer new mumpreneurs?
Three tips 1- there is never a right time to start your business, 2- periodically reassess your aims for the business with someone you trust 3 – find some like-minded mums to build a network, many mumpreneurs that I have met have similar goals and like we have with Bucks Belles can discover synergies in their businesses.
Having my fingers in many pies! I love doing a bit of everything in my business – designing, making, web design, marketing, advertising, accounting. I can see myself setting up new related ventures in the future.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Strong – London Grammar and Heroine – Lorde which make a change from my usual Glee playlist
Your simple pleasure?
A cup of tea and a biscuit (or two…)
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass
Tell us a joke?
What’s the difference between a pigeon?