The Mum Club Featuring Boxes Of Smiles
Boxes of Smiles has to be one of our favourite concepts for a business so far. Derived from a 'Get better box' which Sarah used to make up for her friends children when they were sick, Sarah has now turned her attention to us mums. Creating a selection of boxes that you can send out to your friends. Sure, flowers are nice but don't you find your house becomes a bit of a florist when you give birth or are under the weather?! We'd much rather receive a box of goodies to put a smile on our face. Introducing Sarah...
MY NAME IS ... Sarah (my children also call me Sarah which is a bit odd but I’m so used to it now).
MY BRAND IS… Box of Smiles ~ premium personalised gift boxes
I LIVE IN… The pretty riverside market town of Henley-on-Thames. Home to the Henley Royal Regatta when the streets are invaded by giant young men in tight shorts!
I FEEL MOST AT HOME… Sitting in the garden, which is generally full of screaming kids, catching up with friends (usually with a glass on something in my hand).
I AM A MUM AND… a wife, a qualified teacher, a former marketing account manager, a broken toy fixer, a Lego master builder, a fan of plonk and fizz and a small business owner on a mini quest to make people smile, one box at a time.
THINGS THAT KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT… random business ideas that pop into my head, the occasional anxiety about getting old and/or ill, the urge to go for a pee (damn that wine!) but the lack of energy to actually drag my sorry arse out of my warm bed to do so. I have three small children (1, 4 & 6 years) so usually one of them stirs at some point, rudely awaking me from my weird and wonderful dreams.
WHEN I GREW UP I WANTED TO BE… a punk rock hairdresser. I kid you not. I was about 8 years old and I remember thinking that would be a fun profession because I could hack and dye hair and I couldn’t really go wrong!
MY FIRST STEPS TAKEN TO START MY BRAND WHERE… signing up to a local craft market with no idea what I was going to sell. I had 6 weeks to think of a product and create it. I had made a few gift boxes for friends at that time that had received a great response so I thought of a name and bought the url. I then decided upon my ethos (to make people smile, spread a little cheer) and worked hard to establish local and UK partners. I spent a lot of time researching the gift boxing market, seeing what competitors were doing and then establishing my USP so I felt comfortable that I was offering something different.
THE HARDEST PART OF MOTHERHOOD IS… the constant stream of demands, the school run, the squabbling, the food mess and cooking, the broken sleep, the juggling of three little ones and running your own business.. hum… quite a list there!
THIS KEEPS ME SANE… booze, my friends, my husband, my children, my work, my running (not necessarily in that order).
I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT (PHYSICAL OBJECT)… my mobile, my straighteners, my concealer and my old school Filofax. I tried using my mobile’s calendar as a diary once but I couldn’t get my head around not seeing my week laid out in front of me and physically flipping ahead. I’m a very visual person so to be able to write, edit and doodle on paper works for me.
MY BIGGEST RISK… Marrying a Northern Irish farmer’s son I sometimes struggled to understand.
MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT… my marriage to my Northern Irish farmer’s son that I sometimes struggle to understand. He’s an amazing husband and father so I feel I’ve lucked out. And my children of course.
MY BEST PIECE OF ADVICE…
In life.. be kind and try not to worry what other’s think of you (they’re generally too busy anyway so just be yourself).
In work.. learn your craft, practise it and work hard. Establish good working relationships and collaborate wherever possible. It opens doors, broadens horizons and makes your brand offering more interesting.
AND LASTLY A PERSONAL ONE! I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS DIFFERENTLY IN MY LABOUR…
In my first labour, I wish I hadn’t bothered with a detailed birthing plan. It wasn’t necessary as nothing went to plan. I wish I hadn’t gone to a birthing centre because I ended up being blue lighted to hospital and my dreams of a gentle hyno-birth were shattered (I’m very much over that now but I was a bit quashed at the time). Lastly, I wish I had packed marmite to go on the all important post-labour toast.