Please tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
We are two cousins Alice and Mary, who started The 6 Essentials after our own pregnancies left us feeling overwhelmed and hormonal! We wanted a premium gift box with a collection of products that genuinely met our needs as pregnant women and new mums, but there was nothing suitable out there, so we decided to take the jump and develop something ourselves! We were passionate that our gift boxes contain quality products that were natural or organic wherever possible, and full size. At a time when kind well-wishers are gifting you presents for your new baby, we keep the focus on mum who did all the hard work, with products just for her. Whether you found pregnancy easy or difficult, there’s no doubting that women deserve to be pampered during those long 9 months and after birth!
How did you manage getting a new business off the ground as well as both being Mammas?
At the time that we launched last year we had a nearly 2 year old and a 5 month old between us, so it’s safe to say we had our hands full! We certainly underestimated the amount of dedicated time we would need to spend on the business – if we didn’t drive things forward, no one else would. It’ll probably always be a juggle, but with regular days at nursery and with grandparents, we’ve recently found a solid routine and better balance between working and motherhood. There are still plenty of late nights (but what mum isn’t used to them?!) and some weekend work, but when you’re doing something you really believe in and love, it’s time well spent!
How do you overcome those tricky days with the kids when you’ve got deadlines to meet? It must be so hard!
It can be a challenge when things crop up and our little people are around too, but that’s part and parcel of working for yourself. Like a lot of mums, in those situations we’ll have to rely on snacks and a favourite tv show to buy us a bit of time. We’re lucky that there are two of us working on the business, as invariably one of us is able to deal with work emergencies when the other isn’t. There are certainly a lot of benefits to being able to share the load, and as we’re family we find it easy to be honest with each other about what we do and don’t have the capacity for at that moment in time.
What advice and tips would you give to our readers considering setting up a new venture?
- Research, research, research! Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding your market – from your competitors and what they’re getting right (and wrong!), to your customer and their lifestyle and budget.
- Make sure your business or product has a USP (unique selling point!) and shout about it. You need to know what makes you different from another similar company, because if you and others are all doing the same then it makes it hard to differentiate as a customer.
- Be yourself and believe in your product. Being genuine and passionate about your business will come across in everything you do – plus we imagine it’s pretty tricky to promote something you don’t totally love!
- Cost your vision. Make sure you keep a track of expenditure and project what it will cost you to make/ develop your product so you don’t get caught out. Depending on your business it’s likely you will have to invest a lot in the beginning and you need to know that the return is going to be worth your while.
- Work with someone if you can. Starting a business on your own can be a huge pressure and we are lucky to share the burden of that with each other. Having someone working with you that is as invested in the business as you are and to bounce ideas off is invaluable!
If you have an idea, go for it! Understand that it takes time. Starting a business is seriously hard work but when someone makes an order or gives us feedback about how much they’ve loved a gift box from us we are so grateful and it makes it all worthwhile!
Alice and Mary xx
Thanks ladies, we think you’ve done an incredible job and have a brilliant business! As a little gift from the girls to you, our lovely readers, they’d like to offer you 10% off one of their beautiful boxes. All you need to do is enter MAMMAS10 at the checkout to receive it. Happy shopping!