In our new Spotlight on Small blog series, we are counting down to Small Business Saturday by going behind the scenes at brilliant small businesses. This week it’s fellow West London business Rosy Rosie.
This week we’re shining the spotlight on Rosy Rosie, a fellow small business that creates gifts with a conscience – ‘good stuff with good stories’. Ethically sourced, handmade, or fair trade; all products must adhere to the ‘Rosy Rosie’ criteria established by the lovely Rowena, who started with homemade soy wax candles and now has a large range of inspiring products!
What inspired you to start your business?
A constant need for presents and gifts! As a parent, multiple Godparent and someone whose friends seemed to have lots of children, I was always on the look out for fun, good quality and cost effective presents that were just a ‘bit different.’
I was already making my own handmade scented soy wax candles – inspired by a desire to have ‘Luxury Brand’ candles at err ‘Not Luxury Brand Prices’. I met lots of talented designer/makers at the sales events I was attending -many of whom created beautiful and covetable things, but who needed someone to sell for them. I also started attending various trade fairs where I met vibrant British companies who were making ethical commitments within their businesses in terms of fair trade and use of sustainable materials.
The light bulb moment came when I realised that you can have fun, fabulous products that also have a decent ethical and sustainable provenance – so that might be that they are either handmade, made from sustainable materials, made here in the UK or made within community/fair trade projects. Now all our suppliers have to fulfil this ‘Rosy Rosie’ criteria.
What do you love most about what you do?
Aside from finally having a good stock of presents close at hand?! It would be the people I meet and work with. First of all my lovely customers who are invariably charming and like a chat as much as me! But just as important are my suppliers – the other small businesses with whom I work – and inspiringly, are mostly women. They are all hugely supportive, talented entrepreneurs; busy getting on with juggling family, life and running a successful business with a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude. I find spending time with them exciting and they inspire me to emulate them.
Tell us about a typical working day
There is no such thing as a typical day – like many small business owners I have many hats – production, sales, finance, marketing, logistics – and in any day I might be involved in a complicated ‘hat shuffle’ of all of them. Clearly there are focused single activity days such as an Event Day when I am concentrating on the Rosy Rosie stall, others where I am making candles, but most days my endless ‘To Do’ list is subdivided into ‘Urgent’ and ‘Important’ to help me prioritise what I have to do and what I need to do to keep the business moving forward.
What are your best selling products?
It can depend on the time of year. So for example at the end of term, Mothers Day and in the run up to Christmas, my candles are brilliant sellers as they make great Teacher, Secret Santa, Stocking and Thank You gifts. Otherwise, gifts for newborns such as organic rompers, muslins and crochet rattles are good sellers all year and I have a fabulous range of recycled plastic toys suitable for the bath, mud and sand and another range of fabric interactive play bags and books both of which seem to be universally popular all year round.
What are you doing for Small Business Saturday?
I am so excited about Small Business Saturday – not just because I am a small business myself but because many of my suppliers are vibrant and talented small businesses and it is a great opportunity to celebrate each other and encourage customers to discover something new and exciting. Specifically, the Rosy Rosie stall will be out and about but in addition, online, we will be offering 15% discount on everything – just use the code Fabsmall15 at the checkout on www.rosyrosie.com