#FemaleFounders

#FemaleFounders - Lola Head

Lola Head - founder, One Girl Band

Having run an online design business, LH Design, Lola saw increasing call for a supportive co-working space for solo entrepreneurs like herself, to feel a part of something bigger and to have a safe space to work. She founded ‘One Girl Band’ to provide this support as well as business advice and, on the 8th March 2017, she opened her first co-working space in Brighton, a creative and entrepreneurial hub of the South.
 

1. Who inspires you?

Any person who is going against the grain and doing their own thing; trying to make tiny changes to the world through their skills, talent and drive.

 

2. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My dog whining at me to get up, mostly! And the fact it’s a new day which means another chance to do some good.

 

3. What keeps you awake at night?

They don't keep me up as much as they used to but the usual fears that creative entrepreneurs face can sometimes cause sleepless nights; not feeling good enough; money; overwhelm. It's vital to remember that the bad parts don't last forever.

4. What’s your signature meal and who would you cook it for?

I make a mean mac and cheese - I’d cook it for all my friends, round my flat, surrounded by candles, good music and chat. That’s my happy place.

 

5. How do you manage your time?

I try and work in batch days as much as possible. Batch days are when you focus on one set of tasks, rather than flit between different ones all day. For instance, Monday’s are my admin days when I do the accounts, emails, planning and scheduling. Tuesday’s are my content creation days when I write the Weekly Letter, plan the podcast and any blog posts. Wednesdays and Thursdays are for clients (I’ll be out and about most of the day) and Fridays are for managing the Space (cleaning, checking there’s enough tea and that everything is okay etc). I always carve out time in my week to just be, too. Friday afternoons are usually when I have my personal development time — I’ll read, listen to podcasts, do some exercise. Anything that gets me away from the laptop for a certain period of time.

 

6. Best bits (s) of advice ever received?

No one is you and that is your power.

7. What is the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

The best purchase would probably be my laptop (boring answer, I know!)

 

8. What is the closest thing to magic?

All women coming together and supporting one another. There’s no feeling like it when you leave a room that was filled with amazing women doing their own thing; empowering, support and connecting with each other.

 

9. Do you have a mentor? What value do you think a mentor brings to a business?

I have a coach who saves me and my self belief on a weekly basis! Mentors/coaches/consultants bring a huge amount of value to any business. They allow you to see what you truly want to achieve, and they give you the tools and resources to make it happen. They also show you that it can be done through their own experiences and abilities. Sometimes, we just need someone to say ‘yes I know how you feel- this is what we’ll do’ and things can seem so much more manageable.

10. What unusual food combinations do you enjoy?

When I was younger, I used to love eating a McDonald’s strawberry sundae with chips as the spoon (sounds rank but it’s beautiful!).

 

11. How can female entrepreneurs further support each other?

There are lots of way to show your support for a fellow female entrepreneur but I think one of the most impactful ways is putting community over competition at the forefront; it’s about putting relationships before opportunity. By supporting over business owners rather than viewing them as competition, you’re making such a difference. You can start by sharing each other’s work on social media. Just a tweet about how you admire so and so can do wonders for their brand and for yours.

 

12. What’s something that will always be in fashion, no matter how much time passes?

Style wise - a Breton top, jeans, boots and a trench coat. Humanity wise- being compassionate and inclusive in everything you do.

 

13. What was the last thing you did that made you really proud?

Said no to an opportunity that would have paid well and pushed the brand out there, but was going against my values and vision. I was proud that I had trusted my gut and said no when it didn't feel right.

14. If you were to give advice to a fellow female entrepreneur what would it be?

You’re going to come across a lot of barriers. Some things won’t go the way you were hoping and you’ll feel like you’re not cut out for all of it. But, I promise that if you keep showing up, do the best that you can and prioritise yourself, it will all work out. Patience and persistence is key. It’s so worth it!

 

15. What does success look like to you?

Everyone has a different version of success. Your version of success is how you envision your life to be once you’ve reached the point where you can say ‘I feel successful’; what you’ll be doing; how you’ll be living. Some might want to be in their own home, doing the family life and the school drop offs, football tournaments and swimming lessons. Some might want to travel the world, be featured in every magazine, always on the telly. Some might just want to have enough money to pay the bills every month. Every single version is completely individual. There’s no wrong or right vision. We can’t compare our version of success to others because they’re going to look completely different. For me, my version of success consists of making a mark on the female entrepreneurship scene by offering spaces to female entrepreneurs and creatives that will give them a chance to create amazing businesses, grow their confidence and be surrounded by like-minded people who understand. Most importantly, it consists of me being surrounded by loved ones, being financially comfortable and being content.
 

CONTACT

Website - https://www.onegirlband.co.uk/

Social - Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

#FemaleFounders - Amy Crabtree

Amy Crabtree - owner, cakes with faces

Amy Crabtree is a UK graphic artist/designer and owner of Cakes with Faces, a brand of colourful t-shirts, clothing and gifts with cute designs inspired by Japanese kawaii which she sells online and at Comic Con events. She started her business as a hobby, and 3 years ago quit her job to become full time self-employed. She also makes videos about Japan, with over 1 million views on YouTube.

This year she was a finalist for Business Entrepreneur of the Year in the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards, and Cakes with Faces has been featured in The Guardian, BBC Radio and nominated for 4 NEO Awards (Best Specialist Company).

1. Who inspires you?

Haruka Kurebayashi – she’s an icon of Harajuku, the home of alternative fashion in Tokyo (and my favourite place to go shopping!). Her style is just so colourful and quirky – she’s bold and not afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd. I was lucky enough to meet her last summer – she’s absolutely adorable and such a lovely person. I interviewed her for a video, half in English and half in Japanese – I translated all the questions just in case, but as it turned out she understands English really well!

I think it’s great to have role models or idols and have those magical moments when you meet them – as long as you keep it in perspective, it’s really motivating,

 

2. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

When you love what you do, it’s not hard to motivate yourself. There’s always a million things I want to achieve and never enough time.

 

3. What keeps you awake at night?

There so many details to obsess over when you’re designing new products, and lots of tiny decisions to make. Introducing new products is exciting and I love designing new things – one of my missions is to bring colour to people’s everyday lives with fun designs. But it is a risk, which involves investing in a large volume of stock before you know if anyone will want to buy it! So all these little decisions are important, and it can be hard to be objective and decide what’s best.

4. What’s your signature meal and who would you cook it for?

A sushi feast! It’s a fun way to spend the evening with friends, making sushi rolls together – I’m excellent at kappamaki (cucumber rolls). When you make your own you can have as much as you want without worrying about the bill. I wrote a comic book about how to make it at home.

 

5. How do you manage your time?

Lists lists lists! Just on paper, nothing fancy. I’ve started using a proper diary this year and it really helps to plan things properly rather than keeping everything in my head. I’m not naturally an organised person so I have to force it upon myself!

 

6. Best bits (s) of advice ever received?

Before leaving my job, one of my (older) colleagues was talking about the tear-jerking opening to Pixar’s film “Up!” and the old man looking back at his childhood dreams in his adventure book. They told me: don’t leave it too late, make sure you do your adventure book.

 

7. What is the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

Best: Does my hamster count? Maybe she’s not really a purchase… Ok, my first ticket to Japan. I’d been interested in Japanese culture (design, food, fashion, music) for years and I’m so glad I went. The trip of a lifetime turned out to be the first of many. Now I make videos about Japan and travel vlogs, and my channel has had over a million views. It’s such a big inspiration to me.

Worst: When I was starting out I booked a (very expensive) booth at a trade show. I quickly discovered the event wasn’t for me and I had to sit it out for 4 long days. Sometimes you have to try things to learn and discover what’s right for you.

8. What is the closest thing to magic?

How ideas come to you from nowhere. As a designer you can talk about your inspirations and styles that influence you, but really, ideas seem to magically come to you. I don’t know where the Alpacalypse came from – I drew it one day and now it’s one of my most popular designs!

 

9. Do you have a mentor? What value do you think a mentor brings to a business?

I don’t have a mentor, but it does always help to talk things through with someone else, especially if they have an outside perspective. It’s so much easier to see the answers to other people’s problems than your own.

 

10. What unusual food combinations do you enjoy?

Toast dipped in sesame seeds (for breakfast) – try it, it’s delicious! And it’s probably a crime against food but I love pasta with gochujang, veggie hotdogs and grated cheese!

 

11. How can female entrepreneurs further support each other?

By remembering that helping others doesn’t make you less successful yourself. It’s not necessarily a competition - we can all grow together.

12. What’s something that will always be in fashion, no matter how much time passes?

Having your own original style. I really don’t pay much attention to fashion – I believe you should wear whatever you want, and whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable. (For me that’s being colourful!) If you’re never in fashion, you can’t be out of fashion, right?

 

13. What was the last thing you did that made you really proud?

You can reach all the business milestones you want, but it’s the reactions and messages from my customers that really make me proud inside. When I have a stall, sometimes they bring me gifts and pictures, and it blows me away that they’ve taken the time to do that. One of my customers told me I’m an inspiration to their daughter who loves drawing and Japan. She said, “you’re doing so much more than just running a business”.

 

14. If you were to give advice to a fellow female entrepreneur what would it be?

You have to put yourself out there. It’s not enough to make something or build a website and expect customers to come along; you have to work hard. Don’t be afraid of self promo - if you don’t promote yourself, who’s going to?

15. What does success look like to you?

Success is a goal that changes as you go along. If you’re ambitious, you’ll always want to be more than you are, and it might never feel like you’ve got there. I really like Johnny Cupcakes’ quote: “Real success is being happy doing what you love.”

 

16. How has social media helped your business?

My followers are amazing and I feel like I have a real community on social media. Recently some of my designs were stolen, and the response from my followers was incredible – I really feel their support.  As my business is online, chatting on social media makes it less one-sided and helps me connect with them, wherever they are in the world. It’s also a way of showing some personality and sharing what Cakes with Faces is all about.
 

CONTACT

Website - www.cakeswithfaces.co.uk

Social - Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube