Today, we are interviewing Melanie Perkins. She is a successful entrepreneur and a working mom based out of United Kingdom. She owns Caboodle Textiles and will be sharing with us about her wonderful journey of success. Lets delve into this inspiring journey:
1. How did you get into entrepreneurship? Please share your journey with us.
Before having my son I used to work backstage in the theater touring around the country and always working away from home. After my son was born I realized I could never go back to that life. Having always worked on short term self employed contracts however meant that I wasn’t afraid to tackle new challenges.
2. What were the challenges you faced as a Working mom?
Trying to find balance between the needs of your family, your business and yourself is a constant juggle. The hardest thing has been switching off from one role and focusing on another part of my life without guilt. I am very lucky that my husband has come on board as partner in the business as we have grown and so we can share that balance between us.
3. Would you like to give any tips to other working moms to be successful?
Be honest with those around you when you need a quiet hour to do paperwork, or when you need to put down the work and take a family day to find the re-balance. If you try to be wonder woman in all roles all the time then something will go wrong sooner or later.
4. Who are your role models?
My Mum modeled to me the drive and the determination to give something your all and making it your passion as well as your job. She also showed me that when you need to you can close a door on one part of your life and be brave enough to find a new path to happiness.
5. Did you read any books that inspired or motivated you in your journey?
I don’t read business books. I find that talking to my customers and chatting to people in the real world gives you much better insight into the next steps your business needs to take. It is just that I prefer to keep my reading for novels.
6. Please tell us about your company Caboodle Textiles.
Caboodle Textiles is an online fabric retail business selling cut length fabrics with a focus on children’s clothing fabrics, particularly cotton jersey. It is a family run partnership selling fabric to individuals and small to medium sized kids clothing makers via our Website www.caboodletextiles.co.uk. We focus on Baby and Children’s clothing fabrics and fabrics suitable for children’s wear accessories.
7. What’s your most memorable experience as an entrepreneur?
The moment we realized that our small business had grown to the extent that it could support our family. When we became a partnership it was a really proud moment
8. Are you using any online marketing strategies for your company?
Our marketing strategies are constantly evolving with feedback from our customers. We assess how things are going week by week and tweak as we go along.
9. How are you using different social media channels to market your company?
Caboodle Textiles can be found on all the major social media platforms but we have a strong focus on Facebook using our group Caboodle Textiles – pre Order Fabric and Sewing Support to build a community with our customers so they can chat to each other and share tips and advice.
Our latest venture is the Caboodle Textiles YouTube channel where we are building up a range of videos our customers can use as reference for sewing help and fabric advice.
10. You are using WordPress for your website? Why did you go for this platform?
I took the advice of my administration assistant Ana Wilson at Virtual Bird who built my website. We had already built a WordPress website together for my Children’s clothing business and so this time we knew that WordPress could do what I wanted but that I could also grow the website over time as I needed it to evolve to take on more complicated sales structures.
I am very happy with the way I can manage my website through WordPress. I am also happy about how Ana can edit coding behind the scenes when required to get things looking exactly as I have in my head.
11. Looking back, what’s one thing you would do differently?
I would have learnt to delegate earlier. With time, I hired staff so that I could delegate tasks to them. I now have an accountant and a book keeper. Both of them are really important for keeping my VAT and partnership accounts organized. But I struggled for a long time without them in the early days trying to do it all myself. I really recommend other entrepreneurs to be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses. Delegate the jobs you don’t need to do so you have the time and head space to focus on the parts that only you can do.
12. Would you like to share any success secrets that helped you in your journey?
If I talk about sharing Success Secrets, I believe that every journey is an individual one when starting out as an entrepreneur but running a business is not a solo activity even when self employed. Don’t overload yourself. Share the load because getting stuck inside your own head can sometimes take you down a road you didn’t mean to be on.
It is important to have someone to whom you can bounce off ideas. It can really help you clarify which of those ideas should be left on the shelf and which should be driven forward.
That was indeed inspiring. We at Bitgog are grateful to Melanie for taking time out of busy schedule and giving us this interview. If you liked the interview, please do share it with your friends because they also might get inspired!