I’m so excited to be sharing a new Behind The Biz interview with you. For those of you who’re new around here, Behind The Biz is an interview series where I discover small businesses, the people behind them and their business journey.
Today’s interview is with my friend Sophie, the founder and owner of Onetenzeroseven.
Please tell us about your business.
Hey! I’m Sophie and I make pretty things to add fun and silliness to your day with a handmade touch. I want to encourage you to be young at heart, see the world and wear your heart on your sleeve.
Where did the inspiration for Onetenzeroseven come from?
To be honest, it was born out of frustration! I had so many ideas and values and I could not put them across in any job I had. Then I discovered all the amazing supplies you can buy on Etsy.com and I poured my heart and soul into making things as a creative outlet. Who knew that was the recipe for starting your own business?! I almost try to recreate a memory into a new design and I love seeing how others relate to all these things that are actually quite personal to me.
What did you do before starting Onetenzeroseven?
I worked in retail for many years, but then I started another new business with my family designing and manufacturing Harris Tweed clothing and accessories. It was a peek into the world of handmade (the fabric was hand-woven) as well as the world of business for me.
Did you always plan to be self-employed?
I guess, in a way I did. My ultimate dream was always to be a fashion designer with my own fashion house, but the idea was to get a design degree and work my way up through working for others. I never thought I’d be where I am now and so soon… without any qualifications, haha!
What has been the biggest challenge in running your business so far?
I find the slow growth really challenging, which is inevitable for such a small business with only one employee. My head runs a million miles a minute and so reality will never, ever be able to keep up. I’m always onto the next idea and the next goal and ‘The Universe’ and I don’t agree on what is an acceptable growing pace!
What has been the highlight of your business journey to date?
I am just about to launch a brand new website and rebrand that I have designed, coded, photographed and built myself. It’s a culmination of all the skills I have learned over the years and I’m so excited to have it there in the flesh to say, “I did that.” You will be able to buy all my fun and colourful products from there as well as access life advice, follow my story and get inspiration from the places I visit around the world.
What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform?
Social media is everything to my business. I don’t have much of a budget for marketing… or anything really so I rely heavily on reaching people organically. It can also be really lonely and frustrating working for yourself at home all day alone, so the people I know on social media have become my virtual colleagues and I owe a lot to them. The community I have around me have picked me up when I’ve failed, supported and cheer-leaded me and I don’t think I could have got here without them. Twitter is my favourite from a community point of view, but I love the inspiration that pours in from Instagram and the challenge of always trying to improve my photography and styling skills.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Start now. Start yesterday! Get on social media and find like-minded people, be excited about what others are doing and find your community. It takes a lot of passion and determination and when you’re exhausted and jaded, you will have to push through the wall of getting nowhere. But the other side of that wall is an epic view of the world from a completely different perspective. Running your own business, building your own success and defining your own lifestyle is like no other feeling I can imagine. You become a warrior… a pyjama wearing, sleep-deprived warrior. Haha!!
Where do you hope to take your business in 2016?
Onetenzeroseven has grown from being a handmade jewellery shop on Etsy to being an entire lifestyle. You’re going to be able to get inspiration for your outfits, your home and your travels as well as fun pieces to brighten up the normal every day. I want to help to build a community of people who are excited to wake up every morning, love their jobs, their homes and their bodies & minds. After all this is the only life you’ve got, so it might as well be awesome!
Thank you so much to Sophie for taking the time to be involved with Behind The Biz. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the interview. I’m lucky enough to count Sophie as close friend and business confidant. It’s been a pleasure to see her business grow and evolve ever since we first met at Blognix. I’m so excited to see where the rest of 2016 takes Onetenzeroseven.
If you fancy getting involved with Behind The Biz please leave a comment below or drop me a message over on Twitter.