One of the best things about starting my own business has been discovering the wealth of help and support that's out there.
Two key people helped me out in the very early days. One was Sue Scholes from our local Business Link. She listened to my plans, made sensible suggestions and was a mine of information about the nitty gritty like Trading Standards. Regular meetings with her kept me focused and a free marketing course was the source of inspiration for my tagline ...with love sewn in. My google ranking jumped to page one after I learned the dark arts of Search Engine Optimisation at another of their free courses. They've just published an interview with me in their quarterly Business Connect magazine.
Another was Emma Jones at Enterprise Nation. I was totally intimidated by business advice books by Dragons and other city big shots. Emma's 'Spare Room Start Up' was a breath of fresh air. Down to earth & full of common sense. I read it in one sitting (a late night!), took her advice and emailed her. She kindly interviewed me and posted it on the brilliant Enterprise Nation website. It was one of my first pieces of PR and a huge confidence boost. They've just done an updated interview with me (Lissa's Story - I could do that!).
But undoubtedly the biggest source of help and support has been friends and family. Mum's become my design consultant and quality controller, my in-laws are my graphic design team, my sister-in-law put me in touch with Liberty of London and is always at hand for astute advice on pricing, my older sister taught me to take half-decent photos, my younger sister's retail eye rescued my branding and I've now lost count of all the forebearing friends who've let me use their children for modeling and fitting sessions. Suffice to say, the biggest thanks has to go to little Tilly Toadstool - my god-daughter. Without her there would be no Peak Princess.