This week I’m talking to the wonderful Lucinda Robins who is not just mum to 3 children (ages 7, 5 and 3), but she has also set up and runs her blog, The London Mummy, her shop TLM Edit and her directory showcasing some wonderful small business out there with categories ranging from weddings and gifts, to childcare and holidays.
Lucinda has spoken to me about launching and growing her businesses, her top tips for other entrepreneurs and her fave items from The Lovely Edit as well as her own online store.
What did you do before starting your business?
Previously I worked in fashion PR and then practiced as a colour and style consultant, specialising in womens colour analysis. I hope to get back to this now the children are older and they won’t pull the drapes over!
What first gave you the idea to start The London Mummy?
I first started The London Mummy when my 3rd child was 6 months old. As a natural sharer of recommendations and always filling my friends inbox’s with new businesses and places, I decided to put it all in a blog rather than spamming my friends. Those that liked hearing about new ideas subscribed and those that didn’t, didn’t!
You have since developed other aspects that run alongside your blog, like your shop and directory. Did you envisage that from the start or have you just seen new opportunities along the way?
There are three quotes that really resonate with me – all by Picasso
‘I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else’ … I start on something like the blog and just have rolled with it and seen where it takes me. I don’t really pla, I just do it and see if it works.
‘Action is the foundational key to all success’ …So many people dither and want their idea to be perfect, have a business plan and backing before they launch but things will never be perfect do I say go for it and as Picasso says below – learn on the job!
‘I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it’ … I have tried loads of things that weren’t sustainable or didn’t stick, like an events and jobs page. You can’t be everything to everyone as hard as I tried!
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced with working for yourself?
The biggest challenge I have faced is actually getting people to believe what I am doing is valid and respectable. As I am one of the few of my generation to jump on the social media bandwagon and making a living out of blogging, lots of people think it’s nonsense.
I believe you have to join it as otherwise your business will get stuck in the past. One thing that has happened since I started TLM is I no longer care what people think – not sure whether that’s an age or confidence thing!
On the other hand what are the main positives that you’ve found in working for yourself?
I love that I don’t have a boss telling me what to do and setting me goals and giving me reviews. Yes, the downside is it is all on me, but I love the variety. I have to keep a lot of plates spinning and it suits my personality.
What are your top tips for someone just starting up and trying to spread the word about their new small business?
Start small and let it grow organically. Only spend your profit and don’t outlay big bucks before you have any income just incase it doesn’t work!!
Of all the social media platforms, which do you think is the best for a business like yours?
For the blog it’s Facebook as people can click directly through to your post, but for the shop it is instagram. When I post about an item I make sure I change the link in the profile to the product so people can get it to it in one click. No one has time to search!
Finally, can you pick your top 3 must have items from your own shop, TLM Edit, then your 3 must haves from our very own The Lovely Edit?
This summer, my must have items on TLM Edit are;
And from The Lovely Edit;
I love the white marble pouch – so versatile to be used for make up or at the beach or even as a clutch in the evening! The single star ear cuff is very cool. Perfect to give you a subtle bit of edge. I love all TLE’s bracelet’s – perfect for stacking. Start with this one and build on top.
A massive thank you to Lucinda for this interview, I hope you’ll all agree it was a really interesting read and great to get an insight into another really successful small business and the multi talented woman that runs it. Have a look at The London Mummy’s blog and directory (www.thelondonmummy.com), online store (www.tlmedit.com), or find her on instagram (@thelondonmummy or @tlm.edit).