This week for my Parents in Business series I’m really excited to be featuring Caroline who created and runs A LITTLE FIND; an online source, shop, hub of small curated brands just for you, helping you to make the switch to a more sustainable lifestyle with stylish and fun products. So if you’re looking for something nice for yourself or a gift, please do have a look at A LITTLE FIND as there are some amazing (and I mean amazing) items on there.
Caroline’s journey to setting up the business is one I think a lot of us are trying to achieve after having children, and wanting to find a need to release all that trapped creative energy. One of the things that stood out for me is that with today’s technology we are constantly on the go and Caroline really tries to limit her business hours to between 9 and 5pm, allowing the rest of the time to focus on family. I also agree with her top tip of trusting your gut feel and never giving up! Carry on reading for the full story and to find out more about A LITTLE FIND….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
A LITTLE FIND launched in October 2017 with a small, curated range of brands. I’ve always had a knack for spotting products that I just knew would be covetable. It was after being asked over and over again ‘just where did you find that?’ the idea for the business really grew. Since that time, the brand portfolio and the team have steadily grown, and now we’re a team of FINDERS helping our customers to make the switch to a more sustainable lifestyle intuitive, stylish and most of all fun! Looking back I would not have dared to think that it would have grown into the modern department store that it is now, listing all these wonderful, innovative, aesthetic brands for all ages across all categories. I love to give a platform to fellow entrepreneurs who are thinking differently, and challenging the status quo to be more ethical, sustainable and innovative
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
It was really after the birth of our son that I realised that I had to create an outlet for all my creativity, energy and entrepreneurial interests. For the first time I started to get frustrated and felt a bit trapped. As much as I love being a mum and I absolutely adore my three children, I knew that I needed this very own space in order to be a more balanced and better mum. So when my boy was one, I started to think about what my next business could be. Having started a business in the past helped as I was not worried to start over again – or maybe was naive enough to do it all over again!
It was always clear that all brands and products that I choose to list on A LITTLE FIND have to be sustainable and conscious, meaning that they not only look good, that they have high efficacy and are kind to the planet, often with a charitable partnership at the core of what they do. I have three children – when I look at my family, I think, ‘what other path could I take for my business?
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
The honest answer is that I initially struggled and found it difficult to find the right balance. Technology is now omnipresent so the temptation of answering emails, taking work calls, continuing to work even though the children were home from nursery has not been easy. Over time, I learned that it is not healthy for my children, husband or myself if I stress myself over details instead of leaving them at the office and focus on spending the valuable time we have together.
As passionate as I am about what we do at A LITTLE FIND business hours are 9-5pm, before and after that I am a mum and focus on my children. Homework, dinner, chats. These working hours are true for everyone in the office. I prefer that everyone is motivated and engaged during these hours and we focus on getting things done.
As my children are now a bit older, they tell me off when they see me with my phone in hand checking emails, which they are quite right about and makes me smile. They understand what I am doing and love to come to the office, distract everyone and help with tasks. This has always been important to me as I believe that they can only understand your passion for a business if you involve them and let them be part of it.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
The wonderful emails we receive from our customers telling us how much they love what we do and particularly, the care we take. Those emails really make my day and working together with a team of talented, driven and intelligent people and that for me is a real success and joy. Our mantra is ‘people, planet, profit’ and I strongly believe that if you take care of the first two the third is very likely to happen
What are your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Don’t waste your time overthinking ‘what, how, if’ … start small and take it step by step so that you can handle it and are not overwhelmed by what is coming.
Financial motivation cannot be the driver, it needs to be a passion for what you do and want to achieve. Learn to trust your gut feeling, never give up along the way and when the time is right, look out for bright, motivated people to join you on the journey