Parents in Business featuring Box of Hugs London

Parents in Business featuring Box of Hugs

This week for my Parents in Business series I’m absolutely delighted to be featuring Box of Hugs created and set-up by three sisters, after their mum was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumour, and I am pleased to say that she has pulled through. 

The purpose of Box of Hugs is to be able to send thoughtful gifts to people when you can’t be there with them. Here Anna, Sophie and Lucy share their business story telling us how they have set-up the business, how they make it work around their families, and how they all manage to work together too! They also share with us some useful business tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business. Do have a read, it’s a fab business story to kick-off my series in 2020…..

Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?

Well, firstly there’s three of us. Anna, Sophie and Lucy. We’re sisters who started our careers in different industries. Anna was at Laura Ashley in ecommerce, Sophie was at Trip Advisor in marketing and Lucy was at BGL Group in the commercial team.

We all have an entrepreneurial spirit in us. Before going into business together, we used to always chat about our ambitions and money-making ideas.

A few years ago our mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a huge shock to all of us. We spent a lot of time together during mum’s treatment. One thing we chatted about during this time was how difficult it was to find something appropriate to send to mum. We sadly couldn’t always be by her side. We all live in different parts of the country.

Our mum thankfully pulled through. Mum’s illness made us all rethink our own lives. Setting up a business together was always a dream. So, we made our dream a reality and launched Box of Hugs London. 

Mum was definitely the inspiration behind our business. Not only did her illness help us see a gap in the gifting market. But, it made us remember the surprise boxed packages she sent to us when we were under the weather too. 

Our aim with Box of Hugs London is to provide people with thoughtful gifts you can send in the post when you can’t be by their side. Whether you want to say happy birthday, happy Mother’s Day, congratulations, get well soon or simply “I’m thinking of you” we’ve created a Box of Hugs for every occasion.

Parents In Business featuring Box of Hugs

What were your motivations for setting up your business?

Our mum’s recovery was a big motivator. Life is too short. 

All three of us are also mums. Almost losing ours made us see even more how time with your family is so precious. None of us had a great work/family balance. We hoped Box of Hugs would give us the freedom to make money doing something we loved, while still being able to be there for our children. And, we’re thrilled to say it has.

We find working together in a family business extremely motivating. We’re all in it together. Not just us sisters, but our two other sisters, mum, dad and our husbands. Everyone gives their opinion and supports us in some way.

It’s also important for us to show our children they can be anything they want to be. We hope in time we’ll be able to share our business learnings and entrepreneurial spirit with them.

Parents In Business featuring Box of HugsParents In Business featuring Box of Hugs

How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?

We’re all still trying to get the perfect balance. We realise this is a common theme with working parents. We rely on support from childcare, our partners and our family to make things work. However, some days we do just wing it!
 
When time is limited we do find you get more done. You have to be strict with your daily goals. Every morning we write a to-do list for the day. Let’s say we make sure we use our ‘child-free’ time wisely. Once this time is up we’ll be on the school run, cooking dinner or juggling the bath and bedtime routine. There’s no room for business to be done amongst all of that!
 
Using time-saving technology and apps helps to run Box of Hugs on the go too. We have apps to manage our advertising, social media and email campaigns. We’ve also been using Slack. It’s fantastic for organising conversations about different areas of the business. 
 
We also make sure we try to turn off our laptops and phones when the children are home. However, it’s easier said than done. When it’s your own business that you care passionately about it can be hard to completely switch off – it’s never far from your mind. Some days are a constant juggle but we feel very lucky to be at home for our children and run our own business.
 
Parents In Business featuring Box of Hugs
 

What are your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?

Find something that’s different and go for it. It can be scary, but the more time you think about it the more time you’re giving someone else to launch your business idea.
 
Don’t worry about everything being perfect. It’s all about baby steps. The beauty of having a start-up business is you’re agile enough to make changes as you go. Launch with what you think is right and then review the results. If something doesn’t work, don’t worry. Learn from your mistakes and make amends. Every business has to start somewhere. 
 
Finally, be prepared to learn new skills. Invest in courses, listen to podcasts and attend networking events. All of these things have been invaluable to us. 
 
Box of Hugs London launched two Jane’s Brain Boxes (Jane is their mum) in partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity, Gardeners Delight Hug in a Box £40.50 and Me Time Box of Hugs £41.50. Box of Hugs London will donate £2 to The Brain Tumour Charity for every Jane’s Brain Box sold.
 
Thank you so much  for being part of my series, it has been an absolute pleasure to feature you on my blog.
 
You can view the full Box of Hugs London collection on the website, and find out more about Box of Hugs by visiting the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest 
 
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: thepramshedblog@gmail.com. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Mini Mealtimes, Hannah Rowe Consulting and  Little Sleep Stars.
 
Claire x

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