Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Hello I am Kerry Turner, mum to two boys Jack and Henry and wife to Paul. My boys are aged 8 and 5 and we live in West Oxfordshire.
What’s your business called?
I am co-owner of Stickibox
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Stickibox makes cardboard box craft kits for children
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I co-own Stickibox with my great friend Pip. I have spent the last few years as a stay-at-home mum and my youngest child was due to start school in September 2015. At the end of 2014 during a conversation over a cup of coffee Pip and I realised that we both felt the need for a new challenge in our lives and started to think about business ideas we could start up together. Although we had many crazy ideas, it was during a play date that we struck upon an idea that would become our light bulb moment.
During this play date our children decided to convert an old cardboard box into a racing car. We loved the way they worked together to create their own vision of a car and were also having lots of fun at the same time. This was the inspiration behind Stickibox.
How did you fund your start up?
We knew that in order to fund our start up we would have to have our husbands on board. So we created a business plan and decided on an amount that we thought could fund the beginnings of Stickibox.
Our husbands could see our passion and enthusiasm for this great idea and were happy to invest in us. It was great that they had so much faith in us and our idea. This wasn’t an open chequebook though, we agreed an amount and stuck to that as our start up fund.
How do you manage working around your children?
We are lucky that are children are the same age and in the same classes at school. This gives us greater flexibility as one of us can always look after the children while the other works. We also understand each others need to be there for our children. We want to be able to do the pick up and drop off at school and to see their shows and sports matches.
We work during school hours, usually at each other’s houses. We also work in the evenings, normally catching up on social media and emails. The school holidays are always a bit more of a challenge but our children always love a play date and it usually gives us a bit of time to work.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
A typical day starts with the normal getting everyone ready for school and having breakfast. After the school run Pip and I will meet at one of our houses. We like to start the day with a coffee, catch up and plan of what we are doing that day. We then start working. Any Stickiboxes going out that day are packaged up and one of us will drop them off at the post office. Before we know it the day has flown by and its time to pick the children up from school. We will make a list of anything else that needs doing and plan what each of us will do that evening if needed.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Every step has seemed like a new challenge. Neither of us had conceived a product idea and brought it to market before, we were constantly on a learning curve. Our product had to be tested to European toy safety standards, when one component failed the tests it was a challenge for us to find an alternative at a price we could afford.
When we had our product ready for launch the new challenge we faced and are still facing is how to market it successfully. It takes a lot of hard work to get your product known in the market. We have tried lots of routes, some have worked and some haven’t. I think you just have to keep going and never give up.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
The flexibility to be able to work around my family life and the pride I have in my business and its successes. Each day is a new challenge but it is a very rewarding one.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to continue to grow the Stickibox brand awareness. We aren’t a product that people know about or are looking for so we are constantly looking for ways to get our brand and product known. We also want to increase our range of Stickiboxes products. We have lots of ideas in the pipeline for future Stickibox offerings and would love to bring them all to market.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Don’t give up. There are days when it feels tough starting your own business and you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere. Everything takes time and with the right passion, enthusiasm and perseverance you can make it work.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
At Stickibox we are passionate about supporting British manufacturing. It is important to us that all of our suppliers are manufacturing in the UK. We are proud to be able to say our products are “made in the UK”.