Edinburgh based, Rebecca set up Love from Indie Street, a gift voucher service for independent boutique retailers, in 2014 with the sole purpose of supporting local businesses. As well as a growing range of maps and guides for independent shopping she now also offers coaching and business surgeries for women who want to set up on their own or who need help navigating the path of being a business owner.
1. Tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to start Love from Indie Street?
I was a communications director in Financial Services. I left in 2013 to have my daughter and realised there was a whole big world out there so resigned. I have always loved working with people and helping them work through problems so Love from Indie Street allows me to do just that.
2. What has been the best moment for Love from Indie Street so far?
Being named as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK in 2015 by Small Business Saturday.
3. Have you faced any challenges since setting up Love from Indie Street and if so how did you overcome them?
Loads, and far too many to cover in five minutes! Setting up your own business is tough and the path is never completely smooth. Being done over by less than honest web developers has probably been the toughest part. If I’d had the time to learn to code then I would be able to do it it’s just not where my skill set lies! Unfortunately there are lots of people out there who will exploit this lack of knowledge and try and turn the whole web arena into a dark art. And it’s not! I am so happy that my daughter will be learn how to code at school and will never feel as helpless and frustrated as I have when dealing with these people! NB I know there are lots of brilliant web developers out there – I have just met lots of not so good ones! Key thing for working through problems as a business owner is building a support network of trusted people who can help and coach you through or just listen to you rant!
4. Can you tell us more about your women in small business surgeries?
I have been running the sessions since November 2015 and absolutely love them! I get the opportunity to meet so many wonderful female business owners and hear their stories. They come to me with a problem and then throughout a 90 minute one to one surgery we discuss, brainstorm, and identify solutions. By the end of the session all clients have a clear and achievable action plan that they implement to their businesses. There are many wonderful business coaches and mentors in Edinburgh and I am not trying to replicate their service but offer a troubleshooting session that empowers the female business owner to crack on and grow their business. The areas that we typically focus on are how to use social media, increasing brand awareness, how to engage and build a community, growing sales and routes to market, increasing sales through website activity, engaging with the press and personal blockers that are stopping growth.
5. What is the most importance piece of advice you can give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Prepare for a bumpy ride but dig deep and you can do it.
And just for fun…
6. Can you tell us something that might surprise us?
Afraid not, I keep thinking ‘I should take up an interesting hobby’ but with a three year old and a business I just never seem to find time. Sorry!
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
8. What is the best compliment you have ever received?
That I inspired someone and made them feel positive about their business again.
9. Can you tell us something you have learned in the last week?
That renovating your house is far more complicated than just moving house.
10. What is your favourite quote?
‘If you go in thinking that you’re smarter than everyone else, you won’t end up learning very much. If you go in thinking, “I’d like to understand this better,” you end up doing precisely that’. Alex Gibney Documentary Maker.