With influences stemming from Zimbabwean nature and the stunning wildlife that dwells within it, Claire tells us how her creativity and lifestyle has majorly expanded since starting up small business Little Berry Design Co.
She describes her business as an “ exciting new creative venture for me, but also partly in appreciation of my Dad’s amazing work.”
It was only natural that Claire followed her passion for art while setting up this business after she “studied art, design and photography and have always had a huge love for art”. Closing her childcare business meant that setting up this brand new business came along much smoother than expected.
Keeping a healthy balance is a key aspect for every business and with the combination of running a business and teaching in a local primary school she tells us “ Someone once told me that entrepreneurship is not a part-time job, or a full-time job, it’s a lifestyle. This couldn’t be more true!” Keeping an aspect of childcare in her life while incorporating her passion for art, Claire has found the right balance that works for her and is super enthusiastic about her lifestyle at the moment, and for the future too!
In business, some days are more hefty than others, especially during the busy periods. Claire mentions that she is“lucky enough to still fit this in around family time.” due to the perfect amount of flexible hours to cater to a personal life that merges evenly with a business life.
Claire’s most favourable part of the business is the flexibility of it all. “it can provide, as well as the freedom of creative expression and decision making.” she explains. With her family being of (understandably) utmost importance to Claire, the malleability of a calendar that running a business can provide proves to be perfect for her. “ It is important to me to be able to put them first. “ she says. “I feel lucky to be able to find a good balance most days.”
Claire talked to us about some challenges that come with having a small business.
“I spent a huge amount of time researching aspects that were newer to me such as the ins and outs of social media, sales and marketing. I am still learning new techniques and tips every day”.
Finding perfect materials that matched up to the high ethics and quality of Little Berry Design Co was also quite the challenge for Claire at the beginning. Nevertheless, Simplelifeco came to the rescue with earth-friendly packaging that met up to her standards of “aesthetic and eco aspiration”.
“I fell in love with their beautiful designs and variety of options and sizes available.” She explains her choice to purchase packaging from Simplelifeco “stress-free”.
Claire believes that “businesses can attract and retain like-minded customers who are reassured by their shopping habits having a more positive impact on the world.” And continues to use Simplelifeco to this day.
“I think all businesses should take responsibility for and work towards reducing waste and encouraging recycling.’ Claire shares. The decision to become more eco conscious was almost automatic for her and her business as her childhood in Zimbabwe was filled with charity work to conserve wildlife and National Park conservation.
Claire is still wonderfully connected to how she grew up and she is still working to give back to the planet through to her adulthood. She tells us about her new projects which include “Working on prints where sale proceeds will be donated to an animal conservation charity in Zimbabwe” Claire definitely sounds like she is planned out and on track with her next creative adventure for the business- Watch this space!
The kickstart from her education in art and the experience from owning her previous business has proved to align with Claire’s advice for new business owners.
“Carry out as much research as possible - preparation and the right knowledge lays a good foundation. That being said, don’t be afraid to take the leap and learn as you go – the secret to getting ahead is to get started!”
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