Amanda White talks about taking her hobby from the Kitchen table to John Lewis and her business journey so far…
Tell us about your business that you took as a hobby from the kitchen table to John Lewis? e.g. when did you start, is it service or product based, who do you serve and why, is it online, or a local business, or both?
I am a gift wrapper and my business is called Gift Frippery. It tends to be a fairly local business (but not always). I offer workshops and demonstrations and more recently a gift wrapping service. I can wrap gifts for people but increasingly, I’m wrapping business gifts, customer appreciation gifts and helping people present their gift vouchers in a beautiful way.
Tell us when and why you started your own business? What was going on for you at the time?
About 7 or 8 years ago when my youngest was off to art college I suddenly decided to up my game and make my hobby into my business. I wanted to be working flexibly but with a passion for what I did.
How did you initially get your business noticed? What were the first few steps you took to put yourself out there?
I referred to it as my business! I got a name for my business and Gift Frippery was born with £100 and my kitchen table! First of all I approached the Adult Education Service who thought it would be a great workshop. I also tried a networking group. The first one was not a good fit for me and it put me off networking for a couple of years. Then I decided to give another smaller one a go and I loved it. It’s very supportive and it’s been really good for spreading the word about Gift Frippery.
What is the main social media platform you focus on to market your business?
I really think Instagram is the best for me as my business is very visual and I’m embracing Stories on there too. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn
How do you market your business?
I guess I market it on social media and try and make the posts relevant to the group. I used to be a ‘lazy liker’ and just like things rather than comment! I’m trying to be a lot better now at commenting and in my posts trying to shine a light on other people too.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The flexibility is fantastic. My husband travels a lot abroad for his business and if I know in advance and fancy a trip I have that option. I love that each day is different. I may spend one day doing wrapping literally all day but the next day I could have a couple of meetings with people who want me to come up with ideas for presenting their product as. You can imagine September til Christmas is hectic but I know January will be quiet so now I enjoy that quiet rather than feel anxious about it.
What is the worst thing about running your own business?
The worst thing for me is everything technical. So, I’ve learnt it gradually and my son does some for me too. I have taken my business from the kitchen table to John Lewis but I had to do a lot of work for them. I had to jump through hoops to do the necessary paperwork to be paid but my son helped with that!
What has been the biggest challenge so far in your business journey and how did you overcome it?
I guess the biggest challenge, as for many people, is finding the new work. I’ve also learnt to say ‘no’ when people are asking me to do things I really don’t want too. Like fly to Amsterdam and wrap in a shop but it’s this Friday!!! I don’t need that!
What are your go to tips, tools or techniques to overcome the tough days? i.e what keeps you motivated!
I need to go for a long walk, fresh air and countryside, and an art museum. All those things would motivate me and get the ideas flowing. The best thing though, is travel and absorbing the culture and colour of different places.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?
The biggest lesson so far is knowing I can. So YES to radio interviews, television and standing up in front of a few hundred people to demonstrate etc
What’s your favourite way to consume content; video, audio or reading?
I love reading or watching videos. I loose concentration if I’m just listening.
How do you make sure you achieve your weekly, monthly and quarterly goals and actions? i.e. do you use asana, have a coach, accountability buddy etc.
Through the networking group I attend I sometimes have an accountability buddy. I don’t always find it works though.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
This time next year I hope to have a lot more businesses I’m creating packaging for. I hope to have more small workshops at home (family/ friends in groups of 4) and I’d love to have a few hotels on my books who use me to wrap their table gifts at Valentines/ mother’s day/ Christmas etc
I’m Amanda, I’m a gift wrapper and my business is Gift Frippery. I’m totally passionate about what I do. It might be teaching gift wrapping workshops where you can learn those extra special touches. Or, it might be me helping you to make your gift vouchers or products look extra special so your business stands out from the crowd.
Web: Gift Frippery
Twitter: Gift Frippery
Facebook: Gift Frippery