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At home: The many hats of a founder



Not so long ago, I was browsing through The Female Lead looking for some inspiration and even the gumption to leave my job, travel and then start something I had long wanted to do - a business.


This one video stood out and I've kept myself to that philosophy ever since.



Ava Duvernay is a film director, screenwriter and founder herself, a woman who made her way into the film industry through sheer will. And she has a wonderful lesson that I really believe can transform a person's life once they take it to heart:


"Work without permission. The sooner you step out and begin, just begin, you will start to find your momentum. It won't be perfect and it will be messy and it'll be hard. But you're doing something and you're on your way."

If there's ever one thing you really want to achieve in life, then just get out there and open the door for yourself. If you don't know what you want, start exploring and push yourself to try new things.


Since founding Authentic House, I've had many opportunities to meet entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams and I've come to realise that, if you really want it, by one way or another you can make it happen.


Calling myself a 'Founder' has been a strange experience, growing with me as my business takes shape and gains momentum. I'd say starting a business is like beginning a story, creating this fictional entity that you will into existence until here, one day, it is.


I have always been a 'journeywoman', interested in one thing and then another. When you're a one-person business band, that definition is stretched to the fullest extent, especially this week as time is ticking towards our Launch Event and release of the Home Box in July.


So, if you want to start a business, here are some of the hats I think you might wear:


Designer

Above all! You're creating something new, carefully observing people and the environment to ensure what you make is needed. And it's not easy!


When I began my business, I made one investment in my logo by the lovely Hannah Garcia at BLOD Design. Past that though, it's been up to me to design everything you see. The website has been a longstanding project that has grown and contracted as I refine down my ideas. This week too, you'd have seen me busy at the kitchen table over Inkscape, designing up the insert to go in our July box and leaflets to promote our work in Cardiff. Opening up the parcel from the printers' is always a moment of bated breath to see if the finished product turns out as hoped!


Though here are our lovely stickers, which I designed and made with help from the Tiny Box Company. I am very proud of them! Feeling the product you've put your thought into physically in your hands is a special moment I wish for you all.



Presenter

'It's an eco-friendly subscription box,' I've said many a time. And it takes so long to be able to articulate the kind of business you're setting up. Since I stood up and practised at The Prince's Trust's Enterprise course to recently when I pushed myself to pitch my business at the Natwest Enterprise Accelerator, the ideas behind Authentic House have completely changed, although the vision hasn't.


I want to speak because it's so valuable and the best way to get your message heard by the people you can collaborate with. The most important thing I've learnt though is to be honest and authentic to yourself. While it's one of the last things you think about when you're nervous and trying not to fidget, speaking from the heart is how you get people to truly hear what you have to say.


That's what I'm going to try to do at our Launch Event in a couple of weeks, where I'll share with you the creative journey of Authentic House, mistakes, revelations and all. I hope it's something you can all relate to!


If you haven't signed up yet, there are still a few tickets left here.



Networker

Meeting people in Cardiff has been great fun since I started my business. Places to go come in all shapes and sizes from co-working with some lovely fellow entrepreneurs to attending full scale events packed with interesting people who have all had an idea and gone for it.


This week I attended a 'Bloggers Meet Brands' event hosted by Yasmin and The Wonders of... It wasn't just a great time sampling vegan doughnuts and drinking fizz - I met some great women to collaborate with. Coming soon!


Networking treats by Beau Monde Bakery. Photo by The Wonders Of...

Explorer

Well, this is the word I relate to discovery. This morning I had fun investing in a whole wish list of eco-friendly home products to try out. Only the best will make it into the Home Box! In the field of buying local and reducing waste, there's truly no end to the innovative products there are to be had.


Another event I was lucky enough to attend this week was the Cole & Co summer party. Their beautifully packaged toiletries and home fragrances are all designed by Hannah's father and the brand is making real steps towards cutting back on plastic and simplifying their ingredients. Starting up in Cardiff, it's always rewarding when there's a chance to support Welsh business.


Cole & Co on display at their party. Photo by Cole & Co

There come rain or shine

I've had it said to me that starting a business is very much like pushing a rock up a hill until it begins to roll of its own accord. That's it. As the founder, you have to be the one making it all tick.


And rain or shine came to mind when I think of the potential weather at my guest stall in RCMA Roath Market on Saturday 21st July. I'll be there selling our very first Home Boxes and featuring another exciting collaboration... More to be announced.


And finally... Mindful enough to look after yourself

Which is why I take the weekends off (most of the time!)


Enjoy yours!


Putting on our weekend hats on a walk from Barry to Llantwit Major