Here’s my latest ‘Meet a Member’ interview with the lovely Anna from My Maison Chic. Anna shares how she started her own business based on doing something she loved as a hobby – chalk painting and upcycling!
Hi Anna! Please introduce yourself and say a few words about yourself
Hello, my name is Anna and I am married with two small children who are of school age and I live in South West England. I have a full time job with a well-known US Corporate Company and have a background in Computer Science! I adore reading and particularly love history – Tudor History in particular. I also love castles and historic properties and most period drama’s. Oh, did I mention that I also love Interior Design and have a love for Farrow & Ball paint…. Basically I’m a mixed bag!
Tell me a bit more about your business and how you first came up with the idea.
I founded My Maison Chic from a hobby and love of chalk painting and up-cycling. It took me a while to realise that when I was stressed due to work and life, painting always made me happy and relaxed. Having trained will a well-known brand, I had seen Everlong advertised but was finding it difficult to buy online. This difficulty lead me to think whether I could maybe become a Stockist offering online shopping and workshops. I talked it over with my sister-in-law who also jumped at the idea of being part of a biz so I decided to setup My Maison Chic in July 2016.
How do you fit in running your business with your home and family?
Having a fulltime job and children means that time is always at a premium for me. I try and spend an hour a day on my biz when the day job and chores are done and slightly longer at the weekends. My eldest daughter loves the fact that “Mummy has a shop” and even designed the Logo for the biz whilst I was having one designed. She has also said she would like to run the biz when I retire! I’m lucky that both of my children also love chalk painting 🙂
How do you cope with overwhelm?
I love to read so I generally have a number of books on the go depending on my mood. I also find that colouring in means that my mind cannot focus on anything else so it’s very good to help me switch off. Day to day I write lists so that my brain doesn’t feel full and if I’m going through a particularly stubborn bit of overwhelm then I disconnect from social media and watch a period drama!
How do you find the time to grow your business?
At the moment, I run My Maison Chic and cover social media and sales. By posting regularly on social media – Facebook is my main platform though I do use Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest, followers are steadily growing and sales increasing. I see this as baby steps to get to where I’d like to be – which is to reduce my corporate day job hours and have more own biz time.
What’s been the lowest point in your business journey?
My Maison Chic only launched in July 2016 and so far all has been amazing!
What’s been your most amazing moment in your journey so far?
When the first sale completed through the website! I know this seems quite trivial, but considering I built the website myself, to see it work end-to-end was such an achievement for me. In fact, the whole process is so ‘not what I normally do’ that it’s all been such a learning curve from registering the Business name, having a logo designed, finding courier company, learning how to use multiple social media platforms and so on that I am incredibly proud of what I’ve managed to achieve. Believe me, I’m still learning.
How did you find out about Suzannah and Super Mums Business Club?
I found out about the Club via a post on Facebook.
What inspired you to join the Club?
I was inspired to join the Club to meet (albeit virtually) other mums in a similar situation to me ie. Working plus a biz. I was hoping to get ideas and see how they cope with the gazillion things that fall to mums every day.
What do you like best about being in the club?
The best thing about the Club is Suzannah. She is a ray of sunshine and always incredibly happy, smiley and helpful. The other members are great and it’s a safe place to learn, share ideas and have forum without prejudice or competition. I now see it as an extended family.
If your business hadn’t worked out, what would you have done?
Should this happen then I would have diversified – maybe focus more on workshops.
Describe how your business looks now, what’s next?
At the moment, things are growing slowly which is fine considering everything else going on. I have been given the opportunity to design two rooms (for two different clients) and also do a furniture commission. This is incredibly exciting for me as I love interior design so it may be that in the future My Maison Chic diversifies into room designs and commissions. Though I will need a woman shed before I can do commissions – so the husband better be worried 🙂
What business advice would you pass onto other mums who are running a business and want to grow it online?
Just do it. You have nothing to lose. It takes time and effort but if I can do it then so can you – join Suzannah’s club and we will all support you.