Tell us about the Services you offer?
I offer a virtual gift sourcing service which is aimed at anyone who is time poor, not physically able to get out to go shopping, stuck for ideas or simply looking for some inspiration. I ask for a brief telling me recipient, age, occasion, interests, and giving a general budget & then send back a personalised pdf with suggestions and links for where to buy.
I am not affiliated with any of the brands I recommend (though I may have used them myself, or will have been lusting after them on Instagram!), and I do not charge a fee. I am a proud supporter of the justacard campaign so do my best to support and promote small businesses, especially those primarily run by women. I also endeavour to promote the concept of paying it forward, and introducing Hygge (the concept of cosiness) into people’s lives.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
During a conversation with my husband a while back I was bemoaning the ‘monotony of mum life’ so he suggested getting a hobby. At the time I said I didn’t have a particular skill or talent, but he disagreed and ultimately this is how hoogalyfe was born!
Instead of charging a fee I decided to invite my clients to make a discretionary donation to one of three charities that I have had cause to use myself in the past; NACOA, The Miscarriage Association, and the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. This is the only compensation I ask for in return for my services, and is my way of paying it forward. Ultimately kindness is the driving force.
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
I get a great amount of pleasure out of helping people and making them smile. I love gifting, and with Hoogalyfe I get to support lots of small businesses by raising their profile with my clients. The thing I find difficult is finding the time, in between having a full time coporate job and a toddler!
What kind of BossMum are you and how do you manage the juggle?
Being a Project Manager by trade helps with the juggle, a LOT, but generally it’s just about trying to plan my time carefully. I tend to fit my Hoogalyfe activities into lunch breaks and when my little man is in bed. Life as a working mum is never easy but I’m used to managing multiple projects in parallel so I try to be calm, methodical and above all cheerful in everything I do.
How do you define success?
For me, I’ve done a successful job if a client is delighted with my suggestions, buys something (meaning a lovely small business gets a sale), and then goes on to make a donation to one of my beloved charities.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
That Marketing and getting your name out there when you are non-profit is HARD!
What is a normal day in your life like?
I get up at 4.45 am, shower, dress, put my make up on and have a nice quiet cup of tea while I check my messages and have a scroll through Insta. The little dude wakes about 5.50am so I get him up and ready, have cuddles and a couple of cartoons while he has his milk and then we’re out of the door by 6.45 am to be at the childminders by 7am.
I then drive from Herts to North London and hope and pray to be at my desk by 8.30am latest. I usually have a pretty busy day, managing the Promotional Packaging for a Global food brand, until I leave at 3.45pm to collect the little man at 5pm. Luckily he eats at the Childminder so after work is it’s all about having some Mummy and Bubz time until he goes to bed at 7pm. Only once he’s in bed can I squeeze in all the other things I need to do, which sometimes includes a Hoogalyfe brief or two! If we’re lucky hubby and I manage an hour snuggled up on the sofa watching Netflix before bed, loving Top Boy at the moment!
Unfortunately due to my husbands job as a teacher/head of year in London a lot of the childcare and home stuff falls onto me in the week during term time but in the school holidays the scales tip the other way and he takes the weight so that I can decompress a bit. We dont have any outside help so its tough, but we make it work.
What has been a particular highlight for you since starting your business?
In all honesty I wasn’t sure there was even a market for what I do so getting a brief is always massive for me. The first time someone made a donation to NACOA in return for my services I cried my eyes out…in a good way!
Who inspires you?
My husband and my son. My husband is extremely passionate and hard working, when he sets his mind on something he goes in 110% and failure is not an option, and he loves our little family fiercely. Having our son was the catalyst to work as hard as we can to be the best possible version of ourselves that we can be, for him. We want to show him that it is important to work hard, be kind, and to be unashamedly yourself, in whatever you do!
Tell us 3 facts about you…
- I love Street Art
- I’m proudly (but not smugly) teetotal
- I’m totally obsessed with Cheese!
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Mama Tribe?
The support, community, and a sense of never being alone in your endeavours.
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind Hoogalyfe Lauretta, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.