Tell us about your business and the type of products you sell?
The English Beagle started as a dream to support British makers and brands. After spending nearly 20 years sourcing from across the world, I began to see that local brands were overlooked. Here we source brands from across the country and offer something for everyone. All gifts are unique and offer something special. Gifts be purchased as single items or special gift boxes can also be put together for a special occasion. No matter how the gifts are purchased, every item is gift wrapped and if not a gift for yourself, you can hand it straight over to the person intended for.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
2 years ago I was going through a change in my personal life and decided to change everything so quit my job and went out on my own to start The English Beagle. I had had enough of answering other people and wanted to do something for myself. The English Beagle is very much a family business as my daughter came up with the name.
What is your best selling product?
There are a few best sellers, the first would be a leather bound Never Ending Journal with humorous quotes about meetings. The second would be a 3 face clock, made in Cornwall from recycled paper. And the third would be a Clementine and Prosecco reed diffuser that lasts up to 6 months.
What kind of BossMum are you and how do you manage the juggle?
Home is just my daughter, the dog Suzy and myself. My daughter has now started high school making mornings easier which allows me to start work calmly. I dedicate up to 6 hours a day to The English Beagle and work during school hours. I must admit I do sneak in the odd hour on the weekend or during the evenings without any complaints from my daughter.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
The only experience I did not have was in marketing and social media. I seemed to have avoided that whilst working. But I picked it up very easily and realised that social media was not as difficult or complicated as it seemed. Ok, it did take me 2 years to understand SEO, but I saw a massive improvement within a few days.
What has been a particular highlight for you since starting your business?
Appearing in press is always a highlight. I never seem to stop being amazed that something like appearing in a magazine can have such a profound effect on both my mood and desire to achieve more.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I would have to say that the best advice would be to trust your instinct. My father told me this once. He has a way with words and when I first started he left me several notes that I found over the course of a few weeks. These motivational quotes from my father are on my pin board and I look at them all the time. They always make me smile and he is always at the end of the phone for a chat.
What is your favourite Social Media platform and how has it helped in your success?
My favourite social media platform would have to be Instagram. I find it so much easier to use that Facebook and do not have a clue about Twitter or LinkedIn. I do love Pintrest as well and find that there is an increase in click throughs from Pintrest.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother inspires me. She was a larger than life woman with a lust for life and adventure. Always looking further into the horizon and never dwelling over the past.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Mama Tribe?
I just love the diversity of Mama Tribe. The women and businesses involved are so varied and have different experiences that you can learn something new from everyone.
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind The English Beagle Audrey, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.