I have to admit, I got some funny looks when I started telling people I wanted to set up another business (2 businesses!? Am I crazy?? Yes). Following the success Designer Man Cave, I noticed there was a massive gap in the online market place. It's always been in the back of my mind to set up some type of online store component linked to what I do, but it was last December that it went from the back of my mind, to front and centre.
1. I love being an entrepreneur
There is something completely thrilling about setting up and running a business from scratch. I'm completely aware it's not 'normal' and most people think I'm nuts - I figured that out when I spent years in employment and no matter where I worked and which industry it was in, it never felt right. My Mum tells me this independence and need to run my own race goes back to when I was a toddler. Apparently my favourite saying was "I'll do it MINE self"! And true to form, this has stayed with me. Thankfully, my grammar and vocab has improved since then :)
2. I love when people connect
Call me old fashioned, but since technology has ramped up in recent years, I've noticed our human connections with each other have plumited. We spend SO much time attached to screens of all descriptions (myself included) which limits our human contact with each other. We text instead of call and keep up to date with each others lives through social media instead of meeting up for face-to-face conversations and catchups. Technology is convenient, sure, but it's impersonal. The art of giving actual gifts or handwriting a card is almost extinct and it makes me sad because there is so much joy (for the giver and receiver) in doing these acts of kindness. I hope that Man Mail creates a new platform of awareness and inspires people to put their phone down more often, and take the time to let someone know they care/appreciate/love them.
3. I love to transform things
There is something magical about turning something ordinary into something incredible. This trait may or may not be linked to another trait of mine - perfectionism. It's a quality that I use on a daily basis with my interior design work and is a handy ability to have when it comes to setting up and running a business. My vision of Man Mail is to source the awesome products for men I know are out there, and curate them in a unique way - to transform the way people give gifts to one another.
4. I love solutions and problem solving
Yep, I do. I find it challenging and satisfying. Lucky, because solving problems is in the daily lives of all business owners, especially ones with new businesses. One of my life mottos is 'there is always a solution'. I'm like a dog with a bone and will find a way to make something happen. I'm not a genius though (far from it!) and don't come up with every solution all on my own. I call in the experts - I ask whoever I think is more knowledgeable about a particular topic than I am. There have been a huge number of people, companies and brands who I have reached out to to make Man Mail happen and I am so appreciative of their help and wisdom. Plus, I get some education along the way and learn a whole bunch of new things!
5. I love listening to my intuition
There is a lot of logic in business - I'll be the first to admit it. When it comes to skills, logistics, strategies, logic is your best friend. Other times, all logic goes out the window and I do things because they 'feel right'. This is most commonly known as gut instinct. I have it with decisions and people, and I embrace every moment of it, because it has never steered me wrong. The only times things have gone balls up, is when I've ignored my intuition and let my logic overrule. Ah well, we all learn the hard way! Long story short - I started Man Mail because my intuition told me to and it helps me with all the decisions (big and small) that I have to make along the way.
6. I love.
It took a few years of running a business to realise this, but the moment the penny dropped that everything comes from love (personally and professionally), it rocked my world and changed it forever. I'm not talking about romance and relationships here, I'm talking about passion from deep within, spending the majority of your time doing things you enjoy, surrounding yourself in jobs, projects and people that at the end of the day, make you happy. It is about being your most authentic self and embracing who you are and staying true to why you are on this earth and what it is you can give. Love is a knock on effect - it starts from your own heart and transfers in everything you do and also to other people. Creating Man Mail has come from the heart…which I think, is the best place for a business to come from.