Self-Starter Stories: From administrator to becoming an online stockist of necklace lanyards
This week's self-starter story features Pamela Evans, founder of Maisie-Jane, an Aberdeen-based startup with a very niche product! Pamela re-imagined the standard lanyard as Necklace Lanyards for Ladies to enable women to add a touch of personality to their conference and exhibition outfits!
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Pamela to discuss her entrepreneurial journey.
Looking back, what lead you to be where you are today?: Working as a corporate event manager I could see the daily struggles business women experience. Whether it was the clunky lanyard ruining their beautifully styled outfit, piercing their dresses with name badges or juggling 101 items! I knew there was a solution to be found, and when I couldn't find it, I decided to create it!
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Letting people know that we had a product they had never thought of!
What was your last job?: In my last job I was an administrator. As much as I enjoy organising and assisting, I'm a creative type and heart and thrive working in that environmentI began working in admin following the economic downturn, prior to the downturn I worked in corporate events which I loved. I was able to embrace my creative spirit but more so as you’ve read it gave me the idea’s behind Maisie-Jane. I'm now thankful for the downturn, like so many others I changed careers however if I hadn't moved to a position that didn’t embrace my creativity, I might never have had the push to pursue my ideas and create my dream!
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: Finding yourself at work daydreaming of the idea’s you have constantly is a key clue it's time to do something about it! There’s no point in sitting around and waiting for someone else to think of it, if your not happy in your day then follow my motto: 'Don't moan about it, change it!’
What did you learn from your worst boss?: Treat others how your wish to be treated, you never know in the future you might be working for them!
What is your favourite business book and why?: My Fight to the top - Michelle Mone, Michelle spoke at a women in business conference I organised back in 2008, hearing her speak of how she had the problem with her bra at the event and went to fix the problem herself, inspired me, it's like my idea with the lanyards, I saw the issue ladies were having and solved the problem.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I do at present, the business plan is to outsource some marketing and manufacturing this year.
How do you market your business?: We market on Social Media at present, we have been lucky enough to be featured in some press articles and in particular gift guides.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: Our first customers came through our Facebook page. We also got our first traffic from social media.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Do it, research everything you need to, talk to your peers, if you don't do it you'll never know and why spend your life making money for someone else!
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Michelle Mone, she's my inspiration a strong Scottish business woman, she inspired me on my business I love her story, she's fought hard for where she's got to and I think she could teach me a lot.
What is your productivity secret?: Keep the end goals in sight, vision boards, plan plan plan
To follow Pamela's journey, you can do so via her social media channels and website linked below
Pamela Evans has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.
Voting for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017 will take place in November 2017 so make sure you get your entry submitted to qualify.