Interview with Little Gnashers
What’s your name and where do you come from? I’m Victoria Dove, I live in Walthamstow east London.
How did you spot a space in the market for your product or service? While I was on maternity leave with my first child, a friend told me about teething jewellery. When I had a look, all I could find was either very expensive (and maternity pay does not afford you luxuries!) or nothing that suited my style. I decided I couldn’t be the only one, so I started researching and had a go at making my own teething necklace. The first time I wore it I had two friends ask me to make them one too, and it literally went from there. So my USP is choose-your-colour teething beads
How long did you think about your business before bringing it to life? It’s a genuine kitchen table business that has snow balled so I didn’t really plan for it, it just sort of happened. But I guess when I did my first craft fair, Crafty Fox in Hoxton, and got such a good reaction – I knew I was on to a good thing
How did you raise the funds to start your business? I actually put my first order of supplies, about £300, on a 0% interest credit card. It was a total gamble but I worked out my costs right down to my business cards and packaging, so I knew how many I needed to sell to break even. I did so in about two weeks and reinvested the profit in more supplies
How do you stay informed – networking, newspapers, social media? Social media and specifically Instagram are vital for my business. There’s a really strong online craft community and also an online mums in business community that I try to be active in and shout about other crafty mums’ businesses. We all support other, I’d be nothing without them.
Tell us about one of your business low-points and what you learnt from it? Communication is key. Along the way I’ve made some mistakes with orders for suppliers and individual customers. Human error basically. The best I can do is apologise, hold my hands up, and send a replacement ASAP. A genuine apology, no excuses, and a solution to put it right seems to have worked so far. Fortunately it doesn’t happen too often.
Name five qualities people need to be successful in a job like yours? Good with your hands, eye for colour, organised to keep on top of supplies and orders, keen social media enthusiast, gift of the gab to spread the word
Do you have a business mentor? Not officially but I’d love to find one! I’m lucky to be surrounded by creative and talented people whom I can bounce ideas off. But a proper mentor is on my list for 2017
What’s been your favourite piece of press coverage so far? My Instagram feed was selected by Computer Arts Magazine recently for a slot where they show case how creative types use Instagram for business. It was a total honour and privilege to be featured by such a well-respected title and nice to know my hard work on our social media channels is being recognised.
Name one of your favourite start-ups? NuMonday. It’s an online platform for crafters to sell their makes – a bit like Etsy but it looks more slick. They’re still quite new but growing all the time. I’d encourage any designer makers out there to give them a try, or anyone looking for an unusual gifts to browse NuMonday.com and support an independent business too.
Quick fire round
Apple or Android? Apple
Mac or PC? PC
Apples for hand or melons for feet? Could I have one of each? No? Ok melons for feet.
Name two chocolate bars you would put together to make a super bar Could you add a strip of Malteser to the underside of a Double Decker bar? Do you need me to draw how that would look? Mmmm.
The founder of the startup Little Gnashers, Victoria Dove has over 13 years consumer and trade PR experience within fashion, food and lifestyle for major brands and retailers including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, LEGO, Beko, Dualit, Levi’s and New Look.