I love chatting to fellow small-biz owners about what gets them going and what grinds their gears about being your own boss. I have created a series of Q&As with some of my fave small brand owners in the hope we can share some behind the scenes insight into our lives as women in business.
We're so pleased to have partnered with Clare and Not Only Pink and Blue, a marketplace that challenges gender stereotyping by offering a great range of gender-neutral items and new ways of shopping for your kids, I love that you can filter for products by weather type for example!
Who are ya?
I’m Clare – an ale loving, tea drinking, cake loving (actually food loving), business owning, mother of two.
I am CEO and Founder of not only pink and blue an online retailer thatcelebrates children being children and we’re determined to challenge the pre-conceived stereotypes often found in children’s clothes, books and toys. We’re challenging the tradition of dressing girls in pink and boys in blue. After all, there are 11 colours and over 10 million shades to choose from!
As well as all the colours, you’ll also find inclusive books with diverse role models, and toys that feed imaginations and bring joy to our younger generation.
How and when did you come up with the idea for Not Only Pink and Blue?
Believe it or not it started as a little niggle 7 years ago when buying presents for friends having kids. I found this world of pink and blue and as I didn’t want to buy those the options were yellow, grey or bunnies!
When I started having my own kids I did more research into what the pink/blue divide does and found that the stereotypes that it feeds to children was actually quite scary, and can have a really detrimental effect. Then I looked at t-shirt slogans, toys and books and started to feel that there was so much we needed to tackle.
I vowed to find a way to pull all the amazing businesses who are creating fab clothes, fun toys and representative books together and the idea for not only pink and blue was born.
What things do you enjoy most in your job as Not Only Pink and Blue Boss Lady?
Passion – I am so passionate about what I am doing, it’s really exciting to be doing it everyday
People – I meet amazing people all the time whether that is Partners, other people challenging stereotypes or other amazing women running their own companies.
Positivity – it’s so great to have support from people I speak to – I’ve been told by customers, Partners and other business owners that I speak to that I am making a positive difference in the world, even if it’s small it’s so motivating to hear.
What things do you enjoy least?
Down time – as you are everything from CEO to pot washer there isn’t any down time and even when you aren’t working you are thinking about the business because more than anything you want it to work.
Selling – I’m not a big fan of being ‘salesy’ and selling my own business. I’m passionate about the issues that I am challenging but selling myself is not my best skill!
Loneliness – it can be lonely running your own business (hence the dream of a team!) thankfully I’ve got really supportive friends and family who help me and listen to my musings to help me make decisions!
Any advice for anyone starting out in the world of small biz ownership?
Make sure that you buy the urls before you register the business – there are sneaky people keeping an eye on business registrations and nab the url before you get to it.
The other advice that I was given and love is, ‘imperfect action is better than perfect inaction’. Sometimes you just have to go for it and see what happens.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Not Only Pink and Blue? Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
Ultimately I want to change buying behaviour to be about attitude and activity rather than boy/girl. I want all children to be able to wear what they like, play with toys they are interested in and be able to see themselves in the books they read.
In three years time, working on my (growing) business with a team around me having made a difference to the wonderful Partners and challenging the limiting stereotypes that can hold kids back everyday.
What’s your favourite breakfast?
Oh wow, this is so hard, I LOVE breakfast. It’s got to be something with eggs. Bacon and avocado on toast with a poached egg? That would be such a treat – we have porridge every day!