Name: Lynne Meek
Businesses: Styling Matters
Mum to: Dan aged 23 and Tom aged 20
What is that you do, and how long have you been in business? I am a personal stylist, which mainly entails wardrobe edits, personal shopping, and image makeovers for clients. I also organise private styling events in ladies homes, public ones in retail outlets including department stores, national and independent boutiques, and working as a styling speaker at small to medium sized events.
What did you do before you started your business and what led you to setting up? I was a PA/Office Manager for nearly 28 years, and then a partner in a local boutique for two years.
I had always had compliments on how I look and dress, and often had friends and boutique clients asking me to help style them. Having built up a large local network of ladies, it was their encouragement and belief in me that convinced me I could make a go of it. That, and the total support of my wonderful family.
When did you start coming to TW MIBs and how do you benefit from it? 12-18 months ago. I find it is the best networking group locally as it is all about women, who are my target client base, and businesswomen who I can learn from. More than that though, it has become a group of friends. I find the meetings supportive, relaxed, friendly, informative and often inspirational.
What have been your greatest achievements so far? By far the great achievement for me is seeing the happiness on my clients’ faces when I show them how great they can look when they wear clothes that are the right size, shape, colour and style for them. It is a wonderful privilege to help someone dramatically increase their self-esteem and is incredibly rewarding.
What have been your biggest challenges and learning curves? Where do I start?! My biggest challenge is organising events where several ladies’ diaries are involved – getting a date fixed is a nightmare! Biggest learning curves? Learning not to panic after 30 years of PAYE, overcoming my fear of public speaking, learning how to blog, writing copy, learning to be a self-publicist – the list is endless.
And how do you find balancing motherhood and a business? How does it compare to your “previous life”? I am lucky that my boys are now independent young men with great jobs and lovely girlfriends, and it has enabled me to give my business total focus. My eldest son created my beautiful website and is my IT guru, and my youngest son gives me incisive business advice, so I guess you could say it’s payback time!
What are your goals for the next year? To establish my business, make enough money to be comfortable and continue loving every minute.
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time? On TV!
Your top tips for other mums considering starting a business?
- Be passionate about your business. If you don’t 100% believe in it, nor will anyone else.
- Be organised and reliable, it goes such a long way and will set you above your competitors.
- Be focussed. It’s very easy to get distracted and you will need a very clear vision of what you want to achieve.
- Be very active on Social Media – Facebook and Twitter give great coverage and are free, and network, network, network!
- Be flexible and listen to suggestions and ideas from others.
And finally, tell us something about yourself that we might not know My most interesting hobby, and a side-line business, is painting animal portraits on commission. I’ve been asked recently if I would do a human portrait, so watch this space!
Find out more about Lynne and Styling Matters…
Interview date: 25th February 2013