What do you do? How would you describe your working life?
Manic. By 'trade' I am a Graphic Designer. My day job is as Graphic Designer, which I love and by 'night/any chance I get' I am owner of unisex kids brand Lennie & Co, which has become my love over the last year. It stemmed from a craft afternoon with Lennie where we made our own t-shirts, pillow cases and bunting, the rest just rolled on and a year later I've sold over 2500 t-shirts. Bonkers! I design all the t-shirt prints myself and screen print them all by hand. Each item is made to order and printed by me in our home.
Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today?
I was absolutely uninterested in school. I was always the 'has potential but is easily distracted' I left with 3 GCSES and headed to art college, which I loved! When I got to uni everything came much easier to me then as I enjoyed what I was doing. I'm not someone who had/has a master plan, so I must say I never knew what I wanted to do until I went to work as an Assistant Apparel Graphic Designer at Reebok for a year. After that it was confirmed I like Graphics, I was good at it and that I was going to aim for that when I left university. I got a job before graduating and 7 years later I'm still learning lots of new things in an ever evolving creative world.
Describe your morning routine
Whether you're a single parent or not, mornings are always demanding. Lenn is my alarm clock and at current he's pretty on form with a 6:10am wake up call. I haven't set an alarm since becoming a mother. I don't need it now I have an energetic 3 year old who occasionally wees the bed and actually I never sleep in even when I have the chance. We normally have a cuddle in bed before starting the day. So once we are up, I fix Lenn warm milk and pancakes (the scotch ones you can shove in the microwave, please don't imagine me flipping fresh pancakes) Then I rush and get ready, washing my hair is a treat these days and we are out the door by 7:45am. Lenn is at nursery full time and I head to work.
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive?
Sounds cliche but Lenn is definitely my inspiration. I want people to feel something when they see our t-shirts, whether that emotion is excitement, happiness or just makes you giggle. I note down lots of things I see when on my travels and always keep notes on my ideas as they come, if I don't note them I can forget them as life is hectic.
When motivation wavers, how do you get back on track?
Sleep, seriously! If motivation wavers its time to take a night off the workload. I know I cannot print tees after 10pm, I'm sure to mess them up. I'm a early riser so a good nights sleep and a fresh head the next day will get me back on track.
What is the best thing about your job/lifestyle?
Well, I work two jobs so I'm not in my dream career/lifestyle balance yet and I certainly can't enjoy the school run but we live 20 minutes away from some glorious beaches here in Devon. I try not to work in the evenings on the weekend. Lennie and I normally hang out at the beach and live a pretty simple life.
If you could do something else for the day- what would you do?
Pretty non glamourous but I'd like to run a B&B. A little one in the country with a small lake where Lennie could run free.
How do you overcome any challenges in your working life?
Talk to my Dad. When I'm tired or unsure of where I am going, he puts me back on the straight and narrow. Hard work and consistency will pay off. He's always right and now I'm nearly 30 I realise that and listen.
How do you celebrate your successes?
By putting them back into the business. Any highs that Lennie & Co sees goes straight back into it. Self promotion and planning the next step. Followed by a large glass of wine!
Do you have any tools/resources or rituals that you couldn’t live without?
My phone. My business is pretty much ran from my phone. Isn't that bonkers! I have built my business from Instagram.
Which books from your bookcase would you recommend?
I recently bought 'The Life-Changing Art of Not Giving a F**k' I now associate things with being on a fu*k list, which is rather amusing. I have bought a lot of Start Up Business books I probably could of read more but haven't, who has time? I'm learning this business malarky as I go along.
What are your daily essentials to make you feel ready?
Coffee, REN serum, cheek tint and mascara. In that order.... I can't face the day with those four things.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Pay a little more attention and learn a language.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
It's simple- running a successful business whilst being able to do the school run. Both of my parents worked full time as I was growing up with no flexibility on hours, meaning they missed sports day and play ground drop offs, things you remember as a kid. Modern day parenting is changing and I would love to be able to have more flexibility within my career. I love working, I just hope that one day it can work around my child a little more and create a great workplace for myself and hopefully more.
Find out more about Lennie & Co here and big thanks to Amy