Naomi on the germination of her business idea...
“I used to work for a big luxury leather goods company with a bespoke, corporate arm, and I did everything from taking the brief for whatever product they might want and see it through right to the end, with budgets, production limitations etc. But I thought ‘well this is ridiculous, I’m constantly making new products, and I understand everything from the design to the manufacture of the end product’.
“I went to India in 2007 and I thought maybe I could find something there. And I started having these wild ideas about importing furniture.
“But then I realised when I got home I’d need a shop and all these crazy overheads. So I went back to work and refined my idea a bit, and decided I could do the same thing I did in my old job for myself with local craftspeople in India.”
The pressure, if you just cut all your ties and throw yourself into something, certainly if you’re not someone with a huge amount of backing, is terrifying, and it can put undue pressure on you to perform
On how continuing to work part-time made starting a business less terrifying...
“In the first year I worked quite a few consultancy jobs, so half my time was free and half my time I was using to still bring in money. So it wasn’t such a risk for me.
“The pressure, if you just cut all your ties and throw yourself into something, certainly if you’re not someone with a huge amount of backing, is terrifying, and it can put undue pressure on you to perform. Although it did take a little of my time to do those consultancy jobs, it really was a godsend to know at the end of the month I had this money coming in, because it just helped continuity.
“You can have a fantastic month’s selling, or a month of not so good selling, and you don’t know when those are going to come – but the bills will keep coming!”