Mums running businesses

Mums running businesses

For Mother’s Day, ShopAppy has been talking to mums running businesses across the UK. As part of the series and in celebration of family businesses in general we talked to Heather McDonagh in Buxton, Derbyshire

 

Heather is the owner of Symposium Antiques - a charming shop with a mixed selection of vintage wares and Contemporary art located in Buxton. During the pandemic Heather strove to maintain the close knit community surrounding her business and went out of her way to care for her elderly regulars. Once a mum, always a mum.
We spoke to Helen to learn more about her, her business and her motivation.

Visit her shop here

why you should shop locallywhy you should shop locally

Why start a business?

I started the business about three years ago now. I wanted to be my own boss, get to manage my own time - feel like my efforts were put in the direction I chose.

I still have to care for my youngest, and my eldest is always coming around, being a mum never really stops. It’s like having two full time jobs at once!

"...running a business is a lot like raising kids, it requires a lot of commitment, but also care and attention."

What keeps you motivated?

Working for yourself is a powerful motivator. It requires a lot of determination but makes me happy, having no-one else to answer to. Getting to support those around me - my family but also the older patrons. Often they can go weeks without human contact and I think that’s a huge part of why I do this, getting to bring a little happiness to people’s lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a chat and a cup of tea or selling something unique to someone, something they can love. I made a point to still do deliveries to my elderly customers during the lockdown. It was an especially hard time for them and I like to think I helped them get through it.

Tips for mums thinking of starting a business...

It is all about confidence - just go out and do it, don’t worry about whether or not you think you can, you won’t know until you try. It can feel all very strange at first, but I found that running a business is a lot like raising kids, it requires a lot of commitment, but also care and attention.

How do you balance work and life?

I take it all to heart I think. If you’re running a business like mine where you get a lot of regulars, there isn’t much of a gap between my work self and regular me. Just being yourself makes people feel more comfortable and it works for myself as well.

Why should people shop locally?

 I think it's that sense of community you get, these last two years have proved for me how important it is to stick together when times are hard. I don’t think many people would have done so well on their own. Also I feel shopping local gives a lot of folks a place to go and someone to talk to when they wouldn’t otherwise.

Want to support local businesses?

 I think it's that sense of community you get, these last two years have proved for me how important it is to stick together when times are hard. I don’t think many people would have done so well on their own. Also I feel shopping local gives a lot of folks a place to go and someone to talk to when they wouldn’t otherwise.

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