I Started a Business With a Baby: Stuart Barr of Spin Collective

Tell us a little about your business

Our company Spin Collective Wall Stickers design, produce and retail wall stickers for interior design and home decorating. We have had our stickers featured and currently featuring in many magazines as well as TV programs like 60 minute makeover and Britain’s Top Next Model. We do most designs in-house, but we also call upon the help of talented freelance designers for commissioned projects.

What was your job before starting your business?

I was Creative Director for a retail company.

How did you go from your old career to your new business?

I started the business in my spare time with my girlfriend Penny-lyn not long after Amelie was born and then handed my notice in when Amelie was 1 to go full time on the business.

What were your reasons for starting a business?

To be more involved in Amelie’s development and upbringing as well as that of our older children, by having more flexibility in my working hours. A lot of businesses these days still see paternity leave and associated male parenting in a negative light and I wanted to get away from that. But I also wanted to do something more creative and of course I hope to gain a greater standard of living for myself and my family (eventually)!!

Did you use any childcare?

We were lucky as we were both working on the new business so we could juggle things around.

How did you get your business idea?

We had found some wall stickers we really liked but they were in France and couldn’t find anything similar we wanted in this country so we decided to make our own…. and it kind of snowballed from there.

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

The main challenges were trying to get it off the ground whilst I was still working full-time so it was more of a strain at first. But we knew it would be worth it in the long run if everything worked out which luckily it has….. so far!

What training, information or advice did you need to get started?

We had a friend who worked at Business Link who was very helpful in all things running a business as well as my experience being a director definitely helped. Everything else we muddled through but having the internet nowadays is invaluable as someone somewhere has already asked the question you are thinking… well 99% of the time.

If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

It’s difficult for me to give advice for a mum but for an online business I would definitely advise to invest in some proper search engine optimisation and advice, as doing it yourself can be very hit and miss. Being placed well and staying there on Google can make or break a fledgling company. Oh, and be social, use your networking on Facebook and other social media as this is free and you will get out of it what you put in.

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