Updated: Mar 15
Have you started reading our new blog series called 'Have you met?' every week we aim to highlight fantastic creative people who we either work with or admire! Lara Pearce falls into both camps! Grab a cuppa and read about Laras company 'Metamorphosis Party Supplies & The Squishy Co'
Hello! I’m Lara (Pictured below) from Metamorphosis Party Supplies & The Squishy Co. I specialise in glittered party and home decor.
1. What led you to start up your business?
Before I had children I worked in PR. When I fell pregnant with my first child, I knew I wasn’t going back.
The kind of parent I wanted to be wouldn’t work with the demands of a PR career. Stay at home mum life was amazing and when I had I my second child I started to get more creative with them both.
I remembered I used to LOVE crafting and making decorations and the business was born from there. It’s totally different now to what it was when I launched but it’s perfect how these things just work out.
2. What were the biggest obstacles to starting up?
The biggest obstacle for me was telling people what I’m doing and other people’s opinions that I let make me feel less than them and small.
The constant question of when are you going back to work? was the worst. I do work, maybe not a conventional 9-5 (more like a 24/7) but it’s what I love.
I’ve now realised it those people who question you about what your ‘still doing’ that have the issue with themselves and their journey and it’s not malicious (most of the time) they’re really questioning themselves. I truly enjoy what I do and not a lot of people can say that.
3. What do you love about your business?
I love the freedom of creating something unique.
I love that people come to me with ideas about how they want their occasion to look, with my help.
I especially love seeing my products in use and how much they are loved.
I also love when people recommend me to their friends and family. I think that’s the most rewarding feeling because it shows they loved their order so much that they shared it with their loved ones.
I also love that I can take my children to school everyday and pick them up, go to plays, trips and sports days which is something I didn’t have growing up as my mum was being superwoman solo parenting and working a demanding social work job.
4. Who would be your dream client
Oooh that’s hard! Probably a department store, an internationally known one. That would be a dream! I’m throwing that out there universe do you hear me!
5. Where would you like to take your business ultimately?
I would love to incorporate some kind of distance teaching or course. Something interactive for parents and kids to enjoy together.
I’m not quite sure what that looks like yet though. I’ve done a lot of self-work this year and I want to use that somehow and create another hyphen to my job title.
6. Where have you received the most support along your journey?
The most support has been from my other half, my mum, my friends (all 3 of them - ha!). They’re all so cute and send me photos of things they see that they think I’ll like or be inspired by.
They share my work on social media and recommend me too. Also I have to say Instagram. I’ve met some amazing ladies on those little squares and have been fortunate enough to not have any dramas.
The support I’ve had has often brought me to tears because people are so kind. We get all these messages from the news and media telling us the world is only full of hateful people and that’s simply not true.
7. Would you consider going back to employment for someone else now?
Never! I’ve been fortunate enough to explore self employment and it’s opened so many personal doors for me that I now know a lot more about myself. I know that working for someone else in a traditional role is not for me.
8. What do you consider the key skills a small business person must have?
Motivation and being relentless in showing up and making people see you. Whether that’s out at events or on social media, or through influencers.
Making connections with other small businesses and creating a good circle of contacts that you can bounce things off of, as your family might not always understand what you are going though. Also being organised is essential. It’s hard work being a one man band.
The making, admin, social media, packing, post runs and more. Then balancing that with home life can be really tough too and the mum guilt creeps in. But as long as I do everything with the best intentions and love in my thoughts I don’t think I can really go wrong.
9. Have you been influenced by any business books or blogs recently?
Yes. At the beginning of the year I read The Secret and it changed my life. I really started to tap into my spiritual side and start to understand more about money and how it’s an energy (current-cy) and it flows and that life is literally what you make it.
Everything I listen to and read is in that vain. I no longer watch or listen to the news because I feel like it’s designed to make us feel like we can’t win. 99% negativity with a dash of positivity for balance.
I’m not very good at sitting and reading I feel like I’m not doing enough with the time, so audiobooks are best for me. I’ve got so many on my to read/listen list, but so far my favourites are You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Gikandi and The Empaths Survival Guide by Judith Orloff.
Again I’m a podcast fiend because I can do other things (like cook dinner or work) while I listen. My favourites are Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Badass Business Business Podcast, Manifestation Babe Mindset Manifest Money and A Life More Inspired Dream and Do podcast - Nicola is amazing!
10. What would your top tips be to anyone considering starting their own business?
Don’t ask anyones opinions or permission about what you’re doing if you know what you want to do. Other people have their own thoughts on what success building looks like and it’s so easy to be talked out of what you want if you give anyone the power to do so.
Gratitude - be grateful for every order that comes your way, every comment or like on social media, every enquiry. It means people see you and you’re on the right track. For every dm or email that comes though I thank the person for making contact and ordering.
Customer service is more important than anything, I would go as far as to to say more important than the product you are selling. Always be polite to a customer, always try your best to resolve any issues a customer has.
Remember they are the gateway to the next order that comes your way. ALWAYS post your items with a recorded delivery service. There are always tricky customers and sometimes it’s ok to decline an order if you feel like it’s going to be a disastrous situation.
Try not to post to social media about any customer or business to business grievances. It puts other customers off, it looks unprofessional and that rant can be saved for a friends not your current and future customers.
11. Do you think networking is important for your business?
So important! I’m not very good at in person networking. I don’t go to lots of events, as an introvert empath it’s a lot to deal with spending a few hours with people you don’t know and making conversation.
The internet has made networking so easy through social media so there’s really no excuse not to. Networking doesn’t have to be a big formal event, it can be as little as a direct message on Instagram introducing yourself, offering your services and showing someone how you can help them.
Building that network is vital to any small business. At some point you will find someone who knows someone who sells or makes the thing you need or visa versa. That recommendation from someone you trust is so much more well received than picking a random business you know nothing about. Word of mouth is so powerful.
Thanks so much for your interview Lara!
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To find out more about Metamorphosis Party Supplies & The Squishy Co
Don't miss reading more in the 'Have you Met?' series
Interview 18- Maddy Carrick
Interview 17 Anja David
Interview 16 -Bridget Daley
Interview 15 -Karen Arthur
Interview 14 -Rebecca Trowbridge
Interview 13 -Angélina Jandolo
Interview 12 -Kelly Harris
Interview 11 -Sara Dalrymple
Interview 10 -Ciarán O'Fathaigh
Interview 9 -Elizabeth Knights Trench
Interview 8 -Aba Edwards-Idun
Interview 7 -Roxsanne Slatford
Interview 6 -Lara Pearce
Interview 5 -Ashanti Jason
Interview 4- Shannon Reed
Interview 3 -Claire Connor
Interview 2 -Becca Teers
Interview 1 -Cat Bateman
Singing for my Supper
If you enjoyed reading this article and maybe others I've written, found a tip that worked for you or learned something new, it would be great if you'd consider sending me the price of a cup of coffee :) https://www.paypal.me/thanksforreading/2.50
Space at 61 is a venue for hire in Nunhead near Peckham. Often used for childrens parties, workshops, classes, talks, filming and popups you can hire us from £20per hour. The 'Have you Met?' Blog interview concept was created by by Shona Chambers owner of Space at 61 and Shona Chambers Marketing. To read more like this visit www.shonachambersmarketing.co.uk