Monday Mother is back! And what a way to kick it off, with the wonderful
Shelley Pocknell- Owner at the Neon Finca
Tell us about what you do.I have a three year old daughter and have a baby girl who is four months old. I set up my Moroccan homewares business ” The Neon Finca” a few years back on a whim.
What kind of work did you do before having children?Before having children I worked as a freelance footwear designer. My job involved working with many clients such as brands, factories and retailers, with lots of travel to the Far East.
How did you get into your current work?
I have always loved Moroccan textiles and I came across a supplier in London on my travels and I knew it was meant to be. I currently sell on Etsy with Instagram as my shop front.I was “let go” from my footwear design job last year just as I told them I was pregnant which wasn’t really a surprise in such a hard-faced industry. Since having my daughter four months ago I have spent my time building up my interiors business.
What drives you?
I love my kids so much but there is also the creative side of me which I need to fuel. I often get itchy feet and am always looking for new ideas to help my business grow, whether that it working on my social media or shooting new products for my Instagram. My motivation isn’t finance it’s the ability to do what I love on my own terms. I have worked with so many interesting characters in footwear, and have had huge problems in the past getting paid for work I have done.This has lead me to want to take control of my own destiny.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
I would say the biggest current challenge is the economy and the way this has made people shop. I have seen huge changes in the retail sector in the last 16 years. When I started in footwear most shoes were made from leather and the quality was much better. The economic crisis has created a huge rise in ‘throw away’ products.
I used to have a luxury wedding shoe business (Merle & Morris) which although it had a good following and great press I closed the doors just over a year ago. It was a hard decision as it was my goal from a very young age to have my own shoe brand, but with the way things were heading with the economy I couldn’t compete with discount retailers.
What are you most proud of?
I have worked for lots of clients and learnt from their mistakes (and my own). This has given me the drive to create my own business and take risks. Although my footwear business wasn’t the greatest success it has taught me to that I am a strong- willed person who won’t give up my on dream.
Where will your work take you in the future and what are your dreams?
I hope that by growing my business it will allow we to reach more customers worldwide through social media. By selling more stock I will be able to travel more often to source new products and expand my store offering.
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
Give yourself a break as nobody knows what your baby needs more than you (even though you don’t think so at the time). There is plenty of time to make your business work although I understand the pressure new mums face in trying to make their business work whilst on maternity leave. I think so many new mums feel the same.
What do you do to nourish yourself?
I am not the best at self-care. My plan for 2019 is to read more ,have more relaxing baths and spend more time crafting with my friend Charlotte @lottsandlots who makes me feel super inspired.
You know we at Do It Like A Mother run a group for women in business, right? You can join here