Small Business Support Blog

If you are interested in reading about how to get your business visible online, with regular insights into being an entrepreneur and navigating your way through the business world, then this blog is for you!

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Category: #ReasonsIstarted

  1. #ReasonsIStarted - How one women overcame the odds to pursue her ethical accessories business

    Posted on

    Kerikit Founder

    Foreword from Pamela

    This series of amazing stories from fiercely feminine entrepreneurs documents the journey of some inspirational women who have founded and built incredible brands. These are stories of reinvention, stories of unlocking creativity and pivoting during the pandemic and managing adversity to demonstrate their passion and commitment to building a future legacy.

    In this latest blog post we hear from Fashionista, Mumma and Entrepreneur Keri Jamieson - who shares her truly inspirational story of overcoming the odds to pursue her ethical bag business...

    Reasons I Started KeriKit…

    I launched KeriKit back in 2014, after having my son and then twins. I wanted a bag that I could use for the whole of motherhood, that I would be able to use as a changing bag and that I could continue using throughout my lifetime, once my children grew up. The idea for KeriKit came when, as a proud (but exhausted) Mum of 3, I couldn’t find anything like this on the market and I knew I wanted to create something that didn’t require mums to compromise and choose between practical and beautiful. Prior to having children, I had a 25 year career in designing handbags and accessories and I was a buyer at TKMaxx for years, so it’s safe to say I already knew I had a passion for bags. After having children, I knew I couldn't have this career and watch them grow up in the way I wanted to and so founding KeriKit allowed me to have both the business and time to spend with my children.

    Creating Sustainable Bags to do Good in the World

    Whilst on maternity leave I created the debut KeriKit collection, bags that bridged the gap between a designer bag, a changing bag and a mummy bag. As a Mum, I felt a responsibility to start a business with a sustainable focus, to help create a better world for my children and so I created bags that are not just a changing bag and that will last a lifetime. Since founding the business, we have continued to strive towards becoming as eco-conscious as possible and through our environmental commitment, we have introduced naked leathers into our collection and have also adopted a tree planting scheme. 

    My Journey of Resilience and Commitment to Growing an Ethical Accessories Brand

    Having founded KeriKit whilst on maternity leave, a couple of years later, when my son was 5 and the twins were 3, I needed a hip replacement due to the strain that the twin pregnancy had put on my body. However, 2 weeks after my hip replacement I was told that the operation had not gone to plan and I was required to have another operation whilst juggling the business and looking after my young children. Unfortunately, the second hip replacement surgery did not help properly and I was left in extreme pain. Having been very active prior to my hip problems, I was in a dark place of pain and resentment, all of which were having a negative impact on my business.

    On my search for a second opinion, I found another doctor who told me that not all hip replacements work and there was nothing more they could do to help and I would never be able to return to my active lifestyle. I needed to use sticks to walk, which led to feelings of shame surrounding my disability and I put on a front to show everyone I was strong and could cope. The business was getting worse because I couldn’t attend shows due to the pain I experienced when working and this was undoubtedly one of the hardest times of my life.

    Despite the dark place I found myself in, I refused to give up and eventually I found a Hip Impingement Specialist who I trusted to complete another surgery, which was a success. My body hadn’t been able to work for 4 years and my muscles were all messed up but I was determined to get back to reality. A big part of this was managing to walk unaided - which doctors had previously told me wouldn’t be possible.

    My Bag Business was my Salvation through the Darkness

    Sustainable leather bag

    After everything I had been through, KeriKit was my salvation through the dark times and I threw myself into designing the KeriKit range, I was designing solutions to my problems:

    • Backpacks are comfortable to carry and distribute your weight evenly so no extra pressure on hips or backs.

    • Strong sturdy handles.

    • Straps going across are very wide and strong, comfortable.

    5 years later, I am growing stronger, I regularly practice meditation to help me to cope and continue to practice lots of yoga and physio every day. It isn’t easy to talk about my story, but everyone has their own impossible challenges and it is important for me to tell my story so that we can empower each other as women. With the right attitude, grit and determination there is a solution out there for you and having dealt with my own impossible, I want to help other women with theirs, because girl, you've got this!

  2. #ReasonsIStarted - One woman's journey from a favour for a friend to high end wedding caker

    Posted on


    paradise-cakes-Hannah working on a wedding cake

    Photo Credit: Olivia Brabbs

    Foreword from Pamela

    This series of amazing stories from fiercely feminine entrepreneurs documents the journey of some inspirational women who have founded and built incredible brands. These are stories of reinvention, stories of unlocking creativity and pivoting during the pandemic and managing adversity to demonstrate their passion and commitment to building a future legacy.

    In this latest installment we hear from Caker Hannah - who founded her luxury wedding cake business after finding a love of baking when asked to create a 21st Birthday cake for a friend...

    Reasons I started The Paradise Cake Company

    In October 2016 a colleague asked me to make & decorate her daughter’s 21st birthday cake. My immediate response was NO, I bake cakes and have done since I was a teenager but decorate, I can’t do that!!! She pleaded, I gave in. What would you like on the cake? Big mistake! “Roses” this is going from bad to worse I thought, I have never made a rose in my life, but anyway it was a challenge, I would have a go to help a friend out.

    The cake was made, filled with butter cream and covered in sugar paste. Without the correct equipment the finish was not the best. Now for the roses, I do not exaggerate when I say it took me a whole day to make six small roses out of sugar paste. There had to be an easier way!!!. I found an adult education class in sugar flower making, I enrolled and that was the beginning of a great love affair, I was hooked. As more people asked me to decorate cakes I started thinking about the implications of what I was doing. I wanted to make sure my kitchen was up to a standard good enough to serve the public, the food hygiene inspector came for tea and cake, she gave me lots of advice and made an appointment for a full inspection. That was nerve racking especially as my daughters told me I had better not get anything less than 5!! I didn’t disappoint them. I didn’t want to be a ‘hobby baker’! I set up Paradise Cakes in 2017, built my own website, a friend’s son came up with a logo and off I went. I didn’t give up my part time job.

    I had a website and a face book page, that was enough. I posted sporadically, and orders were coming in. But not the orders I wanted! I started thinking about how I could change this. I woke up to the fact I must work on my business not just in it. I started reading more and more about how to promote my business on line when I came across a Facebook post by Pamela, until then I had no idea SEO existed, not only does it exist but I need to take action, now!!.

    I wanted to specialise in high end wedding cakes with lots of sugar flowers, I needed to be where my ideal client could find me. With the help of professionals, I rebranded giving me a brand identity with a modern up to date website. I am new to blogging I still have a lot to learn.

    Registering with ‘Google my Business’ has made my business more visible locally. ‘Google my Business’ is very useful for passing on the latest updates and changes that may be of interest to local clients.. For example, information on when wedding cake taster boxes will be available. I also add images on a regular bases and I ask clients to leave reviews..

    Pinterest is great for showcasing my cakes & sugar flowers. Posting on Instagram consistently and regularly is quite challenging especially when I am busy making cakes.

    I realise I have to make time to keep my business visible online. I know online visibility is very important, the more I interact online the better chance I have of giving my ideal client the opportunity to get to know me, to like my work and to trust I will produce that luxurious wedding cake. Knowing the theory helps me keep focused.

    Work in progress ………

    The past five years has been an adventurous journey, starting from having no idea what I was doing to feeling confident in my ability. I knew I wanted to specialise in Wedding Cakes, I also knew I could not achieve this without help. Yes! I can make beautiful cakes! Marketing them online, not a clue. By seeking expert advice, I have a business that is growing in the direction I want it to.