Before Squirrel Sisters I worked in marketing & branding across research, retail design, packaging and identity branding in the UK and Asia. I didn’t have any experience of running a company or food manufacture so we’ve really got to where we are today by ‘learning on the job’ and with a lot of help from Google. We started the business as a blog; a way to keep in touch when Gracie (my sister & co-founder of Squirrel Sisters) and I were living on opposite sides of the world from each other – a way to share our recipes and a first step into the world of being a health business. Gracie used to make the bars for me at home (because I have a gluten-intolerance) so when we saw our blog grow in popularity along side our social media we saw an opportunity to launch them and decided to take the plunge and go for it!
What skills can you bring as a mentor?
Having been in a position from really not knowing anything about running a business, let alone a food business, I can help to tackle problems, think of innovative approaches to succeeding in different stages of the business and also share what I’ve learnt along the way. With my experience in branding I can help ensure that you’ve got the foundations of a strong brand, personality and values which is really key to being a success particularly as a consumer-facing brand.
What do you think makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?
A belief that there’s no other way than making your business a success and doing everything to ensure that you give it your best possible shot; from exciting marketing campaigns, to everyday admin – a desire to do and learn everything as well as you can do to set yourselves up for a solid and successful future.
If you had time again, what would you do differently?
It’s hard to say because the mistakes we’ve made have taught us a lot and prevented us from making potentially bigger mistakes. But I would say that trusting your gut is so so important though and we didn’t do enough of that at the beginning.
Co-founder, SQUIRREL SISTERS