Welcome to another of our fabulous Feature Friday articles - today we'll be chatting with Amy Russell of It's Your Choc.
Hi, I'm Amy and I'm 36 years young, a wife to Jon and mother to Lucy!
It's Your Choc was started in November 2008 after I was made redundant. I needed something part-time and flexible to fit around my daughter and our life. At It's Your Choc, we make personalised and promotional chocolate bars which can be used for any occasion. Every bar is unique and can be designed to your own requirements with your input every step of the way.
Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
I originally bought a semi franchise but soon realised this was quite limiting. So we rebranded - got our own name, logo and website, and introduced some new products. Since then, its gone much further than just the franchise ever would ever have!
What do you love most about your business?
Every order I produce is for an occasion, be it a wedding, birthday, Christmas, birth announcement, product launch, whatever. I love seeing people's faces when they collect their bars and see the designs we have put together for them. Even though they have already seen them via email, nothing beats seeing the real thing!
What would you like to change?
I wish I had taken the time to set things up better when I first started. I started on the dining room table and am still here 2 years later! I have got so used to it that I am now finding it hard to move to my "office" upstairs!!
What is your aim for the next year?
I would like to introduce some new flavoured chocolate, as well as white and dark so that I can meet customer requirements. Also, I really would love to move more into corporate gifts/promotion - when you next have a coffee in a hotel, I want one of my chocolates on the plate with that coffee!
Where do you ultimately see yourself?
Eventually, I see myself working with a team of wonderfully talented people who love wrapping the chocolate and creating that perfect bar as much as I do!
What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1 Dont be afraid to ask for help and advice, but be strong enough to not take it if its not right for your business
Tip 2 Take the time to get yourself set up properly. If you need a desk space to work get this first, try not to make do with the dining room table
Tip 3 Take time out for you and your family. Work is always important but your family should always come first. That email really can wait till the morning
Tip 4 Don't spend a fortune on fancy software if you don't need it. Use Excel for your accounts, for instance, to get you started
Tip 5 Enjoy what you do - when you stop loving your business its time to rethink!
How would a prospective customer contact you?
We can be contacted via our website at http://www.itsyourchoc.co.uk/ or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itsyourchoc and on Twitter at http://www/twitter.com/amyarussell.
Thanks so much for talking to us today Amy, your products look wonderful and I can see just how much you love doing what you do - and who doesn't love chocolate!!!