Welcome to another in our hugely popular Feature Friday articles - today we're chatting with Nicole Bogue and Gabrielle Stepan from Little Giggles.
Nicole - In addition to being a busy entrepreneur, I am a Mum to 17 month old Cian and I'm also a teacher.
Gabrielle - In 2008, I graduated from college in the United States during one of the toughest economic recessions. After months of not being able to find a job, I took it as a sign that I am not meant to be in the "9 to 5 corporate world" and that I should look at this as an opportunity to do something different that, under other circumstances, I might have never tried.
Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
Nicole - I have always been passionate about children and, giving birth to my son last year, made me realise how much I wanted to start my own business. Throughout my pregnancy I was given many lovely gifts from friends and family for our little bundle, and it was amazing to see how spoiled my unborn child already was!
Gabrielle - I made the decision to move to Ireland with my sister and together we embarked on the exciting journey of starting up a business. Much like Nicole, I have always been interested in the Baby Gift's industry. We both knew that starting up a business was not going to be an easy task but, in the face of tough economic times, we felt that if we were going to take this risk, we might as well do something that we both find pleasure in. Needless to say, Little Giggles is our labour of love and although we continue to face daily challenges, we really enjoy what we do and we hope that we can continue to spread the word and get people to fall in love with our products.
In addition to our Baby Gifts we also make Wedding Towel Cakes, Christening Gifts, and Big Brother/Big Sister Gifts (so they don't feel left out when the new bundle comes along!)
We have done lots of research on the Baby Gifts industry and we continue to educate ourselves on what's “trendy” and what appeals to new parents. Although we have come across other businesses that do what we do, we have yet to find one that meets our same level of attention, quality, and attractiveness, not to mention our competitive prices. Our products range on average between €7-€100. We take great pride in our work and everything we make exudes the same amount of excitement and love we invest in our creations.
What do you love most about your business?
We love that our business brings so much joy to our customers. It never gets old seeing the happiness on the faces of our customers!
What would you like to change?
We would change that we didn't start our business sooner! However, we have come to realise that things happen the way they do for a reason. And now that we are finally pursuing our dream, we would like nothing more than to increase our fan base and have more exposure!
By next year we hope to be able to offer our products in stores and retail shops. As of now we sell our products online and in "Trinkets" which is located in Crestwood Shopping Center in Glanmire, Cork.
Where do you ultimately see yourself?
Ultimately we would like to open up our own "Little Giggles" retail stores. We hope to start small and local, and over time spread across Ireland and then the world!! :)
What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1 If you have a dream, just go for it. Don't let anyone stop you
Tip 2 Women are extraordinary beings... just stay confident and embrace all the pitfalls
Tip 4 "Slow and steady wins the race" Don't try to execute all your ideas at once! You will overwhelm yourself!
Tip 5 Take all criticisms, good and bad, and use them to your advantage. You are already your own worst critic so don't worry about what others think of you or your ideas
If any prospective customers are reading, how can they contact you?
We can be contacted via our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/littlegigglesbaby, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us on http://www.twitter.com/lilgiggs.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Nicole & Gabrielle - your company is indeed unique and we think that there will be many people interested in your service.
Remember, if you'd like to be involved with Creation|Collaboration, make sure to check out our forum at http://www.creationcollaboration.myfastforum.org/.