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Success (with a twist) for Julie

Success (with a twist) for Julie

Braids & Bunches run classes for parents and carers who want to create fantastic hairstyles on their children. As the business enters its second year, co-founder Julie recalls how Successful Mums helped set her on the right track and stopped her getting tied up in knots...

It all began in 2016 when, frustrated by my inability to style my daughter’s crazy curly hair, I set off on a mission to find someone to teach me to braid. Unable to track down a local class, I appealed on social media for some “hair help”.

I struck lucky when I found an amazing braider called Tammy, who was willing to teach me. But in the process, I had also found a whole army of mums who wanted to learn to braid, too. Spotting a gap in the market, Tammy and I got together and decided to test the viability of running hairstyling classes. A week before our first pilot class, I attended a Successful Mums Business Start-Up Tastersession with Jane Knight.

I’ll always remember Jane saying: “The opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s not trying.” That really resonated with me and I knew we were doing the right thing. We had nothing to lose. Tammy and I ran two pilot classes to test the format and received amazing feedback. A month later, we registered the company as business partners and in January 2017 officially launched Braids & Bunches Ltd.

It’s fair to say that I was winging it and learning as I went along! I had spent the best part of two decades working in PR for agencies and charities but had never set up my own business. So I signed up for the full Successful Mums Business Start-Upcourse and it was perfect. It covered all the basics and I felt reassured that I’d been doing a lot of things right.

It also taught me to be focused. For example, Jane advised us to concentrate on one social media channel at the outset, rather than trying to be all things to all people. Facebook is where Braids & Bunches has had the most engagement, so that’s where we’ve focused our energy and it’s paid off. In November 2017, we reached 1,000 Facebook followers in less than a year – as a small, local business, we were incredibly chuffed with that.

Meeting like-minded women running their own businesses was one of the biggest benefits of Successful Mums for me. While there was little crossover in terms of business types, we all had the same end goals and faced the same challenges, and it was a great platform for sharing ideas and supporting one another.

Our business has since gone from strength to strength and the next step is to grow our team. We’ve also had enquiries from across the country and the dream is to establish Braids & Bunches as a franchise opportunity in around a year’s time, with like-minded people who want to help us on our mission to get parents plaiting!

You can find out more about Julie and Tammy’s business here and on Facebook.

If you have a brilliant business idea or fancy following in Julie’s footsteps and starting 2018 as your own boss, book a place on our free Business Start-Up Taster session today.

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