Rufina, founder of the ethical online gift shop dedicated to mums, Three Little Pandas tells us how Bloomsbury Beginnings has helped her deal with anxiety and overload during lockdown
It was April 2019 when I signed up to my first course with Bloomsbury Beginnings Grow Your Idea workshop – a year I found particularly challenging and felt that my direction, vision and passion for my business had changed.
Sharing the concept of Three Little Pandas and presenting my challenges to other like-minded and ambitious entrepreneurs offered me a new perspective. Ann and other students on the course encouraged me to shift my focus to who my “ideal customer” is and understanding them better. After recognising who I was trying to offer my services to I was able to better plan my approach and outlook of the business.
Since our graduation of that course and earlier this year when lockdown hit, like many I felt a bit displaced and anxious. The responsibility of homeschooling my “three real little pandas” and keeping a business running was difficult to deal with single-handedly yet Ann – again in perfect timing – approached me with the opportunity of joining in with a Goal Setting Group (fortnightly online meetings) which I truly believe has been a great motivation throughout this period.
I feel like there has been so much I have taken away from each meeting: From learning how to write up a lean canvas, perfecting my job proposition (always a work in progress it seems – “an online ethical gift shop that promotes physical and mental-wellbeing for new mums and their little pandas”) to learning/utilising new apps (always a work in progress too – ha!) and generally checking in with how we are all doing mentally (because let’s face it these are odd times).
I have connected with down to earth and ambitious individuals but have also created inspiring friendships too.
Running a business alone can be super challenging at times but being able to share some of the things on your plate to people who genuinely want to help you grow and see you flourish is something I will always remain grateful to Ann for creating.
And so to summarise: whether it’s someone to look over and challenge your business model, give critical but constructive feedback or a cheerleader to give you that vote of confidence/extra push, this special hub/community – what feels now like family – in Bloomsbury Beginnings is definitely the place to be.
If you’re going through similar challenges and want to find your professional start up ‘family’ apply to join our next programme in January 2021 or our alumni programme