Her Journey Revealed with Natalie Manima Founder of Bespoke Binny.
At what stage of your life did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t know that I decided to become an entrepreneur! More I decided to start making products that I believed in (as a hobby) which has led me onto the path of an entrepreneur.
How did you develop your business idea, and what inspired you to proceed with your business idea?
I developed my business idea based on two things I really loved – Beautiful African print fabrics and my love of all things home. I didn’t think the idea had much value outside of me wanting to create things for my home, friends and family (which shows how wrong we can be). However, with some encouragement, I set up an Etsy store, and the rest is history! I learnt fairly early on there were people just like me you thought the combination of homeware and African prints was a great idea.
What steps do you take to market your business and to make people aware of your brand?
I mainly raise awareness of my brand via social media, mostly Instagram and also via media coverage.
What is your personal secret to developing healthy business habits that support you to stay on track?
Doing things bit by bit. When tasks build up, especially tasks I don’t particularly enjoy doing the temptation to avoid and procrastinate is huge! If I work on a task a couple of hours a day and slowly work through it. It feels much more manageable.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced on your journey so far and what steps did you take to overcome it?
Taking risks (particularly financial risks) that do not pay off. I’ve learnt some painful lessons, but I am also of the approach that if you don’t take any risks, you will never grow. I have learnt that risk is still needed but so is due diligence. I’ve also learnt that there are very few things you can recover from. So in that instance, I set myself targets and made a plan about how I could re-coup what I had lost.
Where do you see your business in the next five to ten years from now?
I see myself being the go-to website for good quality products of all things African print!
What’s the best business advice you have received and how did it positively impact you and your business?
You don’t know if something will work until you try it. You have to love it enough to persevere even when you may want to give up. This has impacted my business positively because its something I always keep in mind.
One of the most exciting thing I have done in my business was….
Being stocked at the British Library. I could never have imagined being stocked at such a well-known institution. It was proof to me that absolutely anything is possible, more than you could even imagine for yourself.
When I feel discouraged I tend to….
Take a few hours out and distract myself with something that I know will make me feel centred. Then come back to what’s been making me feel discouraged and make a plan to tackle it.
If I could start all over again I would….
Have had more confidence to dream bigger earlier on.
My favourite business app/tool is….
Planoly – Manage, plan, and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer and mobile phones.
CONNECT WITH Natalie Manima
The birth child of Natalie Manima, Bespoke Binny’s products range from Pillows, Lampshades, Aprons, Oven gloves, table runners and card holders. Living and working in London, as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Natalie recognised the importance of one’s home environment, in coping with issues such as anxiety and low mood.