Morning and happy Friday. It’s business day here on the blog and before I kick it off I just want to mention how excited I will be to welcome my new Online Retail Class, which starts on Monday. If anyone else is thinking of joining there are a few spaces left until we shut it down. In a nutshell its everything you need to know to elevate an existing businesses into a super successful one or if you haven’t started off yet and its purely an idea this class will give you insider knowledge of all that stuff you should be doing before hand. I wish I had taken such a  class before launching my biz!

So let me introduce you to Eat Live Sleep.

Eat Live Sleep was founded by Celine Issitt an award-winning Interior Architect with a strong background in luxury hotels & homeware design.EatLiveSleep is a one-stop marketplace for all things home and it is all about everything ‘Eating’ or ‘Living’ or just ‘Sleeping’ and what that means to us. Celine browses all the best homewares from all the best retailers every week and presents these in an easy to use website full of interior design tips and advice on how to get the look! She runs the site between SW France & London – interesting hey, and I whizzed some questions over to her to drill down further.

What lead you to start your own business?

Over my 20 years working since university, I have worked in many different creative industries, some online and some not, some successfully, some not. I graduated with a degree in Interior Architecture and then worked in London specialising in luxury hotels and high end residential projects. When I moved out of London to spend time bringing up my 2 daughters, I moved to homeware design and launching a collection of printed textiles. When an opportunity to work in online fashion came along I took another turn in my career path to work at my-wardrobe.com. Then the next few years saw me becoming a consultant during recession times, consulting in all things digital. All of these life decisions and turns had led me further and further away from my passion, which is Interior Design, Home style, basically everything Home!

Then I moved to France in 2012, I’ve been working with a global pharmaceutical company since then and being involved in such a corporate environment, I yearned for something creative! I looked back at everything I have loved doing over these 20 years and tried to find a business where I could just do what I love! I guess to some people, just having a job that pays the bills is enough, but for me, if I don’t LOVE what I do, I don’t do it! I think if everyone did what they love, the world would be a happier place, but that’s the hippie in me talking! So one day my boyfriend and I went out for a coffee to brainstorm what to do! That led to a cocktail fuelled evening with lots of post-it notes thinking of a name and then voila! EatLiveSleep was born, just one year ago!

What has been the most difficult?

Sometimes having no budget appears to be a hinderance. But actually its just an opportunity to be creative! My old boss, Aatin, used to ask me to present all sorts of marketing strategies on x and y…everytime I did, I would conclude with how much it would cost. To which he would reply, I love it all, now just go and do it, without it costing me anything, and I always did and it always worked! So over the first year, there have been many ‘money’ troubles but I always think back to what Aatin would say, and funnily enough sometimes it has worked better than just throwing money it. Don’t get me wrong, if an investor wanted to ‘throw’ money at it, I would spend it very well. But truth is, sometimes it’s not the solution. I have learnt so much more about how much more I can push myself than I ever thought.

How do your get site seen by customers?

We are 100% digital, so anything and everything we do, we drive people to our site by links. Simply put. Well firstly, you have to have a great site, it has to work for your customers but also work for you. You want people to be excited by it and to pass it on by word of mouth or on social media. Anyone can spend a fortune on google adverts, seo, paid social media, PR, magazine coverage BUT if your offer is not spot on, it’s all been a waste of money.

I am a social media specialist and I help businesses launch their social media strategies. I understand the power of getting this right, so I concentrated all my efforts to drive traffic to the site from a variety of social media channels and I test test test! Someone recently asked me how should they launch on social media? There is not a simple answer to that question and they were disappointed when I explained why it’s not simple. You actually have to launch on many different channels, to see where your customers are and where they respond best. Then you have to work on what your content strategy is and spend time working on that. None of this happens over night, you need to put 3-6 months reading data, testing and changing before you can actually make a plan. So I love the satisfaction of our daily presence on social media, it’s so rewarding because I have put so much into it. Each channel is different in different ways, how they work and how that drives people to the site. I will admit to sitting on google analytics and watching how people use the site depending on what I do to send them there. Data nerd alert!

Any tips starting out?

Do anything positive you can to overcome a lack of confidence about whether you can start your business or not! That’s what usually stops people doing it. Remove the fear of not earning, I do mean remove the psychological fear and ask yourself, if money didn’t exist and nobody had money, what would you do that you love?

Every year I write my letter to the universe, I know! It sounds crazy! But start somewhere. Get up and just do something. Do what you are good at and don’t beat yourself up about what you can’t do! Keep it positive!

I recently went to a tech networking event. A 20 something man stood up and told his story. A few weeks previous, he had attended the event with an idea for a business, an app for epilepsy sufferers but he had no money, just an idea and energy. 3 days later that led onto a hackathon, where a group of techs worked on a prototype and by the end of that same week that’s what he had, a prototype! IN ONE WEEK!! You can’t under estimate the power of positive thought and positive action and bags of energy! Action creates more action, so just get up and do it, it might led you where you want and if it doesn’t, well, you will learn so much more having just tried!

Did you read any business books?

I always have a copy of ‘You can have what you want’ by Micheal Neill very close to hand, it’s not a business book but more of a book about your state of mind, which I often quote to people. My very dear friend Jamie Smart also wrote a fabulous best selling book ‘Clarity’. I am always more drawn to books about finding a path through my thoughts and overcoming obstacles, rather than a business specific book.

What has been the most successful about the business.

My creativity has saved me so much money, I have created a very lean business model, which is scalable. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t lounging on my yacht in Barbados doing this, I did work 18 hour days, 7 days a week for the first 8 months and my daughter and boyfriend will tell you that I was very boring.  When it’s a new business getting recognition is very important, so getting emails from major UK retailers telling me how much they love the site means so much to me. It means I am going in the right direction! Phew

2014 was the first phase for EatLiveSleep, 2015 will be even more exciting!

Thank you Celine your journey and business is a fascinating one, I so enjoyed reading all your answers, hugely inspiring.

If you fancy telling me about your business and want it featured across my social media channels email me at submissions@abigailahern.com. 

See you later with my Biz Column

www.eat-live-sleep.com

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