Meet Rachael, Founder of Emmy & Sebby

Welcome to Emmy & Sebby the home of beautiful baby lifestyle accessories and gifts.

Rachael, is the founder of Emmy & Sebby. Originally from Liverpool, but moved to Kent in 2012.

Rachael, found it difficult to send baby gifts to friends back home that weren't outdated or to her taste. So she decided to set up a baby gifting business and that is how Emmy & Sebby was born during lockdown 2020.

Emmy & Sebby's mission is to find beautiful yet unique items that are different from what you would find in the high street. Rachael only fills her store with items that she would be happy for her children to have or to give as a gift for herself.

Emmy & Sebby is a mum run business. She does everything from purchasing, packing, marketing to accounting. Therefore, the support you give means the absolute world for her.

Brand Name: Emmy & Sebby

Founded by: Rachael Grieves

Year Founded: 2020

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Sophie: What inspired you to start your business?

Rachael:"I am originally from Liverpool but moved to London in 2012 and found it difficult to send baby gifts to friends back in Liverpool that were to my taste. I had wanted to start my own business for some time… then we entered lockdown in 2020 as a result of Coronavirus, and I finally had the time (and the money from not being able to do anything) to do something about it."

What were you doing before you became a business owner?

"I was actually on maternity leave with my second child when I decided to start my business (Emmy & Sebby is named after my children Emillia and Sebastian). Looking back now, I think it might have been a moment of madness… stuck in the house during a global pandemic with 2 children under 3! But it was so nice to have something to focus on that was for me."

Tell me what a typical working week in your business looks like?

"Monday - Wednesday I work for an insurer as a commercial fraud people manager. Thursday - Friday I am a stay at home (literally at the moment) mum. And whenever I get a chance, I work on Emmy & Sebby packing orders, updating social media, ordering stock."

What is something that you think is a myth when starting a business, that can potentially put people off pursuing their dreams?

"That you can’t compete with big companies! I was very naive when I started my business. And shortly after setting it up, I wished I would have done more research. But now, I think if I would have done more research, I wouldn’t have started. Everyday people choose to buy from me opposed to much bigger businesses like Kidly. There is room for you and your idea. No one else can do what you do, the way you do it."

If you were to think of the challenges you faced in starting your business, what would be the two things you would have wanted more support with?

"Firstly, I would have liked support with launching my business. It was done in a slap hazard way without a lot of structure. If I were to set up another business, I would go about it in a totally different way.

Secondly, promoting my business and this remains to be my biggest challenge. I struggled finding reliable companies to help me and I wasted a lot of money listening to people who didn’t have my best interest to heart."

Do you work alone or as part of a team? How do you prioritize and maintain balance across all aspects of your business and are there any elements you just have to sacrifice/bypass?

"I work alone and I would describe myself as organised chaos. I would love to have a schedule or plan ahead but I just don’t. I know the in’s and out’s of my business and react as and when I need to. This is an area I could improve upon and will need to as my business grows. What I do try to do is constantly improve, I constantly watch traffic and conversion rates and make tweaks to try to improve these.

I sacrifice content creation which I know is my biggest downfall. But because I don’t think I am very good at it and it is very time consuming, I don’t do it. I am eager to grow my business and I know I now need to work on getting outside of my comfort zone, creating content and pushing sales."

Where do you see your business in 5 years time?

"Supporting me financially as a full time job, selling predominantly baby gift boxes as at the moment I mostly sell items individually. I would also like my own product range and already have one product in the pipeline!"

What is your favourite product you sell and why?

"I love putting gift boxes together. I find packing them therapeutic (I have no idea why)! So I always get excited when I sell one. I love seeing the selection of products people put together in their gift box. But I get a thrill whenever I sell anything to be honest.

If I were to have another baby, I would want a Snuggle Hunny swaddle sack. They are beautiful yet practical, what more could you ask for out of a baby blanket?"

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting up a new retail business right now?

"Just do it, and don’t worry about everything being perfect. You can figure it out as you go. If you wait for everything to be perfect, you’ll be waiting a very long time! And only do it if it is something you really want to do. it takes up a lot of time and you’ll probably be doing it for free for some time, so you need to enjoy it."

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