Q&A with Hey Girls founder, Celia Hodson
Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week!
It's Global Entrepreneurship Week!
At Brewgooder, we love celebrating, collaborating with and being inspired by other businesses that are doing great things, whether that's in the brewing and drinks industries, ethical brands or further afield.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of new online businesses have emerged with lockdown, redundancies and furlough schemes pushing more and more people to take the leap and start up on their own.
This week we've decided to catch up with a couple of experienced entrepreneurs who we think are doing fantastic things in their fields, to find out more about their journey so far and pick their brains for some advice for any new start-ups and those budding entrepreneurs read to take the next step.
Today we are talking to Hey Girls founder, Celia Hodson.
Hey Girls was founded in 2017 by Celia Hodson alongside her daughters Becky and Kate, with the philosophy that young girls should never have to compromise their wellbeing or health. They sell environmentally friendly menstrual products, and for each box purchased, they give away one box to girls and young women in the UK from low-income families.
Read on to see what Celia had to say to our questions!
Hey Celia! What motivated you to set up your own company, rather than joining an existing business?
"Well that's a great question. I started Hey Girls to help solve a social issue - Period Poverty in the UK. When I first looked at the issue there were heaps of great projects collecting donations and distributing them to those who needed a little extra help but I wanted to find a viable and sustainable solution where retail became a force for good rather than just making a profit for a few shareholders. A Buy One Give One model seemed the obvious choice."
Have you always felt like an entrepreneur?
"No not really and I'm not sure I do now, which I know may sound a little strange given the level of wonderful awards I have been given for being entrepreneurial. I just think I'm doing my bit and have been incredibly lucky to have a wonderful network of brilliant and knowledgeable supporters and the most talented team that makes all the good stuff happen."
If you weren’t running Hey Girls, what do you think you’d be doing?
"It's hard to imagine life outside of Hey Girls now, and that thought kind of brings a lump to my throat but I guess like all of us though Lockdown we think about the What Ifs. I've experienced such huge generosity from others in my start-up journey and I'd like to pay some of that forward. I'm happy to share the peaks and troughs of life leading a social enterprise so mentoring is a great way of doing that. I also love to garden and I have three of the most beautiful and energising grandchildren so I'm guessing I would seek more time with them....in a bigger garden."
How do you manage your work-life balance?
"Oh dear; it was all going so well! – I’m not sure I’ve quite sorted that one just yet. I spend time with family whenever I can which is so precious. It recharges my batteries and feeds my soul. On a daily basis I practice mindfulness – usually when travelling as its helpful when I’m captive on a train and I find it boosts my performance at the other end of the journey."
Finally, what advice would you give to those looking to start their own business?
"I have a holy trilogy on this that goes - Start somewhere and move up! I meet so many budding entrepreneurs who tell me that they have been working on their business plan for twelve months and still not moved into action. I always suggest that folks start, just do a small pilot, reflect, refine and then go again – and if it’s not working then fail fast and continue to upskill and learn from other businesses you admire.
Number two is - Know where you can flex. When I set up Hey Girls I hadn’t considered supplying public and private sector space with pads and tampons as I thought the market was online and in supermarkets but 18 months into our journey those contracts are 75% of our turnover. So keep an open mind to new market opportunities. Including that new segment of customers into our wider customer base as enabled us to donate 11.5 million period products across the UK.
And finally, and most importantly - Be honest with yourself. If you have that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, then it probably isn’t going to work, so listen to your gut."
We'd like to say a massive thank you to Celia for taking the time to answer our questions!
You can find out more about Hey Girls and check out their products HERE.
Follow Hey Girls on Instagram.
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