After over a decade spent working in various fashion and beauty companies, Claire Quayle decided it was time to take charge of her own schedule and put her marketing skills to use with a project of her own. And so, Clairilla was born.
Clairilla offers digital services for local businesses, including web design, digital marketing and social media. As well as a bespoke e-commerce and brand consultancy offering – specially geared up for clients in the fashion and beauty industries.
“I love that by working in these areas it means I can bridge the gap between my love of fashion and beauty with new technology, markets and the future of digital. When I graduated from Liverpool Hope University in 2008 online shopping was booming – being a part of that growth has been such a fulfilling and invaluable experience.”
As a first-time mum Claire decided it was the perfect time to take the plunge and put her experience to the test.
“I had always wanted to set up myself but wanted to gain a varied experience in industry first. Since having my daughter I decided that this would be the perfect time to set up as I can work my schedule around her and work for myself.”
Working from home gives Claire the flexibility to be with her daughter and find a work-life balance, while keeping business costs and overheads down as she continues to grow and develop Clairilla.
So, how did Claire get the ball rolling on her new venture?
Claire explained that it all started with thinking up her “ideal client” and the work she wanted to do. With her ideal client in mind, Claire drew up a list of services which she would offer them.
Armed with a plan Claire contacted our partners at The Women’s Organisation, where she was introduced to business advisor Yan Miao who worked through the business start-up process with her.
“I had some fantastic advice and tips from the team at The Women’s Organisation, as well as using my previous experience. I found this support invaluable as it provided me with the tools, advice and knowledge to launch my company with confidence.
“One of the areas I found daunting was the financial management side of running a business, but Yan provided me with all the tools I needed as well as options for bookkeeping and tax courses.”
Life as a first-time mum has been busy for Claire, but with the support of her family and friends she quickly found a balance. She says: “I manage by scheduling my time with childcare as well as remote meetings and phone calls with clients. The Women’s Organisation have also been very understanding allowing me to bring my daughter along to some meetings!”
We asked Claire what her top tip would be for someone looking to start up a business of their own.
“I would advise them to get in touch with The Women’s Organisation. Also to be clear about their ideal client and target them first. It is tempting to cast the net wide to catch more clients but a more focused approach will benefit your business more in the long run.
“One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to just take the plunge. From doubting social posts, tweaking my website and networking at events. Everyone is nervous at the start, but once you’ve tried a few times the ball soon gets rolling and your confidence grows. Always trust your gut, instinct goes a very long way!”
With a raft of new clients and a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, things don’t look to be slowing down any time soon for Claire!
“With the knowledge gained throughout my career I am so excited for where my new business will take me and the potential it has. I feel really excited and motivated to continue working on finding new clients as well as enjoying the projects I am currently working on!”
Ready to grow?
If you think your business would benefit from support or funding, get in touch and we’ll help you work things out.