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Client Stories: An Interview with Pops & Dudes

26th Sep 2023

I’ll be asking all the questions with another one of my amazing clients, Ashley from Pops and Dudes, (featuring lots of photos from our product shoots together too) in this month as part of my Client’s Stories series, to chat through what she loves most about her job and what it’s like working as an independent. Pops and Dudes is the ultimate go-to for beautiful teething toys and children’s accessories, and after loads of product shoots together, I can’t wait for you to hear all about Ashley’s business journey.

 

Hi Ashley, why and when did you decide to start your incredible business?

 

In 2018, I unexpectedly started my small business. It wasn’t something I planned intentionally; it just happened by chance. After having my two girls, Lola and Daisy, in 2013 and 2015, only 16 months apart, we began calling them by their cute nicknames. Lola became “Pops” and Daisy became “Dudes”. I thought Pops and Dudes sounded good together, so I made the decision to choose it as the name for my small business.

Feeling the need for a hobby, something that was just for me beyond the role of being a mum, I stumbled upon something that would completely transform my life. I specialise in creating safe, high quality and affordable personalised teethers and dummy clips. Safety is a priority for my business and i am very proud to say that all of our designs have been independently tested in a UKAS accredited test house to the highest safety standards.

I developed an intense passion for my new hobby, pouring my heart and soul into it. It became like my third baby, something I nurtured and cherished. Starting from my dressing table in the bedroom, I dedicated myself to its growth. Now, five years later, I find myself sitting in my own office, typing this with a deep sense of fulfilment. The hard work is paying off, and I am grateful to still be pursuing what I love.

 

 

Pops and Dudes Product Photoshoot

Pops and Dudes Product Photoshoot

 

 

            What do you love most about what you do?

 

I absolutely adore seeing the finished products of every order I create. It brings me pure delight to look at each item and genuinely think, “Wow, that looks beautiful.” I pour my heart and soul into crafting every piece with an abundance of love.

Furthermore, being my own boss brings me immense happiness. The freedom and independence that come with running my own business are truly fulfilling.

 

 

What does a typical working day look like for you?

 

A Typical Working Day:

9:30 AM – I start my day in the office, preparing tasks for Lindsay, my wonderful sister and assistant.

10:00 AM – Lindsay begins her work, which involves stringing items up for me to then finish them, packaging them, and organising the post office run.

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM – During this time, I focus on making and fulfilling orders, as well as responding to emails and other administrative tasks.

2:00 PM – It’s time for the post office run

 

 

Tell us a little about your favourite platform to sell on.

 

Instagram is my favourite selling platform because it has created a strong community for me. Through Instagram, I have also formed two very supportive friendships with two ladies in particular who run a similar business to me, we talk all day everyday and constantly uplift and encourage each other.  The friendly and welcoming nature of the Instagram community fosters a sense of camaraderie. It’s more than just a place to sell; it’s a community where I have found friendship and support.

 

Product Photoshoot for Pops and Dudes

 

What’s been a highlight in your business journey so far?

 

The highlight for my business was getting accepted by Not on the High Street. It was a goal I had always aspired to.  Being approved by Not on the High Street was a significant achievement. It validated my hard work and the unique value of my products. The platform’s reputation for curating independent businesses made the acceptance even more meaningful.

 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in running your own business?

  

Over the course of five years, I have truly learned to cultivate a resilient mind-set and develop a thick skin. This transformative journey has made me a different person today and I genuinely appreciate the person I have become as a result.

 

Product Shoot for Pops and Dudes

 

 

Do you enjoy working as an independent business?

 

Working as an independent business owner brings me immense joy because it allows me to make my own decisions and express my creativity freely. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to do something I genuinely love every day. My business is like my baby, receiving my utmost care and dedication as I nurture it with passion and commitment.

 

You can find Pops & Dudes on Instagram or shop Ashley’s stunning products from her online shop – featuring lots of photos from our product shoots together!

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