In today’s Her Business Story we meet Heidi Martin, the female entrepreneur behind Heidi & Co.
Heidi tell us more about your business Heidi & Co.
Heidi & Co. is a family of three purpose-driven jewellery labels that is devoted to inspiring positive change as much as it is to creating amazing and much-loved products.
Have you always wanted to do this?
I’ve always wanted to be a business owner, and when I was 6 I wanted to be a shopkeeper too. I set up a make-pretend mail order company called ‘Chubb Chop Shop’ selling my grandparents’ soap back to them when I went to stay with them. So whereas I knew from a young age that I wanted to have my own business, I’ve also always had an interest in design and fashion (but never really knew what to do with it).
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a deep-seated burning desire to set up and create my own thing. My Dad had his own company, which was a major influence for me growing up, and I later joined his practice to help secure the Board’s exit strategy, preparing the business for a multi-million pound deal with a FTSE-listed company. This was a milestone in my career but only furthered my desire to create my own business empire.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
I have always played around with ideas for my business and in the search for my passion. I spent a lot of time on personal and professional development over the years and it was only when I went through 2 major life-changing events that I stumbled across jewellery. Beading was the only way for me to switch off my brain, and Smeidi was born from this six years ago.
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
Our first large wholesale order with a large retailer was exciting, but definitely scary. We didn’t really have a clue what we were doing in terms of putting together the proposal and had to produce 1,500 pieces in-house in 10 days. Our small but amazing team managed it and the order was successful, but only after many sleepless nights!
What has been your proudest moment?
Seeing my Apprentice develop made me immensely proud. I loved seeing her confidence grow and watching her flourish.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
You have to just keep going and trust that the tough times pass. I am lucky to have built a great support network around me and couldn’t do it without them.
What does success mean to you?
Having happy customers, a happy team, and a product we all love whilst making money and giving back to a cause close to our hearts.
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
Absolutely! This business wouldn’t have started if I hadn’t made mistakes, which is why I will never penalise anyone in my team for it, as mistakes are how you learn. It’s slightly different if one’s making the same mistake five times, but I know that sometimes good things come from bad.
Which women inspire you?
Anyone who has reached the top of their game and has overcome obstacles to get there. I think we all have our own very unique story and I love learning about everyone’s individual journey. The obvious ones for me would be Victoria Beckham, Michelle Mone, Jo Malone, and Karen Brady…
And which men?
My Dad, Rodney Aldridge, Giorgio Armani, Richard Branson, James Caan
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
That there’s no such thing as an overnight success. That it’s hard work, constant learning and persistence that pays and to trust your gut instinct.
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
Anything is possible (Rod Aldridge’s 3 words of wisdom which I remind myself of when I’m having a wobble or my confidence and self belief has taken a kicking)