As part of our focus on successful small businesses, we spoke to Humble Home, a gift ware and hand-made furniture online business. Humble Home give first hand experiences about what it is like to start your own business, the challenges and some tips along the way!
Tell us about yourself
We are a small business that offers the finest selection of interior products, giftware and hand-made furniture, to add style and beauty to any home, but at an affordable price. As a business we are passionate about interiors and creating rooms/spaces that offer a true reflection of an individual’s style and personality. Our influences and products reflect an aura of shabby chic, rustic charm and vintage elegance.
What made you start your business?
My partner and I have always had an extreme eye for detail and would always comment on different types of furniture or unique designs.
There is a classical saying that ‘home is where the heart is’, when deconstructing this phrase, we consider there to be an important message. Your home is the beat to your entire lives and we as a business would like the opportunity to play an instrumental role in supplying people with the most delightful products to keep individual environments beating strong!
Fortunately, we have been lucky enough to travel to many places within the world and we have used this opportunity to expand our knowledge on furniture and gifts and liaise with local craftsmen to source items that are made with the most amount of love and attention to detail. Equipped with this knowledge and dedication, Humble Home was born!
Describe your business in 3 words?
Customer-orientated, Affordable, Humble!
What kind of impact has social media made on your business?
Social media is a prominent platform that we use to promote our business and engage with our customers. It is just as important for us to be involved with a community of like-minded people as it is to promote our brand and the products that we sell. We use social media to identify social trends and fashion, which in turn has an impact on the items that we choose to buy and sell. For us our business starts with our customers and ends with our customers and social media is a fantastic tool that completes this cycle.
What social media platforms do you use to use to promote your business and which one is your favourite?
At the moment we use Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I think that each platform has its own unique characteristics and our preference for each platform changes regularly. At the moment we personally enjoy interacting with people on twitter. We have so many cool followers and I feel as though there is a true sense of community on there. We are friends with many other people who also have their own independent businesses and the love and support that we have had from these people is outstanding. There is such a positive vibe on this particular platform as we all share a common goal, which is to share our chosen passion to the rest of the world.
Tell us of the challenges you have had to overcome
When starting your own business, it is essential to conduct extensive research into the chosen field that you wish to enter in to. We have had some experiences that have been costly and have resulted in products that we do not wish to sell. Ultimately your core values and quality must come first.
Trying to squeeze 30 hours out of a 24 hour day has also been quite challenging. We have so many ideas and want to provide all of our customers with the best possible experience when choosing Humble Home that we work extremely long hours. It does however, all become worth it when we receive great feedback.
What are the best and worst parts about starting your business?
One of the best things about owning your own business is having the ability to wake up to something that you are truly passionate about. It is a pleasure to deal with customers on a daily basis who have taken the time to buy and appreciate the items that we have put so much of ourselves into.
I think the worst thing for us is not being able to purchase everything that we would like to stock! As a start-up business you need to keep a very close eye on your finances to make sure that you maintain a profitable venture. We could easily restock our store on a daily basis if we had a bottomless pit of money!
What advice would you give someone looking to start a business
Firstly, we would recommend that you take your time during the research stage of your business. It is at this stage where you will identify whether your business idea is viable or not. Very often we find ourselves having to slam on the breaks, to make sure we do not get carried away and lose sight of our main goals!
Secondly, there needs to be the correct balance of passion, business acumen, willingness to succeed and a clear demand for your product or service. You will find all of this out during the beginning stages of your research. For example, we spent two years researching our products, seeing where they are made, talking with suppliers, building a brand, conducting market research and that was before we had even purchased a single thing!
Finally, it is important to not be afraid of making mistakes. It is inevitable that they will happen, however the aim of the game is to reduce the impact that these mistakes may have on your business. This is where really great market research comes into play. Hopefully, if you have been concise at this stage, the errors that do occur have less impact on the day-to-day operation of your business.
What’s next for Humble Home?
It sounds super cheesy but we are really ‘humble’ (see what I did there?) with the way in which our business is operating. We have a fantastic customer base and an outstanding product range that fits everyone’s price range from a simple photo frame to a stunning hand-made dresser. As previously mentioned we are continually looking to expand our product range to provide the very best for our customers.
Although many of our products are sourced from around the world, we really like the idea of providing a line of gifts or home ware that is hand-made and crafted within the UK. There are so many talented people out there, that we would love to create a new line that specifically focuses on these items. As always our brains are running ahead of themselves, it could be time for some more research…
To see more fantastic gifts and furniture or for further information, please visit Humble Home’s website or email