Stanley and Maud prides itself on it’s collection of personalised jewellery and gifts, all of the pieces in the collection have been made from materials sourced from Great British Suppliers. Owner, Charlotte Boulton is a married mother of two children aged six and two. The business is based in her home on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
When and why did you start out?
I’ve always been creative and often dabbled in new craft hobbies here and there but nothing ever stuck, I love jewellery and always pecked at my husband for more! He told me “I had enough” and obviously i wasn’t happy to hear that so I decided to start designing my own and I officially opened Stanley and Maud in January 2015, I had my son in the September before so I was on maternity leave from my full-time job as an events coordinator, I was told there was a highly likely chance of being made redundant upon my return so I took the business full-time in Summer 2015.
Do you have any formal training?
Absolutely none! I have taught myself everything from books and videos online. The designs within my collection come from everyday inspiration and each piece is designed to sit amongst other pieces.
How do you fit in running a business with having a family?
Sometimes it can be really hard…summer holidays and half term are a real spanner in the works because I want to spend as much time as possible with the children but I also have work to do! I get so much support from my husband as he tries to take holidays from work at the same time the children are off. Day to day I am all about a routine! I can’t work without a routine! I wake up earlier than everyone else to organise orders, print labels and answer emails. My son still naps so I spend my morning playing trains and dinosaurs then spending my afternoon stamping orders! Once the children are in bed I spend the evening packaging orders and planning what I’m going to achieve the next day!
What has been the biggest challenge since starting your business?
Trying to find a happy balance between my work and family life…I don’t always get it right but things are good and as the business grows I’m dragging them in to help me! My husband has titled himself the ‘Director of Packing’! I loved my old job but I love that I can work from home and be there for all the little moments like the school run, school plays and family meal times.
And the best reward/achievement?
Being recognised by Tatler, Glamour and Elle was a huge achievement for Stanley and Maud. Being asked by three major fashion/lifestyle magazines to feature was so exciting…it was an amazing feeling knowing they thought you were good enough to be on their glossy pages! The best reward is by far the feedback I get from my lovely customers, I have such a kind loyal following and I’m so so grateful.
What are your business goals for 2017?
I have lots of new plans underway but I can’t share those just yet! I have recently just received my first ever stockist order for a family run business in Yorkshire which was really hard work but so exciting! I would like to gain more stockists next year and there’s the potential to add a team member to Stanley and Maud…fingers crossed!
Are there any barriers to achieving your goals?
Hopefully not! Time and space is always an issue! I am slowly taking over the house with boxes of supplies and orders but at least my branding is similar to my home interiors so I like to think it all blends! ha!
Have you built a support network of other mums/women in business?
Most definitely, I couldn’t be without my Insta friends! working on your own can sometimes be really lonely especially when you’ve come from an office full of people! I have such a lovely bunch of followers and their love and support means the world! My friends, family and husband support me through everything but sometimes it’s good to talk to people who are the same boat as you. I have a handful of go-to girls who I couldn’t be without…we’ve had midnight rants, shared a bottle of virtual wine whilst we celebrate and when you’re having one of those days they just know how to snap you out of it!
Any tips for mum’s just starting out in business?
Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be open about why you started, you’ll be surprised how many people are or have been in the same situation as you. If you can’t stop thinking about something then do it.
If you haven’t seen Charlotte’s work (be prepared to want it ALL) you can shop the full collection at Stanley & Maud