Taking the leap
After somewhere in the region of 35 jobs (don’t judge I was only forced to leave one), I decided to try self employment when I had my daughter Aida. I wanted to be freer to manage my own time and workload so I could be there for all her magic moments and I didn’t want to be stressed and irritable which is pretty much how every work place made me feel. Approaching a year in business, I can confirm it was them, not me. I still work part-time as a Personal Assistant with one client whom I adore and it has never felt like the toxic workplaces I was used to.
Capitalising on Opportunity
Recently, things upped their pace quite considerably when I was asked to join the Egg & Co. store on George Street, Edinburgh. My initial thought process was ‘I’m going to have to say no, how can I possibly arrange all my stock, childcare and time off work at a day’s notice?’. However, I must be more of an entrepreneur than I thought because I said yes and told myself everything else would follow. In stepped my best friends who offered to help at the shop, family who agreed to take care of Aida, and colleagues who not only covered my shifts but also stayed up with me until the wee hours pricing and ticketing my stock!
Upping my Game
The other brands in the space were incredible, so polished, so professional – I’d hoped they’d all been well established for years however when I found out they were pretty much all lockdown businesses my inner critic kicked in again – I didn’t belong here. I spent everyday working on the visual merchandising of my stock, learning from the other women there. I used the time to practice my social media skills, making reels and even taking over the Egg Instagram for a day! My favourite part of the the experience was talking about Tunisia, the female artisans I work with and the shopping experience of the Medina. With every sale, my confidence grew – people liked the products and yes, the business needed more refinement, but this was my starting point, and I know I have vision. I’m proud of what I’ve created with my tiny savings account. A business that will *just* turn a profit in its first year, a business that has promoted Tunisian culture and artisans as well as a source of income for a number of people there.
Learning & Growing
I’ve even survived my first return! I felt incredibly guilty to have supplied a carpet to someone that was damaged – it wasn’t yet on the website and as such I hadn’t photographed or inspected it with the same diligence I normally would have. I ofcourse issued a full refund and apology immediately and made contact with my supplier to determine the best way forward. These difficult moments and lessons will come up – but I am truly committed to The Wee Souk, it’s like having a little of Tunisia and the best version of myself back.
Huge thanks to all the women at Egg & Co. for creating such a beautiful and supportive environment for growth, development and success. My confidence has grown immensely because of it. Do pop along for a visit to see all the other amazing women led brands popping up!