Wednesday, December 1, 2021

How I manage my money: “I was laid off but now my company is making £ 2,000 a month”

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“The idea for Sleepgoddess was inspired by my own struggles with sleep and worrying about my daughter”

This week we’re talking to Laurelle Darroux from East London who founded Sleepgoddess, selling vegan, ethical and UK-made sleeping accessories.

In our “How to manage my money” series, we aim to find out how people in the UK are spending, saving and investing to meet their costs and achieve their goals.

I grew up on the Caribbean island of Dominica, where I won scholarships that allowed me to go to high school and college. My parents were both entrepreneurs and I grew up with my father as a hardworking worker. From a young age my mother encouraged me to earn an income because our family was not doing well financially.

I worked for the Dominica government as an assistant maritime administrator for a while, which gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world. I worked hard and saved well to leave the island to go to university here in the UK. I was the first in my family to go to university and do a Masters.

My Masters degree in International Maritime Policy resulted in my first job in this country as a maritime data analyst. I worked in my ideal job until 2019 but was fired in October 2019 as the organization wanted to cut its expenses. I felt down and depressed.

I had a toddler and 12 month old baby and was concerned about the impact of losing my job on my family’s finances. Although I received severance payments, I used some of it to start my business, Sleepgoddess, which will be in September 2020.

The idea for Sleepgoddess, which sells vegan, ethical and UK-made sleeping accessories, was inspired by my own problems with sleeping and caring for my daughter. I discovered a niche in the market for elastic silk pillowcases that are easy to transfer from a cot to a buggy. I make my own pillow sprays and shower mists and grow some of the ingredients for them in my allotment garden.

Currently online sales bring in £ 1,500 to £ 2,000 a month. Later this month, Sleepgoddess will expand into some pop-up shops like Seekology and be available online through various platforms, in addition to my own website. I took advantage of BT and Google’s free digital skills training that has been a lifeline. I was also fortunate to have a mentoring session on the BT x Google schema from Liz Earle, which was an honor.

I’ve always wanted to start my own business, so my firing was a blessing as it enabled me to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. I am economical and love upcycling furniture and buying used toys. This means that we as a family can spend less money on consumer goods.

I started saving money for a pension as soon as I got my first job in this country and I think young people should start one as soon as they start working to make sure they have less to worry about as they get older . My short term financial goals are focused on growing my business.

I want to bring some new, innovative products to market, including a bluetooth eye mask that I’m currently prototyping. I would like to move operations from my kitchen and living room to an off-site room where I can manufacture and store my products.

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