Ever wondered what you'd look like wooden? Wonder no more! I'd like to introduce you to Peggybobs, painted wooden peg dolls that can be custom made to you and your family. Including any furry friends you may have. Peggybobs are a unique and beautiful idea and I couldn't wait to interview Founder Meg...
Hi Meg, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hello! I’m Meg, I am painter of peg dolls at Peggybobs! I also still draw or paint the occasional cartoon family portrait which was the business I set up before Peggybobs. I love all things creative and outdoorsy! I love to travel, go to the gym and just being in nature is my happy place! I have an almost 4 year old daughter (Immi) and a hubbie in the RAF. I trained as a primary school teacher before meeting him and getting whisked away to Canada for 3 years, which was where I started selling my art.
Talk to us about Peggybobs...
So Peggybobs are little wooden peg dolls, designed and painted by me! I am currently concentrating on creating custom family sets, but in the new year I am planning on releasing some of my sets for children. I don’t get much time outside of evenings to paint, and am very lucky to be able to fit the business around Immi and being a full time mum. But next year she’ll be going to school (aaahh!) so then it will be all go at Peggybobs and hopefully I’ll be able to get all my (hundreds!) of ideas out then!
Sounds busy! Where did the idea for Peggybobs come from?
Since becoming a mum all of my creative energy has gone into projects for Immi! When she was very young I made a lot of things out of felt for her, painted a mural in her bedroom, things like that. As she got a bit older I became very interested in Montessori and Waldorf philosophies. The peg dolls fitted in well with the simplistic, beautiful wooden toys that spark imagination and learning through play. I saw some simple coloured ones and thought, hey I can do that! I then proceeded to have a gajillion ideas for new sets! The style was pretty much an extension of my previous art business - painting little characters and family portraits, so it made sense that I continued that in Peggybob form!
What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
I am inclined to want everything completely finished, planned, organised, for the next 6 months, before ever putting anything out there. I think I’ve learnt to just get it out there otherwise the perfectionist in me would never finish anything!! It was my friends who said to go for it and start selling my Peggybobs, otherwise I’d probably still be painting all the sets I could think of/getting my website just so etc. without actually showing anyone! Of course, just going for it and putting yourself out there comes with its own learning points and there are things I could have done much better, but hopefully we’re headed in the right direction!
If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
Go for it! I still don’t feel like a proper business woman, or that I know what I’m doing… but I am doing it! And it’s actually going well! I feel relatively clueless when it comes to the business side of it, but I’m muddling through, and if I can then anyone can! Find something that inspires you, that you love. Have confidence in yourself. Take each step as it comes, and before you know it you’ve gone and started a business! Find other people/groups in real life or social media where you can ask questions, get inspired and learn from other fab businesses on their journeys too. There are some wonderful communities out there, just like Women Who Do, where amazing people are there to support each other. This has been invaluable to me when starting up and finding my way.
What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting Peggybobs?
Ooh tricky! My biggest achievement I think has to be keeping the business going whilst doing a parenting job that I am proud of! It can be hard work to keep so many balls in the air, especially when you add into the mix a 3 year old who isn’t a huge fan of sleeping! At busy times when you’re working into the night and don’t get much time to yourself it can be easy to burn yourself out. So I’m pleased with how I’m managing it and making the business work for us, around our parenting goals, and not letting it dictate how my time is spent.
It would be easy to let the business run away with me and take over my life, and it can be hard seeing snippets of what you could have and seeing such inspiring business women out there who do such an awesome job of keeping it all going. But you have to know yourself and your own priorities.
For me, I know that I couldn’t put much more into the business without losing something important to me and the littlie in my main job as mum! I know how lucky I am that I can be in this position and choose to keep the business smaller and I’m so very thankful for that. So it means that I don’t get as many orders as I could, I don’t push it too far at the moment, but hopefully I am setting it up in such a way that when I’m ready to take on more business then I’ll be able to. I’m proud of the start that I’ve made!
Who inspires you?
Immi is my biggest inspiration! She’s such a curious girl, interested in so much! I love following her interests and creating things that I know she’ll love! My dad is an inspiration too – he’s a fantastic carpenter (he just does it as a hobby and has no idea how good he is!). He filled my own childhood with beautiful wooden toys and he’s now doing the same for Immi. His creations often inspire mine, and I often rope him into making things that I have thought up (poor chap!). Lots of my Peggybob sets have a nature theme to them, as it’s important to me to instil in Immi a love of nature as my folks did in me!
And finally, if you had any super power, what would it be?
Ok, this is really hard. Can my superpower be the power of assertiveness?!! And quick thinking?!!! That would be awesome!!! And extremely novel to me! It’s like that bit in You’ve Got Mail where Meg Ryan says she wants to be able to say exactly what she means there and then, instead of thinking of the perfect response days later (generally, in my case, when I’m trying to sleep!). That’s me. I think I’d be happy with that superpower… I’m not sure how much crime I’d solve, but possibly still more than I do now! ...That or flying.
Claryn Nicholas, It's Her Business Co-Editor
Claryn is a Calm Coach, yoga teacher, writer and advocate of all things self, care, love, wisdom and empowerment.
She loves being out in nature walking and exploring, photography, travel, foods and cooking, learning and investing in personal and professional development.
If you would like to be featured in It's Her Business, please contact Claryn or Katie at: firstname.lastname@example.org