Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a bi-weekly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Supal from Chevrons & Eclairs
Tell us a little bit about your blog and consultancy. What exactly do you do and what is your favorite thing about doing it?
My blog, chevrons & éclairs, is a lifestyle blog that simply chronicles my life and experiences through recipes, outfits, travel posts and more. I’m lucky enough to have lived in a few exotic places and have experienced a lot through travel and there is one thing I’m afraid of, and it is losing what I’ve gained. So that’s why I started c&é, to pen those moments and share my narrative. Currently, I live in London and so my blog covers my time in London and transitioning into a new lifestyle.
I started C&É Consultancy a few years after the blog and with no intention really! On the blog, I shared a bit about my education, what I know and what I have been exposed to. Ultimately, sharing the fact that I have a background in business, economics and international relations. Since then, I had companies contact me to help them bring together their business goals and designs, which gave life to my business. I like to say that C&É Consultancy is a management consultancy for emerging and established fashion brands that need navigating in the industry through market analysis and design.
Do you use any apps or programs that help with budgeting? Which are your favorites?
Honestly, I only use Excel and Genius Scan for everything regarding budgeting, finance and bookkeeping. Genius Scan is a mobile-app that can turn a picture into a scan (great for receipts!) and then I created a bookkeeping template on Excel (my economics background helps here) to watch my finances.
What are three apps or programs that you use daily as a business owner?
- Evernote – keeps my thoughts, notes and diagrams for each client organized.
- iCal – So easy to share your deadlines and projects with others on your team!
- Voice Memos app – on iPhone you can record like you’re a journalist. I like to record the first few meetings with clients to make sure I didn’t miss any information whilst taking notes and asking them a series of questions about their company, business, market, budget, etc.
What is your favorite social media platform? Why?
Instagram! I love that it’s predominantly visual and everyone is forced to show their creativity through a small box. I also like that I can just quickly scroll through my feed to see what my friends around the world are up to and how they’re doing.
What has surprised you the most about being a small business owner?
I never was really interested in being a business owner. Growing up, I watched my parents work endlessly on our family business and it slightly turned me off at first. I knew it was hard work and a lot of work, but I guess I didn’t realize that being a small business owner means you are going to wear many hats. I play the role as my own accountant, business adviser, marketing strategist, and of course the consultant.
What or whom inspires you?
My dad. Is that too cliché? My dad is a business owner and has always been. He is literally my go-to guy for everything. Keeps me grounded, keeps me motivated and keeps me informed.
Something that keeps me motivated is reading about women in business and politics. From Hilary Clinton to Arianna Huffington to Sophia Amoruso. I continue to read biographies and autobiographies by like women to stay inspired.
What goals do you have for your business over the next five years?
I want C&É Consultancy’s philosophy to be something emerging designers and businesses prioritize. I imagine that C&É Consultancy will have a network of retained clients that entrust us to help them navigate critical business decisions.
What was the best piece of advice you were given?
From my friend Adam, “win the day”. Most of the projects and contracts we have are huge and long-term, it’s best to look at the little wins of the day instead of continuing to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
How do you define success as a business owner?
Falling in love with what you do and waking up everyday with a smile.
Images: Sara Lejon