Innovation Ignition Series – Emma Veiga-Malta Creator Of My Bespoke Chair

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A Blog Series putting the spotlight on Women who have taken an idea from concept to creation

 

 

The goal of this series is to showcase innovative kickass women who have created their own product range. It puts the spotlight on the daring, bold women behind the brand.

If you’re interested in sharing your story, email Sparkle@MoniqueAlamedine.com with the subject line ‘Innovation Ignition Series’.

My Bespoke Chair is a fabulous service created by Emma Veiga-Malta for everyday peeps to create THE perfect chair to fit their needs and style.

 

Name:

Emma Veiga-Malta Emma-Veiga-Malta-profile-portrait

Website:

www.mybespokechair.com

When did you start your business?

I launched the online business in 2012, but I have been an artist and designer for 16 years.

Tell us about your Business/Product:

It’s a website where you design your perfect chair. You design it using our fun and intuitive design tool – we make it for you and deliver it to your door.

What problem does your product solve?

Buying furniture online has traditionally been a dull and uninspiring affair. Drop down menus and wordy instructions with very little scope for buying something truly unique. My Bespoke Chair gives everyone the chance to design their perfect chair, to show their unique style and personality. I can honestly say, I have never sold two chairs the same.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There is no typical day, though sometimes I wish there were! I balance work with my family. I enjoy what I do so much that without their love and fun, I’d happily be working 24/7. Being an online business, and working predominantly alone, I spend most of my time on the Mac. However, I always make efforts to meet up physically with other solopreneurs and attend industry events. One minute I’m making packed lunches, the next I’m arranging printed fabrics from Portugal.

What/who inspired the idea?

Other small business owners inspire me. Knowing that everyone successful started from zero inspires me. Not one successful person was born with success or 3000 sales ‘in the bag’, and that is heartening. Technology inspires me too – I work in the mass customisation space, where consumers can co-design products before buying, and that is the future of online. It’s is hugely exciting.

What’s your top 3 low cost/free product marketing tips?

i) Create great graphics for your social media and newsletters via Picmonkey and Canva. Each platform has its advantages and specialities. Don’t waste your money on Photoshop – unless it is absolutely indispensable for your business.
ii) Sign up to your industry leader’s newsletters.
iii) Go to actual events in the real world. Online is great, but meeting human being in the flesh is still the top currency.

Best time management tips. If you’re a Mum tell us about how you manage mamahood and running a business:

Smartphones can sap your energy and attention– I try very hard to ignore my iphone when I’m with the kids. I do not want my kids’ memories of their childhood being mum tapping away on her phone saying “Yes darling, be with you in a minute.” It’s hard though!

What ecommerce software do you use?

Nothing particular, that I am aware of. My shopping cart was integrated into my site by my developers, but I use Paypal.

Your Favourite drink?

English Breakfast tea for the day. G&T for the evenings.

What advice would you give to budding innovators?

If a perfect stranger gives you money for your product/innovation, you have the potential for a business. Friends and family do not count.

Biz tools you just couldn’t manage without?

I don’t have any automated business tools. I have my accountant and keep things pretty simple.

What’s your typical work fashion style? Ie pj’s sporty, makeup etc

I always dress smartly and stylishly when I go out or if I’m on a Skype meeting or Google Hangout. But at home, sitting at my desk, I wear loose clothing and no make-up.

3 things that would surprise us to know about you?

I am claustraphobic and would rather walk 15 flights than take a lift. I thought that the internet was a fad, back in 1997. I would happily never eat chocolate again, but I’d never give up tea.

What song gets you pumping?

‘Jump’ by Madonna from her Confessions on The Dancefloor album. I feel anything is possible when I hear that song. And more recently ‘Happy’ by Pharell.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Believe Alone. My father hung a framed calligraphy picture with just those 2 words above our beds when we were little

What’s your Brand Vibe?

Creative, fun and stylish.

What was your biggest challenge when you started and now?

The biggest challenge was getting the online ‘point, click and spin 360’ design tool built; the facility for a customer to design their perfect chair. Being able to spin a chair 360 and change every element according to the customers’ desires was not an ‘out-of-the-box’ template. I had to verbally explain how I wanted the chair design tool to look and function. For a non-tech girl, with an arts degree, that was tough! But the result was spectacular. Worth the 9 months of build. Now my biggest challenge is growing and maintaining my sales funnel. I need to be on the case with social media, blogging, newsletters, PR and meetings every day. I can never drop the ball.

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Monique Alamedine is a product creation expert, who specializes in turning million dollar ideas into tangible products. She helps innovative product creators and online retailers to create an authentic brand, and build a raving fan base. Mum, Blingstreses & Entrepeneur, she launched the revolutionary Snugbods Bodysuits, which have been featured in such media as The Today Show, The Catch Up Show, ABC Matters. Woman's Day, Who and Dolly Magazine. She also introduced eco-stylish Glass Drinking Straws - all with no previous product experience. Sign up for your FREE Product Strategy Session.