Things I’m learning about running a business

  1. Don’t rush into it without thinking it through.
  2. Do rush into it (else you will never make it happen)
  3. Don’t be hasty choosing a business name…
  4. …But it also doesn’t matter if you do change it. Do it sooner rather than later. I really very quickly grew to dislike the first brand name. I chose it because I didn’t follow my first point; I did rush, I didn’t consider the consequences a .london domain would bring (people assuming it’s part of the name) and it was too specific a name for the products I wanted to include. In short, it was confusing, lacked a contemporary feel and was limiting. Rebranding to the Quiet store has been liberating. I can grow the store in a new direction, I’m not embarrased by the name, the branding is distinct. It takes no time at all to register a name change with Companies House, you can change your social media handles without losing the followers you have built up and if you plan the transition, it can be entirely painfree.
  5. Learn to take good photos – I’m still so behind on that…
  6. And if you can’t take good photos, it *is* worth paying a professional to take them for you.
  7. Learn to prioritise – is it worth investing in stock if you don’t have the money to make your products look amazing with beautiful photography, for instance?
  8. Don’t think that voucher codes and discounts are the be all and end all for driving traffic to your shop. I thought it was a no-brainer to offer discounts, but really, it undercuts the value and quality of the products in the first place. Discounts still exist (a 10% off for new subscribers) and may appear from time to time, but don’t run them all the time. It undervalues you.
  9. Free shipping is really, really hard to sustain as a small independent business. I’d welcome some input into this.

And finally… Keep a tidy desktop. Spreadsheet everything. I have hours of catching up with this that I’m yet to do….

That said, this is all super exciting. The interest in the Quiet store is sparky and refreshing. I’m excited to see where it might all go…!

Posted in: My thoughts, Shop news
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Book review: Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel

High-fives. I’ve managed to finish reading another book.

When my best friend first told me to read Station Eleven, and I asked her what it was about, she said: “It’s set in the future. It’s about this group of actors, they travel around performing Shakespeare. Just read it.” I wasn’t exactly sold on that description. But she’s right. Oh my word, it’s just so hard to convey just how incredible this novel is. The kind of novel that leaves one writer (me) shaking their head, thinking “I’m no way near as good a writer as this.” But I also wouldn’t be writing a very good post if all I say is just read it. So let me try.

A deadly virus hits the world and everything changes. They call it the “collapse.” Few people survive; they live life on the road, survival of the fittest. Some of them try to hold on and preserve something of the world they remember, or if not actually remember (because they were too young to remember life with electricity and the internet), the world the remaining older generation talks about. A group called the Travelling Symphony tries to do this. They travel in vans across north America, from one place to the next, putting on plays. Trying to offer some sort of escape through culture and words.

But the book isn’t a lesson purely in the endurance of art (it’s not like there’s lots of Shakespeare actually in it). What it is, rather, is an exploration of loss, of memory, of fear. Of the fear of dying. The fear of surviving in a world which you can’t trust. It’s an exploration of how big the world is and yet how small the sparks and connections are that bind people together. What are the chances, of all the people who live beyond the virus, that at least two of them are connected by chance, and that their small lives have overlapped in a way which they don’t even recognise until the end?

Look, I’m probably still not doing a good job at reviewing this. I have already posted my copy to another friend with a note – “just read it.” There is so much tragedy and thrilling, chilling twists and turns in this book, and it is all just so beautifully written. Woeful and beautiful and bold.

I leave you with a line I underscored. Even taken out of context, it leaves me cold, for what would you do if you were trying to survive in a world which was dying?

“But these thoughts broke apart in his head and were replaced by strange fragments: This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air. Finally whispering the two same words over and over: “Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.”

Posted in: Books, Writing & Reading
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September – six things to look forward to


  1. Exciting new developments over at my shop, the Quiet store, with new accessories and homeware range launching very soon
  2. More family birthdays
  3. My little boy starts nursery
  4. Cosying down for autumn (follow my pinterest board)
  5. My local bookshop starts its first bookclub
  6. So many interior design shows to catch, I haven’t been since my journalist days and can’t wait to get back to it (LDF, Tent)
Posted in: My thoughts, Things I love

Shop updates

After working all bank holiday weekend, we revamped my little shop’s website, did mini-photoshoots at home and have new products in stock and new ranges on the way. I don’t want to make this blog all about my business, but it’s such an incredibly different way of working to what I am used to, I feel I have to share it. After indecision about where to go, what to do next, I now have something tangible to work on while I don’t necessarily have the headspace for creativity in thousands of words that a book requires. This is no bad thing. Running a small business is a huge learning curve but right now, I need focus in a different way, and surrounding myself with beautiful objects while learning every step of the way is allowing me that. I am enjoying it.

Here’s a little glimpse of what’s in store and some of the photos we took. Even more exciting and more Her Little Place relevant products (homeware, such beautiful homeware) arriving soon. Everything you see is available over here.

Posted in: Design, My thoughts, Shop, Things I love
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How inkifi saved my iPhone photos

I have problems with my iPhone. It works, it freezes, sometimes it doesn’t switch on at all. This happened last week and my first thought was not so much about losing the functionality of my phone, but more about losing what’s on there. The photos. The videos. The memories.

I have videos on my phone of my toddler’s first steps. My newborn discovering his hands for the first time. I have photos of our first family holiday. Our first family home together. The thought of losing them… well.

Hastily when my phone decided to work again, I downloaded the inkifi app and set about printing almost all my photos straight away. Luckily, I have the best of my photos locked away in a private family Instagram feed (I also have an Instagram account for her little place, and for my shop too) so it was relatively quick and easy to get them all into inkifi.

I chose vintage prints, like polaroids only cleaner and slicker, and I’m thrilled to bits with them. I packaged the best of them into a gorgeous Kraft gift box (like the ones I use to package up goodies in the shop) as a birthday present for R from the little ones, with some washi tape. It’s made for a pretty awesome little present. I think he’ll agree.


Posted in: Design, Things I love
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