Worcestershire mum Mrs Best turned her search for the perfect nursery into her own design business and is now selling to customers as far away as the US, South Africa and Australia…
Entrepreneur Sarah Best set up her own bespoke arts and interiors company, Mrs Best, just over a year ago in a bid to design personalised art prints, children’s wall graphics and baby clothing.
As founder of Birmingham-based Soda Design, Sarah decided to use her experience as a graphic designer to set up the business after struggling to find a suitable nursery for her daughter Tilly.
“Mrs Best produces personalised art prints and unique homewares for the young and young at heart, to mark life’s special occasions,” says Sarah.
“All of our products are proudly made in the UK and always with the environment in mind, it’s something I feel very passionate about.
“We sell via our own website in addition to other online marketplaces including Etsy & ‘All by Mama’.
“We have also just started selling wholesale and our children’s range can be found in ‘Kids Emporium’ - a high street store based in Guildford, Surrey.”
Aside from setting up and running Mrs Best, Sarah also runs her own graphic design consultancy named Soda Design which she established in 2004.
Prior to this, she worked within the broadcast industry as a senior print designer, over an eight year period, working at BBC Birmingham and ITV Central. She said: “I’ve always had a creative role, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!”
Launching Mrs Best was a little different to her previous roles but it was a new challenge she was relishing. “The idea behind Mrs Best came to me after welcoming my daughter Tilly to the world when I found it a real challenge to find beautiful co-ordinating pieces for her nursery,” she added.
“So after one search too many, I took matters into my own hands and drew upon 15 years’ of creative experience as a graphic designer to produce a new, innovative range of gorgeous interiors and homewares.
“Our USP is our design-led products. Taking inspiration from the whimsical world around us, our collections feature beautiful typography, on-trend design, bold patterns and heartfelt personalised messages with intention of bringing fun and delight to any home.”
As any serial-entrepreneur will tell you – it can be quite a hard task juggling more than one business at the same time and Sarah was no different. Especially being a mother to a young toddler at the same time.
“I’d say my biggest challenge in setting up Mrs Best has been the amount of time needed to get the business off the ground,” she said.
“I definitely underestimated how much time I needed to invest in the business so have endured lots of late nights and strong cups of tea along the way!
“As a working mom to a toddler it’s been tiring but it’s been extremely worthwhile and now I have a business which fits around my family life.”
But the hard work is certainly paying off. Having launched the business just 14 months ago – Sarah has had a stellar first year in business and is seeing orders fly in from across the globe.
“We’ve had had a phenomenal first year; we’re seeing our sales double month-on-month and have a rapidly growing customer database.
“Our offering has also grown and we’ve developed an exclusive range of greeting cards which is being well received both by the press and our customers.
“We’ve even had orders from overseas. I’d say around 80% of our customers are UK based and the remainder are from abroad.
“The majority of these orders are US based but we’ve also sold to France, Germany, South Africa, Canada and Australia.”
Looking forward, Sarah is excited for the year ahead and to find out what the future holds for the business.
She concluded: “I’m very excited for the year ahead. I’m currently busy designing and submitting ideas to the press for Mother’s Day which is the next big occasion for us.
“Our greeting card range has been well received so I’ll be reaching out to sell wholesale as well as online.
“We also have some exciting new products in the coming year which will hopefully help us to stand out even more in today’s competitive market.”