Carl and Sarah Agar-Brennan, Love Bomb Cushions
Sarah Agar-Brennan of Love Bomb Cushions tells us how she got the business off the ground and how best to manage a diverse team of 20 staff members.
What does your role involve?
My role as managing director of Love Bomb Cushions is to have a creative mind, ensuring that our team continuously develops a range of fresh and up to date products. I manage my team and external partners, orders and sales. As an entrepreneur, I also constantly drive the business forward, with the innovation of new products and lines.
What is it the company does?
Love Bomb Cushions is a manufacturer of licensed novelty cushions based in the heart of Yorkshire. We are a family owned British company whose values are upheld in everything we do. Our aim is to be the number one choice for novelty cushions and related giftware products which appeal to the young and the not quite so young who are seeking something special for their loved ones.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
From the age of 12, I have always wanted to set up my own business. When I was 16 I had some money, I had saved up and I was going to start my business with those funds. Needless to say, I was advised to do my A-Levels, and I worked full-time as a chambermaid alongside studying. After completing my A-Levels, I went to university and following graduation I opened a sci-fi and cinema shop in my local area called Popcorn.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I believe a great leader must possess patience, be understanding of others and be emphatic of their staff members. In addition to this I feel that leaders must have courage and a great deal of self-belief.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Managing the fast growth for our first 12 months of trading.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I de-stress by going on walks - I do love to walk. I really enjoy walking with my dog, Fozzy Bear, and I do yoga and meditation which I find very relaxing. I like to take deep breaths if I am stressed and I am also a dedicated healthy eating cook. I believe the answer to everything is to breathe and bake something.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, from the age of 12 I have wanted to run my own business; originally, I wanted to run a sandwich shop.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Not bringing enough fun into the workplace and daily life!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
With a workforce of over 20 turning over £4,000,000 manufacturing in the UK and one of our cushions in the 26,000 homes of one bedroom or more in the UK.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
I would advise them to believe in themselves and believe in their idea. Equally don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.