Innovation and enterprise blog

08 December 2020

Meet Caron Pollard, founder of Teal and Start-ups in London Libraries participant

Teal is a digital platform with a mission to demystify food allergies and empower the estimated 2 million food allergy sufferers in the UK. It provides practical support for allergy-sufferers (and carers) in the event of a reaction with key emergency features including translations, e-commerce access to free-from products, education, and community to bridge the gap between individuals, the medical fraternity; brands and businesses to name a few. The name itself comes from the international colour for food allergies and stands for clarity and communication.

We spoke to Caron, co-founder of Teal, about the very personal story behind the multi-digital support platform including website, web based and native apps and how it came into being, with the support of Start-ups in London Libraries.

‘My three year old daughter suffers from life threatening food allergies and experienced her first anaphylaxis a year ago while abroad - this was a poignant moment in our life as to how we need to protect her future. Suddenly being transported into this world within the last three years, it became apparent how common it is to a have fragmented & long winded journey to diagnosis and management; with reliance on limited offline touch-points for support. Like many others we have spent a lot of time on “Dr Google” and Social Media which may not necessarily provide qualified or correct information. We spotted a gap as it seems there is not many apps in the food allergy space, and none that provide holistic support.

The UK has 2 million allergy sufferers of which 8% of UK children are allergic reactors. The rise in allergic reactions in the last 20 years has cost the NHS £900m in admissions and primary care with reactions peaking at 16-25 year olds and outside the home. Additionally, the Free-From industry has doubled in five years to an estimated £934m in 2019 as reported by Mintel, combined factors of a growing space and market. There is currently limited online and offline support for the UK allergy community; a mobile first; internet driven, tech savvy country as reported by OfCom in 2020.

The motivation to start Teal was to ensure that my daughter and millions others like her are not held back from living their best life as a result of their allergies; and that their parents don’t struggle for information like we did. I wanted to be in control of doing all I can to improve her future and instrumental in driving change. So often they are isolated and excluded as a result of not having the right information or support. As this next generation has been born with technology, it made sense to develop a digital solution so that families like ours and children in their independence have immediate access to the key tools that will help reduce allergic reactions and provide support through emergencies.

Teal logo

Following my daughter’s birth I gave up working to concentrate and care for her various medical conditions and complicated paediatric pathway. My previous professional experience was developing customer strategies so I am passionate about the world from the individual’s point of view. I also spent the last two years up-skilling as a qualified digital marketer through the CIM, as digitisation is driving the future for the next generations and there is a need to be relevant to support them and integrate online and offline experiences.

Pandemic or not, allergies are on the rise. COVID-19 was a massive factor for launching now, as Teal has become more relevant for families - the reliance on digitisation, anxiety around food shortages, external factors as the economy reopens and education resumes. All these highlighted that we need to provide more support in a post-pandemic environment as allergies are increasing and a growing concern. It makes business sense to support the individuals themselves and also the enterprises that serve them; which is packaged within our platform.

I knew I wanted to do something to empower and support others, but was not able to conceptualise or verbalise these ambitions until I started attending the Start-ups in London Libraries workshops. I initially had a few ideas I wanted to develop, but needed to clarify and validate which direction to follow.

Learning about the different ways to start a business and speaking with the facilitators at the SILL workshops gave me confidence to develop and research the validity of TEAL, as it was clear I was passionate about supporting the food allergy community from my discussions.

The timing of my personal experiences and support from the SILL team have been invaluable in setting up my business. The practical considerations and advice in the initial steps on how to get started from an idea to then developing it spring-boarded the birth of Teal. The best first advice was to research, research, research. This is part of my daily mantra now and expanding my knowledge and opportunities for the business.

Sophie [our Start-ups in London Libraries Champion for Croydon] is an absolute gem - and a hidden secret! The value she continues to provide is in her ability to listen to your story and identify your needs. She is proactive about finding solutions and linking you to valid resources and connections that will progress your entrepreneurial journey.

Caron Pollard at workshop in Croydon

She has been accessible even through lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions and has a wealth of knowledge and a great sounding board. Sophie clearly has an entrepreneurial mindset and has an inbuilt directory of valid contacts and practical sources of information. I have taken advantage of tapping into her 1-2-1 support and feel as if she is poised to help me succeed.

I fear that without starting the SILL project I may still be sitting on my business ideas and further behind where I am, and for that I am incredibly grateful and indebted.

I’ve learnt so much during starting up my business. Most notably that it’s not necessarily an overnight process, it will take time to develop and see the results. It is important to have stamina, so start with a plan and achievable objectives and goals along the way to measure your performance and success.

Testing is important - the idea, how it is communicated, your solutions. This will make the business stronger, because the feedback and data will provide invaluable insights for making informed decisions. Agility is important - with the ever changing socio-economic landscape, this will help leverage your opportunities and mitigate your risks.

Start and grow your network consistently - you never know who you meet and the influence they will have in the future direction and success of your business. Align yourself with people who share your ethos, values and integrity. My Co-Founder Joey; is a life long severe nut allergy sufferer and has been a rock through this year – even though he is based in the US and all our work has been remote.  We are also supported by our amazing Champion Ambassador Julianne Ponan, CEO of Creative Nature Superfoods; who through her multiple-allergies created a brand around superfoods and snacks that are top 14 allergen free, vegan and organic.

My final advice to future entrepreneurs who are at the stage of wanting to start a business is to start! Start the process - research - what is the need that you are satisfying, is there a demand? Is someone else doing it, if so what are you doing differently and what is going to make you stand out? Until you start the process it will only remain an idea, so have the courage to initiate - write it down and research it. It may be the best thing you ever do and ignite an exciting and sustainable mission.

As for the website, web and native app versions of Teal, it has just launched! We are really excited about what we are bringing to the market. Keep an eye out on our social channels or sign up to our mailing list so that we can keep you updated on this. Joey and I also host the weekly Teal podcast that sources the best resources so that the allergy community don’t miss out on life’s best moments; and showcase the best of what the international allergy and free-from community has to offer.

We are also passionate about supporting other enterprises in the allergy and free from community, so please do reach out to see how we can work together. We believe in strong collaborations and growing entrepreneurship to better serve individuals impacted by allergies.

For more on Teal, visit www.teal-app.com.

For more on Start-ups in London Libraries and how to register for our upcoming workshop, visit www.bl.uk/SiLL.

Start-ups in London Libraries funder logos (ERDF, Arts Council and J.P Morgan)

07 December 2020

Meet our delivery partner: Pete Schönbeck

Productschön Business Advice is run by founder Pete Schönbeck. Pete started out at the age of 18 as a trainee buyer for a European clothing wholesaler, Campari International Plc, where he was mentored by the managing director, his father, John, in all aspects of design, product development, sampling, sourcing, buying, brand franchises and major account selling. This led travelling extensively around Europe, the Far East and the United States, providing Pete with a rich understanding of different cultures and the ways of doing business on the international stage.

Pete Schonbeck during a speed mentoring event

Background

With a strong family history in the clothing industry, right back to my great, great grandfather, Johannes, who was a tailor to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I am an internationally experienced merchant. I have worked in retail and wholesale for internationally recognised brands such as Levi Strauss, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Barbour and Ellesse.

From there, I went on to live and work in Germany, then back to the UK where I set up a designer fashion store business with a good friend in Clapham, South London. I then proceeded to work for Timberland EMEA out of their UK EHQ. I consulted for the Pentland Group (with the Ellesse brand), then to Levi Strauss Europe as Design & Merchandise Director for Dockers EMEA. Next, I went on to Simonside, near Newcastle, to consult on the J Barbour & Sons clothing brand, before moving overseas once again to work as Senior Merchandise Director Menswear for Tommy Hilfiger Europe, in Amsterdam.

On returning home once more, I then began working on small consulting projects. That led me to become, a creative industry focussed business adviser initially, with LSBC, as part of a London-based business advisory team.

I provide experienced business insights and an entrepreneurial approach to developing business strategies. I have in the past, and continue to work with both new and established businesses. These include fashion creatives, artists, service industry professionals and a multitude of online and offline businesses in the food and beverage, tech, furniture, beauty, travel, sports and well-being sectors.

What will attendees get?

Productschön Business Advice can help to breakdown the possible barriers to the marketplace that you are targeting, from the fundamentals of assisting in the process of setting up a business by:

  • developing business plans
  • financial projections
  • product management strategies
  • gaining access to business funding
  • not forgetting the all-important market research. 

I deliver quality and popular business planning and business development workshops, up until COVID-19 at the British Library, and as my client one-to-ones, coaching and mentoring, these are all now held online too.

Reset. Restart

I also deliver the Reset. Restart: your market opportunities webinar, as part of the exciting nationwide Reset. Restart programme. Helping business owners get a greater understanding of how things are evolving in the world of business and how to hit the ground running in a post-COVID-19 world, not forgetting the pending Brexit scenario.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, how is business and the world in general evolving? In the webinar, I take attendees through some insightful statistics that will help businesses refresh and re-engage with consumers, the marketplace, and the new and accelerated evolution of where we are now, and will be in the future.

We investigate the following:

  • consumers trends
  • the growth in online and mobile device use
  • which markets are performing particularly well against the pandemic backdrop?
  • how social and environmental aspects are now shaping our world
  • how businesses have adapted to help the UK and the world economy fight back against the virus
  • Brexit awareness and preparedness.

I love to inject humour and real-life anecdotes to anchor the points I use to reinforce understanding and enable clients to achieve their goals.

Visit the BIPC's workshops and events page to view all upcoming workshops, webinars and events.

01 December 2020

Support small businesses this Christmas

As 2020 draws to a close, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate and support small businesses. And what better opportunity than gift-giving during the festive period? We've rounded up just a selection of businesses who have taken part in Innovating for Growth, Start-ups in London Libraries or used our National Network who may just be able to help you find the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person!

Keep glowing

Pamoja skincare

Healthy, glowing skin and a moment of calm. Pamoja® is a conscious skincare brand based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Sarah Taylor, a trained skincare formulator, has created a simple daily skincare routine designed to help multitasking women step back from the stress of a busy, modern lifestyle and care for their skin with premium natural and ethically sourced ingredients, beautiful textures and aromas that leave you feeling radiant and relaxed. Certified cruelty free. Vegan. Palm oil free.

Cost: From £10

Where to buy: Pamoja

This is your life

Autodotbiography hardcover book

Turn your past into a Christmas present. Autodotbiography is an online system that makes it easy for anyone, no matter how good or bad at writing, to create a beautifully written and lavishly illustrated hardback book of their life story for their family. Basically, it is a virtual ghost writer and virtual book designer, all the author has to do is answer simple questions about their life and add photographs and documents and autodotbiography turns their words and pictures into a beautiful book. A perfect present that becomes a family heirloom.

Cost: £250 (for a year's access to the online system and one hardback book)

Where to buy: Autodotbiography.

Treat yourself

Evolve's bio-retinol Gold Mask Lights in glass jar

Evolve Beauty products are lovingly handmade in small batches at their studio in Hertfordshire, England to ensure the freshness of the precious antioxidants in the natural oils, butters and extracts. Our products are vegan, cruelty free and eco-friendly.

Evolve's glamorous, golden Bio-Retinol Gold Mask delivers the benefits of retinol without the irritation, and it does this by containing a natural, retinol-like plant extract from Bidens Pilosa that works on the skin to deliver the same rejuvenation benefits and cellular renewal but without the added irritation that some retinol based products can cause. It also contains Rosehip Oil and Argan Oil making it rich in omega 3 and 6 which help to nourish and moisturise, leaving you with glowing skin. The golden shimmers come from sustainably sourced mineral Mica, so it makes for an extremely luxurious face mask!

Cost: £26

Where to buy: Evolve

Keep warm, dry and cosy

Warm accesories including throws, umbrellas, picnic blankets and beauty products

So very British, my dear! Heating & Plumbing London creates British lifestyle accessories to keep you warm, dry and cosy. Heating & Plumbing love being tongue-in-cheek with everything they do, including their name!

Cost: Various but get 15% off sitewide with code: SoVeryBritishLibrary (valid until Thursday 31 December 2020)

Where to buy: Heating & Plumbing London

Fine prints

Alan's book on an open page showing a photograph of a tree

On 3 May 2016, an evacuation put 80,000 residents onto Fort McMurray, a sole access road without notice. What followed was a new form of hyper energised anthropogenic fire that burnt uncontrollably through their settlement and industry over three days. These pictures were made along that road as the region recovered six months afterward. On The Line is made from recycled coffee cups and EU Ecolable Certified paper from the Scandinavian Boreal Forest and the ink is 100% plant based by Park Communications, London. Photographs and words by Alan McFetridge. Available at Whitechapel Gallery, The Photographer’s Gallery and Clair De Rouen Books in London.

Cost: Book, £16.50. Framed limited edition prints, from £750

Where to buy: Alan McFetridge

Children's gift bundles

Lemon Ribbon backpacks

Lemon Ribbon is an inspirational contemporary youth brand sparkling with energy and originality. Based around a series of characters, they have used their background of designing for international childrenswear retailers to create a world of cheerful education encompassing both an online world and physical products such as toys, books, accessories and other educational products. Their online shop sells exclusive toy and backpack bundles, comprising of zipped backpack, pencil case and small plush toy, that make ideal Christmas presents for children aged 4 - 7. The bundles arrive wrapped in tissue paper and can include a personalised gift note. 

Cost: £40 + get a free pack of cards with code: BLCARDS (valid until 24.12.20, not valid in conjunction with any other offer)

Where to buy: Lemon Ribbon

Toe-gether at Christmas

Gil, co-founder of ChattyFeet holding up one of his designs

Socks are guaranteed to appear as gifts on Christmas Day for someone, luckily for you, we have something a little bit different... ChattyFeet, a funny gift brand that inspires people to get silly with illustrated sock characters, paper models, mugs, enamel pins and more. 

Cost: Adult socks from £8

Where to buy: ChattyFeet

For the foodie

Row of vinegar bottles

Based on age old traditions, The Slow Vinegar Company makes small batches of finely crafted vinegars from scratch. By using a traditional double fermentation process, produce is transformed slowly into unique tasting wine vinegar. All their vinegars are aged and matured to allow further depth and complexity of flavour to develop.

The Slow Vinegar Company uses seasonal fruits, roots, berries and blossoms; grown, foraged or picked from local farms to make their delicious range of 12 exciting flavours. All of their vinegars are raw, unpasteurised, vegan friendly, gluten and preservative free, and packed full of natural goodness. Perfect for all of those festive dishes!

Cost: From £4

Where to buy: The Slow Vinegar Company

For the crafter

Kate and Rachel The Fold Line Sewing Community About Us

Treat a friend or a crafty loved one to a Fold Line gift voucher and give them the gift of choice! If you’re not sure about their handmade style, a e-gift voucher will let them choose from hundreds of sewing patterns on the Fold Line's online shop.

Cost: Gift vouchers can come in the amount of your choice

Where to buy: The Fold Line

And for the craft beer lovers...

Indiebeer Personalised Beer Box

indiebeer has a great range of Christmas gift products on their website, including subscription services to last your beer-loving friend the whole year. An ideal present to wrap up under the tree would be their personalised beer box. You choose your budget and the indiebeer team will put together a box of beers for you based on our personal recommendations, whatever your budget. All boxes include a beer menu with descriptions of each beer and a gift note can be included if required.

Cost: Budgets from £20

Where to buy: indiebeer

Let it 'stow

Let it Stow Christmas Hamper

Kitchen Canvas is part of our Waltham Forest Start-ups in London Libraries' community and they are representing all things Walthamstow which this delectable hamper. The purchase of one hamper allows you to support 10 local businesses. Let someone else do the hard work of curating your gifts for you with this beautiful box of goodies. 

Cost: £52

Where to buy: Kitchen Canvas

A mug of cheer

Santa's Sleigh mug

Victoria Eggs creates playful homewares and gifts, all of which are proudly made in Britain. Her Santa's Sleigh Mug is a beautiful stocking filler gift. With an image of Santa flying his sleigh over a snowy picturesque English town as people below go about their last minute preparations unaware of the magic happening above them, this fine bone china mug is certain to make you smile whilst enjoying your cuppa on Christmas morning. This mug is hand decorated in Britain and printed onto fine bone china.

Cost: £12. Customers can get 10% off all orders over £35 by entering the code BL2020.

Where to buy: Victoria Eggs

Couture combating climate change

Climate Stripes Scarf from Tammam

Tammam is a sustainable couture fashion studio now offering an exclusive collection of ready-to-wear and accessories to support textile artisans in India. These beautiful scarves are available in organic cotton or peace silk and production of them has helped artisans survive lockdown. The scarves have been woven in the climate stripes (Professor Ed Hawkins, university of Reading) - the scale which depicts the rise of global temperatures over the last 170 years. Not only are these scarves 100% biodegradable, fair trade and carbon neutral in production (all the weaving has been created by hand on traditional looms, using human power), they also hold a message - a reminder of the very real issue of climate change. They're a little piece of couture luxury, delivered.

Cost: £30 to £180 with delivery included

Where to buy: Tammam Climate Stripes Couture Collection

Gift them some get up and go

Haven

HAVEN sells coffee with the aim of raising awareness for refugee communities across the UK, from promoting refugee artists to organising events both visual and performing art, as well as providing barista training to those refugees who are looking to build a new professional life for themselves. They have rolled out a range of festive gifts this year including packages that include bags of coffee and branded totes and T-shirts. Or how about a monthly coffee subscription

Cost: From £22

Where to buy: HAVEN Coffee

Feline festivities

Cat at Longcroft Hotel

And we all know Christmas isn't just for the humans. Treat your furry friend with an upgraded stay at Longcroft’s award winning group of cat hotels.

Kitties can celebrate in style by beginning the big day with a carefully chosen hamper full of toys and goodies. Guests that are allowed will also enjoy a hand prepared breakfast with choices from the hotel’s ‘A La Cat’ Menu. Because Longcroft hotels are located within the hotel owners home gardens they can have a welcome break from the kitchen and enjoy cuddles and play sessions with their guests.  The afternoon can be spent relaxing from the comfort of their suites whilst sinking into the finest pillows for a cat nap. Every hotel owner is hand picked and trained by Longcroft founder Abi Purser and her team of experts including Head Vet Chris.

Cost: From £18 per day

Where to buy: Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel Group

Don't get tied up in knots

Norio Knots necklaces in different colours

Norio Knots offer eco-friendly woven cotton statement necklaces and accessories, and was born after one throwaway purchase too many. This is sustainable fashion, built to last. Each Norio Knots piece is made from 100% recycled cotton, and made to order. They are also a finalist in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas and, as far as we're concerned, if it's good enough for Kirstie....

Cost: From £7

Where to buy: Norio Knots

For the fitness fanatic

BOXD Protein

Start-ups in London Libraries business, BOXD, have a special edition Healthy Christmas box on offer throughout December which includes a month's supply of their protein based health shakes, as well as some extra goodies to help you glow throughout the Winter months. 

Cost: £25,99

Where to buy: Christmas BOXD

And for those who love to kick back on two wheels

SaddleDrunk Gilet

The Sormano Cycling Gilet is an essential garment for cycling lovers. The gilet is super light and compact to store in pockets with its own in-built pouch. The Gilet is made in Italy by Cyclists for Cyclists. Extra features included zipped hidden pocket for valuable and reflective tab to increase safety during the hours of darkness.

Cost: £46

Where to buy: SaddleDrunk

Spread some sweetness

Bushwood Bees gift box

Bushwood Bees have colonies of bees on the roof of the East London Mosque and create delectable honey-based products. Show someone how much you care by sending them a lovely gift box of raw, pure honey and a lovely lavender hand made bar of honey soap. You can add a personalised message to make it extra special.

Cost: £15 collected or delivery for an extra £2.95

Where to buy: Bushwood Bees

All that glitters

Delmora pendant necklace

Buy high quality but affordable jewellery for your friends and family this year. Delmora, part of our Start-ups in London Libraries community in Bexley, sells pendants in a wide variety of different shapes and finishes. 

Cost: From £8.90

Where to buy: Delmora Etsy

Make mealtimes fun

The Wood Life Project reindeer wooden plate

Looking for a fun way to serve Christmas dinner, or is it difficult to get the little ones to eat their greens? The Wood Life Project's reindeer plate is made in the UK from sustainably grown and harvested wood from the UK. Free personalisation and P&P.

Cost: £35 (mult-buy discounts available)

Where to buy: The Wood Life Project

All wrapped up

Anike Titilai

Grace, the founder of Anike Titilai designs handcrafted jewellery created using semi-precious crystals, including obsidian and yellow jade with gold vermeil accents to finish. Bespoke pieces can also be made to suit customer requirements so contact Grace if there is anything that you would like but cannot find on our website. The range includes waistbeads, ankle bracelets, bracelets, necklaces and rings.

Cost: From £40

Where to buy: Anike Titilai

Put your best foot forward

Finale Shoes ankle boot

Finale is an award winning family run shoe shop in Corbridge, Northumberland. Run by mother and daughter duo Lynn and Faye Clark, who source fabulous boots, shoes, handbags and accessories from around the globe for their shop and website, its shopping how it should be with excellent customer service and great product knowledge.

Cost: Various. Gift vouchers available from £10

Where to buy: Finale

Feeling retro

Obble Bobble hair bobbles

Inspired by growing up in the 1970s and 80s, Louise started Obble Bobble for her daughter, Phoebe, and her crazy, long hair. Obble Bobble hair bobbles are made by hand in Northamptonshire. Not only are they retro cool, they are designed to be super strong yet gentle on hair.

Cost: £4.99

Where to buy: Etsy

A week in the life of… Stéphanie Tumba founder of Sté Tumba Capital and Managing Director of Human Connections London

Stephanie is the managing director of Human Connections London, an introduction and matchmaking agency based in London and founder of Sté Tumba Capital, a business angel vehicle investing in creative ideas, bonds and stocks, commodities, and most importantly start-ups with innovative ideas. Stephanie became part of the BIPC family after taking part in our Innovating for Growth programme.

Stephanie getting into a yellow cab

My diary takes place during the week when the second lockdown was announced, also the week before the highly anticipated American elections and 60 days before Christmas.

We reached out to the Business & IP Centre for Human Connections London as we felt stuck. We felt like we had achieved enviable and reasonable growth, yet we hit a glass ceiling. We needed external eyes and opinions, not only to be bigger and better than our competitors, but more so to implement a consistent system for getting a strategy implemented that truly scales. Whilst I was really impressed by my colleagues and our mentors during the Innovating for Growth programme, I found the few sessions of the Business & IP Centre's Growth Club mentoring programme with Alan Wick even more valuable during such trying times. It has currently proven to be an source of inspiration to sustain during the pandemic and well beyond.

Monday You never know what your day will bring when you own and manage a portfolio of several investments and properties and work on a couple of projects around the world. Especially during a global pandemic! Yet, my Mondays tend to be more or less the same unless there is an emergency.

I do not do any work on Monday; in fact I mostly dedicate this day to charity endeavours. However, I still wake up around 5am with the following morning routine that ends around 8am. I call this period of the day Golden Hours as they tend to set the energies and vibes of the day:

  • Wash my face and drink a glass of water
  • Say my gratitude out loud
  • Prayers
  • Meditation
  • Visualisation
  • Exercise (Pilates 30 to 45 minutes)
  • Reading
  • Plan my priorities for the day with a coffee and a croissant
  • Shower

And now I am ready to start my day around 8am!

8.00 Working from home, I switch my laptop on. The first thing I do is read thoroughly all the reports that I have received from my teams, partners and service providers the Friday before. These reports usually help me to plan the rest of the week and sometimes do tweak my priorities on Monday.

10.00 I check my phone for the first time. I also respond to my emails, for no more than an hour, so I need to prioritise who I respond to.

11.00 I catch up with my assistant, this tends to take at least two hours, to plan the week ahead and determine where she can help me out both in my personal and business life.

Lunch time I am a Rotarian, as such we meet every Monday at 12.30 for lunch, a talk presented by an inspiring leader or charity representative, and a catch up with my Rotarian friends. Rotary is a non-political and non-religious organisation whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It’s my way to give back to a variety of communities from one sole place. We usually meet in Mayfair but we are currently holding Zoom meetings.

14.30 I spend two hours reviewing my assets (personal and business) and decide what to buy, sell, or hold. In fact, I check the markets and my investments’ fluctuations. My investments include stocks, equities, commodities and others on the NYC, London, and Paris. Therefore, I read the numbers, the news, any press release, quarterly or annual report, sales and so much more!

Finally, I end my Monday by coaching and/or mentoring three young professionals, free of charge, in the subject of career, lifestyle, and business.

21.00 I ordered food through Deliveroo. It’s too late to cook and I never miss a meal.

22.00 My Evening Routine:

  • Shower
  • Praying
  • Thanks
  • Visualisation and Affirmations

Stephanie on a bench

Tuesday My Tuesdays are your Mondays. My Golden Hours have been well used and I am on the starting block and full or energy for the day. The only difference is that I take my coffee at the office, not at home.

8.00 This time, I start by reading my emails for the first hour.

9.00 Speed read 2/3 unsolicited pitches for investments.

10.00 Zoom call with my mentor.

11.00 Catch up with the Marketing team.

Noon Catch up with Miia from Human Connections London. We have a meeting to talk about the clients I will be meeting this week and looking after. I am a qualified matchmaker, but only look after Platinum Plus and beyond members (most expensive membership). We also catch up, talking about their backgrounds and their requirements. There’s a very exciting week ahead so I love this part of my job!

13.00 Lunch.

14.00 I will be spending this afternoon interviewing Business Development Managers and Matchmakers for Human Connections. I have three different interviews, each with 30 minutes break in between and a quick read of my emails, prioritising who to respond to.

18.30 Checking my emails for the last time.

19.30 I am off! It’s date night and I am heading to one of my faves, Ivy High Street Kensington. We are leaving the restaurant at 21.30 because of the curfew and I am at home at 21.45.

22.30 My Evening routine (note, I would not have checked my phone in the all evening).

Wednesday Morning routine.

8.00 Check my emails.

9.30 Taxi towards Home Grown for a meeting at 10.00 to meet my assistant. We are working on a couple of creative projects for 2021.

I am currently working on a franchise called #Superwomen and today my assistant and I meeting one of the potential videographers. Th project requires a very specific sets of skills for both the editing and the filming. We are looking for someone able to shoot and edit the show in the a style that I’m envisioning, therefore need someone who can understand and translate my ideas in reality.

The launch is for next year, it was meant to be last summer 2020, but I am very excited as this time allowed my team and I to tweak and fine-tune the project and make it very specific. We would be working with a group of talented and highly skilled artists, entrepreneurs and successful women and we can’t wait to introduce the project to the world. This is another fun and creative part of my role, it’s less factual, more engaging, and most importantly, the show is meant to inspire me and other women from around the world.

After discussing #superwomen project and a few more projects for next year, we eat lunch at Home Grown, have a quick re-viewing of the place where I want to film and leave.

15.00 My assistant and I are heading toward Home House for an additional viewing of one of their venues. I have a clear vision of where I want the show to be filmed and I feel like Home Grown is the ideal place to do so. Yet, I wanted to see an additional venue to be sure that I am not missing out on a better place. Well, I stick to Home Grown, however, this place will be ideal for my birthday.

16.00 Back at the Home Office. I speed read the legal documentation needed for my call with my lawyer, read the news regarding current legislation changes in France, and write down questions for him.

16.30 Call with lawyer in France to discuss a few amendments to our standard rental agreement as per recent changes made in France in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

17.30 End of call. I read my emails until 18.00.

18.30 Home getting ready for my night out.

20.00 Dinner with friends at Bagatelle.

22.30 My Evening Routine

Thursday Morning routine

8.00 Checking my emails. At this point, my ordinary Thursday routine was interrupted, so I’ll relate what happened instead:

I received an emergency call, a worker had had an accident on one of our building sites (Sussex) with a serious injury. I had to meet one of my business partners and the building company that employs him onsite and assess and gauge what happened. I had to be sure that our site had not broken any rules as it is our responsibility to provide a place that is safe and healthy for all of all our builders/contractors. So, needless to say that I was pretty anxious (a very unusual feeling for me as I rarely am!).

9.00 I was on the train discussing with my business partners and lawyers about the questions we need to ask and what needs to be assessed on location. I simultaneously used my personal phone to email Miia, my business partner for Human Connections to cancel my meetings with the clients that I was meant to meet today.

11.00 I arrived on site. I checked the details (report) of the accident, the pictures taken on the scene of the causes, the damages on site, and I call or question the two witnesses of the accident, ask about the working practices, and so on so forth. I was stressed out, I need to relax.

Human Connections logo

13.00 Lunch. I was on a quick call with Human Connections to check my next availability and speak to my assistant to tell her what happened. This was followed by a quick 'fun and relaxing' call to my BF and BFF. I was calmer, relieved, and back to my normal self.

14.00 Back to business (like I really had a non-business lunch) we then call the employee’s lawyer.

15.00 We had a meeting with the the employee’s employer to define whose insurance is going to be used.

16.00 Exhausted, on the train, I postponed my jazz night and dinner with the ladies for 20.00 instead of 1900. I responded to my emails on my mobile.

18.30 I get home. I had a quick shower, a change of clothes and am ready to relax.

20.00 Drinks, dinner, and jazz with my ladies.

22.30 My Evening Routine

What a day! I was exhausted!

Friday Morning routine

8.00 My inbox was cracking, unsurprisingly, and my business phone had billion of voicemail messages. I am really tempted to postpone my appointment at the hairdresser later on today… Let’s see.

I start with checking my voicemail. I had 13 messages. I take notes, phone numbers, and saved most of them. I decide to call two of them back later in the morning and email three of them immediately, the rest will have to wait until next week.

9.00 I decide to deal with most of my emails by themes, projects or start-ups. I start with the Business Development Executive recruitment for Human Connections. I confirm a few interviews that had been conducted for me and review the CVs received. I send my new availability for the following week for the missed phone calls and client meetings the days before.

I have a call with Miia to review our new package called 'Love at first Dial'. We are excited about it and will be organising Zoomtastic dates for our new and former clients.

I read my PR team’s email, with the subject: 'POST ON INSTAGRAM – YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING FOR DAYS' and decide to post later on Halloween and tomorrow as well. My simple and quick response: 'Will do :)'

The start-ups are all panicking at the shadow of a new lockdown. I have to approve the final pricing, packages, services, products, discounts, offers of six different companies. I start by printing the minutes of our latest meetings, compare them with the final tweaks and approved most of them. DONE!

I can’t believe it’s 14.00! Where did this time go? I call my hairdresser and postpone for Saturday. Not proud. I need to eat and go for a walk.

I am walking in Hyde Park and grab some sushi on my way back home.

15.30 Well, I can’t cancel my dinner with the BF, so I am going to be very selective with what I choose to do for the last couple of hours. Passion (hobbies/friends/family) first, business second! That is my motto… So, quick quick…

Last project to work on that day, #Superwomen. I am still working on my emails! We are negotiating the licensing rights with Sony and Warner Chappell for a song sang by Kygo that we want to use. It’s our first contact with them and we want a quote from each publishers.

16.45 Finally returning the calls from my voicemail. I know it was meant to be this morning!

17.30 I speed read the different reports I have received from everyone including my assistant, the marketing team, WIB Limited, Human Connections and so on…

I am done for today! And I’d better try on my costume for Halloween that I received on Monday and just did not have the time to try. It’d better fit or tomorrow will be an intense shopping day as well.

18.00 I am on the phone with my sister.

18.55 Getting ready for my dinner date.

20.00 Dinner at Koji.

22.15 Night Routine.

Saturday (full moon) I am awake around 8.30 but stay in bed until 10.45, when I receive my Gousto for the week.

11.00 Coffee and croissants in front of my iPad on La Redoute, Maje, and Net-A-Porter to get some dresses and style inspirations for the winter. 2021 will be a better year! Did I mention that I like fashion and have a soft spot for dresses? I rarely go into stores (unless I’m in my home city of Paris and strolling around cute boutiques). Yes, I am a proper millennial, from food to clothes, if I can avoid wasting my time and use it more efficiently for family, friends, and socials. I will. I’d rather go to the theatre to see a play. Well, when they open.

12.00 Morning Routine.

13.00 I grab a quick sandwich on my way to the hairdresser.

14.00 Hairdresser. I spent two hours there to hear all about conspiracy theories about the COVID-19. Very entertaining.

17.00 Walking home and chatting with a friend over the phone.

17.30 Getting ready for my Halloween afternoon tea and dinner with my dearest girlfriends.

18.00 Afternoon tea at Home House. The atmosphere is intense. Boris has just announced a second lockdown starting on Thursday at midnight. We are even more willing to have a great night and enjoy these fun and dearest moments.

22.00 Heading home.

22.30 Call with mom.

23.34 Night routine.

Sunday (at home with the boyfriend) This time, I stayed in bed until 11.00.

Noon Brunch at Delloway Terrace.

14.00 Back at home checking/planning for the week ahead. Checking my emails and diary.

15.30 Enjoying my book, magazines, and other reading.

16.30 Chat with my brothers, my best friends, catching up on our latest adventures.

18.00 Watching a documentary on the American elections.

20.00 I cook my first Gousto meal.

22.00 Night routine and good night!

This was a fairly lazy weekend. In a world without COVID-19, I, or we, would probably be enjoying a matinee at a ballet, theatre, or cinema. Or doing some outdoor activities. But considering the intense week, I wanted to have a quiet weekend.

This was a week in my life. It’s not that much different to a regular week the I would have had pre COVID-19. But, add in the flights delays, cancellations, my trips to the Nordics, the USA and Greenland, the getaways in Europe over weekends, or the night outs in operas, theatres, ballets and gigs and you would have a real idea of what it is to live a week in my life. Happy lockdown!