The Dinky Fingerprint Company
Your Name and Age:
Sam Sheppard, 36Tell us about your family:
I’ve been married to Steve for 9 years. We have two children, Daisy and Zach. We live in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I’d always wanted to be a makeup artist from a young age and completed my training at the London College of Fashion.
I worked for an agency and was lucky enough to do TV, Magazine and Video work. I became freelance in 1997 which allowed the freedom and flexibility to work for myself. It was after my daughter was born that I became interested in Fingerprint jewellery. One day talking to a friend in the kitchen over a coffee the Dinky Fingerprint Company was born!
I am lucky that I have family close by to help out with the children and I still did wedding hair and make up until very recently – which was sometimes hard fitting everything in.
When did you launch?
The Dinky Fingerprint started October 2007
How did you get started?
Working from my kitchen, asking friends and family for support and orders!
What research did you do before launching?
I had been playing at taking prints for a few years before the Dinky Fingerprint Company started so I had the basic equipment and a few suppliers. A lot of time was spent trawling the internet for printers, products and suppliers.
How have you funded the business?
The start up costs weren’t too big, as I already had the kiln and some extra equipment. Some silver clay was purchased and orders made it possible to buy stock as we went.
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
Advertising in both Thames valley east and west Families Magazine has been brilliant for us. We also happy to visit any playgroups, schools and peoples houses for print parties
What has worked well about your business?
Although its been hard work, being able to fit around the children has been perfect. Having a slight knowledge allowed us to improve the quality of both our products and to make sure we picked the best suppliers.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
I think so far my biggest challenge has been coping with large volumes at Christmas and having to overcome any problems that arouse and make sure we delivered peoples presents on time. Now is a challenging time, making decisions about how to market the business and take it forward.
How do you fit in work with the family?
Sometimes it is hard and the children have told me on numerous occasions ‘mummy your always working’ but generally I do full time twice a week, with a liitle help from the parents for child care and the rest I fit in around school runs and in the evening.
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
If you have a dream, then go for it. There is a lot of work in the beginning but there’s nothing more rewarding.
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more:
I am hoping next year to introduce Dinky Fingerprint Consultants. This will be someone who works on a self employed basis but who is enthusiastic about our products and has the opportunity to earn commission on everything they sell. Please contact email@example.com if you’d be interested in becoming a consultant.