Mumpreneur profile: Rebecca of Navy Professional

Your Name and Age: Rebecca Crawforth, 33

Tell us about your family: Mum to Harry and Hettie and married to Curtis

What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition? I left school at 13 with next to no education or qualifications. I travelled loads and was never without work, I always talked my way into new jobs and opportunities. Not knowing what direction to go in, I was made redundant from a large department store. I lost not only my job but my home and resorted to staying on my grandma’s sofa while carrying my first baby. I knew I was meant to be self-employed as I always found myself questioning why, how and when people did what they did, people and their jobs always intrigued me. I set up my first salon in 2008 after winning funding from the Princes Trust, I then opened 2 in city centre shopping centres by 2010 and sold out in 2014 due to illness. I’d had the idea before I sold the salons and after brain surgery I began developing the idea. I launched in October 2018 and sold out of many lines in under 3 weeks. My youngest child was 2 when I launched.

When did you launch? October 2018

How did you get started?  I’ve always been entrepreneurial and the success of my first business allowed me to go down the consultant route to raise capital to start Navy Pro. I set up social media pages and began just talking and posting about the business, even when I had only a few hundred followers I stayed consistent. I knew it was important to get influencers talking too so I allocated a small batch of stock to known salons and influencers and just hoped they would talk about the product and they did! The products themselves and the delivery is of the highest standard. Each package is personalised and arrives with the Navy Pro signature fragrance and a Yorkshire Tea bag.

What’s your favourite thing about running your own business? I had never expected to receive such a great response and from their posts I’ve had many celebrity manicurists contact us and make orders. We’ve been told Navy Pro are now their go to tools with a permanent space in their kit – the love for our ranges is overwhelming. They have also had to wait long periods of time to receive as we haven’t been able to make the tools quick enough. We have now got stock in production constantly just to keep up with the demand. The idea of our tools being used on the likes of the Kardashian’s, JLo, Rihanna etc., is just madness. I wanted to leave a legacy for my children and I have a feeling this may just happen. Who would have thought a Yorkshire girl would have created something with so much demand.

What has worked well about your business? I believe we’re filling a gap in the beauty industry that has been an issue for years – as I mentioned earlier about the quality and durability of beauty tools. We began with 3 ranges of tools covering the 3 most popular areas of beauty; nails, brows and lashes. Our most popular range has been our nail tools with one particular tool taking lead sales, the tool is called Ethel and clears the nail plate of non-living tissue skin etc. We have had many industry influencers create videos of how the tool is used and from there the sales have continued to grow across the world. So much so there was a 28 days wait for stock to come back in at one time. From there we’ve been able to design a hygiene kit which has been just as successful and fun extras such as a Navy Pro candle with our signature scent and a Navy Apron.

How do you fit in work with the family? Is your partner supportive of your business? It’s always eventful and never a dull moment. When the kids aren’t at nursery or school they are with me helping pack parcels and getting organised. I feel it’s important that my son learns about money and business and I love him taking interest in what it is mum does. My daughter knows mummy works lots but she loves to be with me in the office. My Mum and Nan even get involved too – it really is a family affair! I must admit it’s a struggle but my husband and close family help with child-care when possible. 

Are you working towards a financial goal for your business? Yes I am currently ahead of what we had forecasts so we are planning accordingly.

Would you ever give up your business to do something else? I don’t think I would ever stop being self-employed, and would like to think that I could pass the business to my children.

Do you have an exit strategy? Nope my plan is to take each days as it comes and there are lots of things I would like to do with Navy.

Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment?  Tell us about it.  If not when do you think it will come Not a ‘made it moment’ but I remember the moment  when I saw the first celeb manicurist post about the tools and thinking WOW they are talking about something I have created.

Where do you hope to be in five years time? In little house in the country near to Navy HQ enjoying watching my family grow up.

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