Small Talk is constantly looking to share and celebrate small businesses and Welsh brands, we value the hard work and dedication it takes to make a small business work successfully, because it ain’t as easy as it looks!
This week we are proud to be sharing our interview with Tams, the owner of Blossom and Nectar is an ethical beekeepers sharing pesticide free products.
ST: Tell us about yourself and your background. Where is your business based etc..
B&N: We are about nature, mindfulness and being kind. This is how we started. The beginning of 2017 was a very difficult time for me . My Dad had past away a few weeks before Christmas from cancer, he was my best friend. He had also been my business partner for 5 years and through that time i’d been his only carer. I gave up the business and my home to solely care for my Dad in 2016. 2017 meant starting everything again from scratch. I made a choice to take a year out. I rented a penthouse flat in Cardiff Bay and tried to rebuild my life. The bay was a concrete jungle and soon the flat was named The Penthouse Prison. There was little natural green areas or water naturally flowing. Soon the anxiety mixed with grief turned into agoraphobia and extreme panic attack’s. This when the need for bees started. I made a list of everything I enjoyed, what I was good at and how I could make a career again. I have 25 years experience at sales & marketing and also a member of the chartered marketing association. However it didn’t float it anymore. I tried getting back into running but I realised it was nature that I loved being in. My partner and I decided to move in together and found a beautiful little house in Llandaff just by the Taff Trail. Perfect. Nature everywhere.
We’re creating an urban garden for wellbeing and the bees. It’s a tiny garden but with lots of pots it attracts lots of birds and bees.
He suffers with polyps which are aggravated by chemicals found in scented candles. Beeswax cleans the air when burning.
I joined the bee association and took up beekeeping classes. I did courses in essential oils specifically on grief, anxiety and wellness recovery. So I can make candles from beeswax and the right oils. No chemicals, no nasties.
I never lost the creativity I’d had with my business with Dad and finally got the sewing machines out of storage. Ive also learnt to screen print so I could print my own fabric with the bee designs I’d made on my iPad and became a proud member of Printhaus. From these creations I’ve made a range of products to help bees and help us.
Because we need to save bees as much as we need to save ourselves,
Let’s all just choose kindness and life. X
ST: What were some of the challenges you faced as a business during the pandemic?
B&N: During the pandemic I used my daily exercise time to deliver orders to my customers especially ones who did not have access to my website or social media, they would email or text and I could send a payment link. I would text to say I’d doorstep dropped and stand on the pavement when dropping off. We worked with other local businesses to combine deliveries and when we were allowed to start Click & Collect we opened at the same times so our customers could visit us all in their one
ST: What was the biggest challenge you faced as an individual?
B&N: Rebuilding my life after my redundancy, divorce and Dad dying. I had to dig deep and come back stronger
ST: What is your favourite part of running your business?
B&N: I am able to make a change, develop people and help small businesses
ST: How do you overcome down days if you have them? Mental blocks, brain fog, burn out etc.
B&N: I don’t fight it. I know my triggers and when to take time out. When I don’t i become the worst thing in my business. I take a day out, eat my fav food, walk somewhere nice and watch tv. Just turn my brain off and recharge. At least once a week.
ST: Running your business through social media can be difficult and consuming, do you think the changes to the algorithms have helped or made it more challenging to produce more content more often.
B&N: Social media is a constant changing beast, I blow hot and cold with it and have started to reply more on our mailing list than the possible chance we might be gifted with some sort of sm reach.
ST: Do you have any advice for other small business owners?
B&N: Yes, keep doing it. Never give up giving up. Ride the high and learn from the lows, it’ll never change but if it’s gives you happiness in the end you’re a founder/ a chameleon and entrepreneur.
We are so excited to share this interview so thank you Tams for sharing with us. Blossom and Nectar will be opening an Eco-Department Store located in the Cardiff City Centre. It’ll have spaces for dining and co-working spaces for anyone that is interested. It’ll be a social enterprise giving all profits to local projects.