This week’s Business Focus is with Anthea Orchard, director of card and gift store Cardelium, on Ovenden Road.
Why did you start your business in the first place?
I have always found it difficult working for other people. I suffered bullying and harassment of the worst kind in the workplace with a very prominent employer and no matter what I did to try and resolve the situation, things were always swept under the carpet. It knocked my confidence and as a result I came to the conclusion that I could be better off working for myself.
What is your business motto?
I’ve never really had one, but all I do know is that Cardelium is all about the customer experience; there is no length we won’t go to to ensure our customers are happy.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?
Don’t underestimate what’s involved. It’s not easy, in fact, it’s far from easy. Plan ahead and start a contingency fund for the lean times. Ensure you have a USP, no matter what it is. Everyone needs a USP. Network, lots. You can never have enough allies in business.
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting your business?
Braving the elements! You can’t always take a wage in the early days so you have to have a contingency fund or plan ahead. Being faced with no money could easily force people to give up and go back to mainstream employment I would imagine.
What do you enjoy most about being self-employed?
Job satisfaction and pride when we’ve done a good job.
What do you enjoy least about being self-employed?
Lack of time with my family whilst I build up the business. It’s heart wrenching.
Which business figure do you most admire and why?
Kate Hardcastle. Kate has not only achieved in her own professional capacity, but has gone on to help others by sharing her expertise with others, including myself. Furthermore, she does all this whilst being a wonderful mum of three, and devoting a lot of time to charitable causes. Kate, I think you’re amazing.
What achievement in your career are you most proud of?
The creation of my branding and company name. It’s totally unique and all my own work. If you google the word ‘Cardelium’ there’s nothing else in the world but us! We especially like it when people get what it means.
Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
The answer has to be world domination! Let’s keep everyone guessing, but let’s say the only way is up in my book.
If you could invent one new product, what would it be?
Tough question! I would love to invent a contraption that would allow me to slow time down, or pause time. I spend so much time working I feel I’m missing out on the kids growing up. If I could pause time it would make my life better as I could pause work or home life accordingly to accommodate the other.
If you could work for one company, who would it be and why?
It has to be Cardelium of course! The boss is lovely!