Hayley Sturniolo is founder of Inscripture.
Inscripture is an Award Winning family run business established in 2016 with a vision to create timeless, unique, sentimental and style savvy items to treasure.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
After 9 years in the banking industry and a longing for my own business I finally took the plunge when I went on Maternity leave in 2015 and set up Little Legs Boutique. Inspired by my daughter and the want of personalised items a little bit different to the high-street and personality driven I decided it was the best lower risk time to fulfil my dream. I could never of imagined its success and rapid growth, which in turn has led to my partner joining the business full time and a number of other staff including my Dad. In May this year we rebranded to Inscripture as the business has evolved over time and LLB was no longer as relevant to who we had become.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I would love to say yes but the honest answer is no. With a longing for my own business but a fear of giving up my career in banking, I wouldn’t of known where to start. We are still learning as we go along now so as much as we would love a set plan to work to, it is very much still trial and error within our busy schedules.
Have you faced any particular challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
Unfortunately yes, we have suffered a number of copycats along the way and within the industry we are in it is hard to be original, or stay original, as others will always replicate or imitate your successful items for their own gains. It is heart-breaking when you have worked so hard on your designs or style for someone to come along and so blatantly rip them off but we just have to ignore it or approach the situation amicably for a resolve, although unfortunately the other companies aren’t always so polite or accommodating.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
Flexibility. As a mum of two, juggling children and a career isn’t always the easiest and with the rising costs of childcare it’s easy to see why some women can’t go back to work as it isn’t feasible. Having my own business has given my ultimate flexibility although working into the early hours of the morning isn’t always ideal but needs must. We have a number of ‘virtual’ staff who are mums which gives them the flexibility to work the hours suited to them, whilst also suited to us for the workload. Now whilst we appreciate this may not always be the case as we get busier, we will then aim for others to have the same flexibility around one another to fit the business needs whilst meeting their own.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I’ve not mentored as such but I have always given advice and help to other small businesses when asked as am always happy to pass on the knowledge I have learnt along our journey.
What tips or advice would you give for anyone looking to start their own business?
My advise for any would-be mumtrepreneurs would be to be original, do something you really love and are happy to put the hard work into.
Nothing is an overnight success, things take time and determination but if you are passionate about what you do then go for it and don’t give up at the first hurdle. You will come across many things which will make you want to quit sometimes or seem impossible to overcome but nothing is impossible if your heart is truly in it.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
It is hard to pinpoint our biggest achievement as there have been so many proud moments but our most recent has been winning Theo Paphetis’s SBS Award where we are looking forward to meeting him next year. We have also had our Jewellery worn on this years Love Island and are regularly spotted on a number of Celebs which is always exciting to see.
Our first big achievement was being featured in Vogue Magazine which was then followed by Baby London & being nominated for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018.
We will always celebrate every success as we are so grateful to be where we are today.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
We have lots in the pipeline in the form of new products and ranges and also have a number of avenues we have set to explore in the coming months. Our dream is to become a well known Brand name & pursue the next steps for Inscripture, but we can’t give too much away, you’ll just have to watch this space!