Now, I like to think that I am an entrepreneur at heart, but after meeting some REALLY inspirational women I am inspired to share their stories and write a weekly post over the course of 30 weeks which will be 30 inspirational women or mothers that have achieved greatness and all under the age of 30! Which hopefully is meant to inspire all those who are reading this!
My first post is going to be dedicated to the beautiful, hardworking and inspirational Maddison Annastasia Santamaria, the founder of Love My Sofa .
Arriving late (as usual) to the press event of Love my Sofa whilst leaving Alex and the kids in the car to nip off to get a milkshake (yes its 7pm at night, yes we are an hour away from home, and yes we won’t get back until 10pm…BUT we all got to spend time chatting, singing and talking about the day) whilst I attended the event, and I also got the chance to check out all the sofa’s…which was a bad idea, as now I need a new bed, sofa, mirror dressing table and throne…obviously!
Come on, that throne does look rather snazzy with me in it – il take two!
The first thing I notice when I walked into the showroom in Macclesfield, was the quality of EVERYTHING! I was really impressed, as prior going to the event, I had looked on the Love my sofa website and found the website to be really affordable, so naturally, I thought there must be a catch and questioned the quality! However, bloody hell, I must admit as soon as I sat myself down, I didn’t want to get back up again and if there weren’t free champers and cupcakes at the other end of the room, I don’t think would have!
Everything in the room oozed expensed and had the handcrafted feel to it, everything looked pristine. Then I noticed it “the sofa of dreams’ a grand, grey, plush velvet corner sofa at the back of the room which had been designed by Tanya Bardsley. Picturing myself sprawled across it watching Emmerdale, I stopped myself, as then I imagined the three maniacs handprints splattered across it. BUT then victory struck, all was not lost, in the distance (a metre away and eavesdropping) I heard a very friendly member of staff telling another attendee the ‘Sofa of dreams” was less than a £1000! I was gobsmacked, it was a bespoke made sofa, bloody huge and came with a footstool!
I worked my self through the room, test driving each and every sofa and seeing an array of familiar faces from Tanya Bardsley (RHOF), Jade English (This years Apprentice) and the lovely Stephanie from Ledigo PR I knew this was going to be a great little event, mainly because I am a MASSIVE fan of Real Housewives of Cheshire, The Apprentice, Interior design and free champers.
So, after being pleasantly impressed with quality, price and champers, I wanted to find out everything about the women behind it – Maddison Annastasia Santamaria.
Hi Maddy, amazing event, what made you decide to do ‘women in business’ event?
Being a woman in business and also a mum, I know how hard it is to be recognised as a woman in business and I think sometimes we need to celebrate that. A lot of the women here have full-time business’, but are also full-time mums. I am also keen to help raise money and awareness for women who are less fortunate than us in the UK and also in Africa, so I worked my magic and got over £5000 worth of prizes donated for a raffle we have this evening. It is important to me, that I am helping support all types of women.
What made you decide to start Love My Sofa?
It was actually accident the way it happened, I was on Maternity leave and I was looking for a sofa, I had an idea of what I wanted but couldn’t find it anywhere and all the bespoke sofas were way too expensive. That’s when I realised there was a gap in the market, also having twin girls I thought mini replicas would be a good idea and again, there was nothing around. So I went to a manufacturer who agreed to make them and it went from there. Then I thought to myself, why am I going to a manufacturer, I could do this myself! So I did, I set up a manufactures that employs 16 people!
I believe a lot of people think that you came from money to set this up?
I know that is what is really frustrating. I had saved up for a long time, so we could send the girls on a big family holiday, then something inside of me said ’those who dare win’ and I knew I had to start ‘Love My Sofa’, so I did. I had saved £5000 and put it all into the business. I remember ringing my friend up at 2 am in the morning and she would be like “what are you doing up?” and I would reply “what do you think about this idea…”. I have worked really hard too be where I am. My husband is really supportive and he gave upon work to help with the kids, so I could really push Love My Sofa.
Why do you think you have been so successful so quickly?
I didn’t go to go school, I had no qualifications and hadn’t any real business knowledge. What I did have thought was, will drive, grit and a determination to make Love My Sofa a huge success.
What do you think you need in order to be successful?
I believe that all goals are achievable, you just need to believe in yourself and focus on what you want to achieve. A person with drive and ambition is more powerful than a person with a clipboard and a budget.
What is your next goal for Love My Sofa?
I feel like I am on a roll and I know that I can achieve my dreams and goals. In the next three years, I have projected a turn over of £10.2 million, I want to expand nationally and just make sure that the business continues to grow from strength to strength.
And there we have it, a thought-provoking interview that made me certainly have a lot more faith and belief in myself and also start reevaluating my goals. Which then leads me on to the next part of the evening, where we each got a pen and a piece of paper and we wrote down one goal that we wanted to achieve. Mine was simple;
To be happy ……and rich
Lots of Love