1. Hi Lorraine, it’s lovely to have you here today. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. Could you start of by telling us a little about yourself and your business?
Baal & Tanit was born while searching for a birthday gift. My Mum loves baskets, she uses them all the time and I really wanted to get her a personalised one. Although I managed to find some, they weren’t really what I was looking for so I decided to create one myself. It all happened very organically and it wasn’t long before I realised that perhaps this was something I could do on a more permanent basis. I had my third child 5 months before starting Baal & Tanit so was quite ready to do something more creative and step out of the corporate world. I also love making the baskets and other items so that definitely helped.
2. Did you pursue formal training or are you self-taught?
All my training is self taught and to be honest everyday is a learning curve. The craft itself and the commercials are all a completely new area for me and I love that I’m constantly learning.
3. Where do you make your creations? What does your creative space look like?
I work from home at the moment. I’m lucky enough to have a room that we have allocated to Baal & Tanit. The business has grown very quickly over the last 12 months and we’re just in the process of securing a premises to further develop the brand. The space itself is jam packed with product and materials. The products I create take time and each is tailored to the customers requirements so they take time and focus. It’s important to have the space to be able to work effectively.
4. Do you remember your first sale and what it felt like?
Good question. It probably took a while for me to full believe that this could be an actual business and it wasn’t until that point did I decide to set up a website. My first sales were via Instagram which was great but now they are through the website. With each sale you get a specific alert and every time I hear that tone, it’s a buzz. Baal & Tanit is in the top 11% of Shopify stores set up at the same time.
5. Since you are a mum of 3, I am intrigued to know how do you balance life and work, describe a typical day in your life!
After my first two girls going back to work wasn’t too difficult. I had my own sports marketing consultancy business, which meant there was an element of flexibility and that definitely helped. After my son was born, I didn’t have the same drive to get back into the corporate world and I didn’t feel that I had the mental capacity to commit to my clients. My work also involved a lot of travel and I knew it would be too much. Baal & Tanit Lorraine Rooney
Working from home is great and Baal & Tanit gives me the flexibility to spend more time with the kids but still work in some capacity. The baskets are painted after bedtime, during nap times or if the kids are having a play date elsewhere! Being home means I can be there all the time working from upstairs so if there is an issue or if one of the kids is sick I’m around. I have some other people that work with me during busy periods or if I’m away.Baal & Tanit Lorraine Rooney
My daughters love helping me and say they want to work with me when they grow up and I love that. My 6 year old is in school, my 3 year old in Montessori and my 2 year old is at home. We walk to school most mornings and my work commences straight after the school drop.
6. As a small business owner, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered so far?
It’s been a pretty steep learning curve and I’m lucky to have a supportive husband who helps with my accounts as it’s not my forte.
Before Christmas one of my kids was quite sick and in hospital for a couple of weeks. That was difficult as Christmas is a very busy time for Baal & Tanit and obviously I was not leaving my daughters bedside. Having full control of my business means that if a situation like this happens I can take all items of sale or get more people in to cover me during the period.
7. What is the one tip you would offer someone who is looking on starting up their own business?
I meet lots of people who are looking for that ‘light bulb moment’ where you can create something and develop a business. It’s often the simplest of things that happen organically which are the ones to work. It sounds cliché but I genuinely feel you have to love and enjoy what you’re doing. Most of all you have to back yourself and stay focused. Baal & Tanit Lorraine Rooney
8. Where would you like to be a year from now?
Baal & Tanit has an incredibly busy year ahead, we are working on some really exciting things; new products, collaborations and more. Fingers crossed the business continues to develop and I continue to enjoy working on it as much as I do now.
Thank you, Lorraine! It’s been absolutely delightful. To see more of Lorraine’s beautiful work, please visit Baal & Tanit