Simon is from Farnham, UK where he provides quality handmade candles that are vegan, organic and plastic free.
Here's what inspires him and his advice for budding entrepreneurs.
1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child I wanted to be a Doctor or surgeon! But for various reasons I was academically challenged so that thankfully never happened, I’m quite happy about that!
2. What inspired you to start the business?
I had a couple of conversations with people about eco friendly handmade products, which set me thinking enough to actually look into the business possibilities. I’ve also seen at many times either first hand or on the news how some products are harmful to the environment and I wanted to do my bit to make a difference.
3. What do you sell and how is it made sustainably?
Currently I’m focussed on scented candles and other wax products made from soy. I try and source products that are naturally available where possible and avoid environmentally damaging ones. I’ve applied for soap certification so will be doing a range of soaps, shampoos and bath bombs in a few weeks whilst carefully avoiding ingredients such as palm oil that is not sourced in a sustainable manner.
4. What’s your favourite thing about being a business owner?
For me, I enjoy the freedom to do my own thing without a boss looking over my shoulder. It can be harder since it’s a double edged sword not having someone to tell you what to do, or how to do something, so there’s a lot of research and hours can be long, but the results can be very satisfying.
5. What’s your productivity secret?
I'm not sure I have a secret. I have a ‘can do’ attitude and look at trying to create things without reinventing the wheel. Where possible I try to keep things as simple as possible which helps speed things up. I look at ways to save time so I can get more done. Time efficiency is the key I’m working on to achieve the most I can.
6. How do you find inspiration?
It can be tough to remain inspired the whole time. It’s natural to have days where inspiration falls as well as rises. There are people who have made a huge success of their businesses from scratch such as Alan Sugar and Richard Branson and love them or hate them, they’ve worked hard and achieved extraordinary success. So I definitely find inspiration looking at where they are and where they started from, and think that anything is possible if you’re prepared to put in the hard work and effort required.
7. What’s your favourite quote?
The quote that springs to mind is ‘Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re absolutely right’.
It’s all about how we view things, and sometimes we can achieve more than we’d ever hoped just be believing we can.
A few years ago I was in New Zealand and signed up to do a Canyon Swing. When I saw it, I was the most terrified I’ve felt before or since. But I believed I could do it. So after a lot of encouragement from others with me I did do it and felt incredible afterwards, but I know that if I’d believed I couldn’t there is no way on earth I would have done it!
8. What would you recommend to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?
I’d say it takes more than you think! It takes very long hours a lot of failed attempts and working on your own can be lonely. However, with the right mindset as mentioned above, it can be a very worthwhile experience.
If you have an idea, I recommend getting feedback from a few responsible people and test the market where possible, will your items sell, is there a big enough market place for them.
9. If you had all the money in the world, where would you live?
If I was rich I would have a detached house with a landscaped garden at the back, a gravel driveway at the front, and always loved the idea of a river at the end of the garden with a boat on it. Id possibly live in the same county as I like to be close to family and friends.
10. What is the dream with Greenlaurels?
The dream would be to see Green Laurels products being produced on a much bigger scale and be available in all the well known outlets and smaller ones, being seen as a driving force for inspiring others to buy more eco friendly products across the board, in a sustainably green way.