Independent Business in the Spotlight - Iggy Mint
This week, we are shining the spotlight on Iggy Mint, a company founded by Selena, a fellow SE London mum and all round creative. Welcome Selena, please tell us more about your company and the work you do.
S: I'm Selena - Product & Interior Stylist. I create beautifully styled imagery for brands and I help clients create stylist yet practical rooms for their family homes.
TFS: Where's home?
S: Home is South London.
TFS: What's a typical day at the Iggy Mint Headquarters?
S: A typical day within the Iggy Mint HQ's would consist of responding to client enquiries, creating moodboards, styling products/homes and making or sourcing lifestyle props. People have the illusion that styling is very glam but I'm often found brushing sloppy paint over a piece of ply or cutting up my finger tips creating a floral arrangement.
TFS: Why did you set up your business?
S: I set up my own business because I was presented with the opportunity to take voluntary severance pay and leave my old career. I have always been creative but this was the first time completely setting up on my own with no other income to fall back on.
TFS: What have been your biggest challenges?
S: My biggest challenge has been making the transition from an elaborate hobby to booking regular clients each month. I've had to collaborate with brands on many occasions to help me build a portfolio and create awareness of my services in the creative community.
TFS: Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers or stylists?
S: My tips for working in this industry - 1. Always have a back up plan for shoots (models don't show, lighting equipment can suddenly stop working and other things can go wrong) always have a plan B for every scenario that could fall through on the day. 2. Don't compare your work to others - this is a sure way to fail before you have even begun. Focus on developing your own style and ways of producing results and eventually you'll find clients who love what you do 3. Get organised!! I have accumulated a whole storage full of props and backdrops over the years and at times I have purchased things twice accidentally because I wasn't regularly taking stock of what I already had.
TFS: What have you found has been the most successful way to promote your business?
S: I approached brands (most of which I already had a relationship with from my days of designing lights) which I now use as props in my shoots. I now have brands approach me - mainly through Instagram, features and word of mouth.
TFS: It’s no secret that it’s incredibly difficult for business right now, both for independents and the big names. How have you adapted your business model in response to COVID-19?
S: COVID-19 hasn't completely affected my business as I can work remotely. I've just been taking on less work during this time and my ability to source particular props has been limited so I've had to be more resourceful than ever.
TFS: What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of working for yourself?
S: Advantages - Much better work/life balance, doing what I love and being more present for my family. Disadvantages - Lots of procrastination !! Unless I have a strict deadline to meet.
TFS: Have you managed to create a work/life balance? If so, any tips?
S: It's a constant juggling act for me as I have children but one tip I have is to ensure I spend time on my business, with my children and doing things for myself in equal measure.
TFS: Finally, what does the future hold for you and Iggy Mint? Any plans or are you taking it easy in these uncertain times?
S: I have worked with some amazing brands and I have some exciting projects coming up later this year and the beginning of 2021. But I have to keep my lips sealed at the moment !! I don't have anyone in particular that I'd like to work with but I would definitely like to take on more interiors projects.
Thank you so much for taking part Selena! I know our readers will love finding out more about what goes on behind the scenes when we see beautiful imagery and photography. If you want to find out more, please head over to Iggy Mint.