10 Minutes With: The Lovely Keepsake Company Founder, Helen Davies
The countdown to Christmas is officially on, so we catch up with online retailer, Helen Davies, a woman who has made it her mission to protect and preserve precious memories throughout life.
30 Second CV
Name: Helen Davies
Location: Hull, East Yorkshire
Current Title/Company: Founder, The Lovely Keepsake Company
Educational Background: BA (Hons) Public Relations, Leeds
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
I run an online store dedicated to helping people enjoy and cherish moments, milestones and events throughout life. I design or source innovative products that we sell via our website all over the UK. I manage the website, marketing, gift wrapping, packaging and customers, and ensure we are continually growing and raising our profile each day.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Most rewarding job ever.
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
My morning is an organised yet chaotic routine between 6.30 and 8.30am, after which I drop off my two year old twins at nursery, then my seven year old son at school, before returning home to the office. I make a coffee and two slices of toast, which I eat at my desk whilst catching up on overnight Facebook posts, tweets, and customer emails.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
It’s a cliché but no two days are the same – though most, including weekends, involve wrapping and packing up orders. We wrap every item with tissue and ribbon, and personally hand write a thank you note with each gift, so this happens at least six days a week. The rest of my time is taken up with one of a number of tasks: stock checking, re-ordering, re-arranging the store, dealing with suppliers over ideas for new lines, working with designers or manufacturers to bring my ideas to life, discussing ongoing jobs with our Stitch or Sketch teams, updating our 400+ product list, reviewing SEO performance, planning marketing or PR, and occasionally talking customers through the more personal orders such as Memory Cushions or Babygro Bears.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Without doubt it was my lightbulb moment when the idea for The Lovely Keepsake Company landed. Although the company was inspired by the unexpected arrival of my premature twins at 29 weeks, two years on, the shape and focus of the company is beyond my dreams and has allowed me to put my previous 20 years experience in marketing and owning other businesses to good use. This is by far the best job in the world.
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The Good: Behind each order is an emotional attachment: a story, a memory, a sentiment. Gift wrapping each product to send to someone, knowing how important that item will be to them, is the very best thing about this job.
The Bad: Flexibility around my young family was a main driver to starting the business, but not being able to ever switch off and working late into the night when I know I’m going to be up with the kids is pretty bad. I miss the drive home from an office job, sometimes!
The Ugly: Not having enough hours in the day to bring to life all the ideas buzzing round in my head and not being able to reach out to as many people as quickly as I’d like is probably the most frustrating aspect of the role. Not bad for ugly though!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my beloved Granma: “Whatever life throws at you, you’ve just got to get on with it!”
What would you say to your twenty year old self with the benefit of hindsight?
Gosh, I’d love to sit down with her! I’d probably say:
– You are right to keep believing.
– Dig deep when you need to because it will be worth it.
– As long as you have hope anything is possible.
– Make every second count with your Granma.
– Don’t think you can’t have a career and kids at the same time.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Tracks 1, 2 and 21 of Now 91: “Love Me Like You Do”, Ellie Goulding; “See You Again”, Wiz Khalifa; and “Ship To Wreck”, Florence & The Machine. These are the only three tracks my children will let me play, over and over and over… All three kids know all the words!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Nutella. Although I did completely give it up for Stoptober and have since managed to curb my addiction, but there was a time I couldn’t go a couple of hours without a spoonful. Me, a spoon and a jar of Nutella. It literally kept me going for the first two years of the twins’ life whilst setting up the business!
What social or political issues matter most to you?
Currently it’s raising the profile and removing the stigma of Secondary Infertility. I’m on a mission to create more awareness having suffered myself. Secondary Infertility is still infertility, but there is little understanding and too little sympathy. I’ve written a book, and run a blog and Facebook page, and won’t stop until the term is better known and the condition better understood. It’s not on the scale of some of the world issues at present, but it is important and there are a lot of women suffering in silence, afraid to speak up about their situation.
If you could have lunch with any woman in the world, who would it be (and what would you order)?
It would definitely be Michelle Mone. I listened to her speak at a conference once and my lasting impression was that I’d love to sit and share a pint with her – I don’t even drink pints! I love her attitude, work ethic, family focus and ambition, and I admire her success. I’d love her to mentor me.