Meet Lucy and Vicki, the Founders of Two Girls Co.
We first met Lucy and Vicki when we featured them as part of our Pride Month 2021 blog article highlighting Tide members from the LGBTQIA+ community.
A few months later, we’re thrilled to be chatting with them again to learn more about Two Girls Co their creative giftware and home accessories brand. We talked about how they started, what work-life balance looks like for them, how they juggle their business and life as new parents and much more!
Read on to learn more about Vicki and Lucy’s business and get all their tips for budding entrepreneurs!
Hi Lucy and Vicki 👋 It’s such a pleasure chatting to you both today! Tell us about your business and when you started?
We’re Lucy and Vicki, a wife and wife design team and we’ve been together 10+ years. We both come from design backgrounds in different areas like digital design and furniture design so we always knew we had similar interests and wanted to work together on something in some way, at some point. We began Two Girls Co after we got married in 2017 and we used the wedding as a ‘test’ to see if we could work together on creating something without killing each other!
We created invites, signage, tote bags – all colour coded and meticulously planned. After we survived the trial, we sat down one day and decided to sketch some ideas for a low investment product – some enamel pins. One of these sketches was a little yellow ruler with a silly pun ‘Designers Rule’ emblazoned on it. Vicki took the plunge and ordered 100 of them without telling Lucy and when they showed up on the door with no branding or selling tools, we’d unintentionally started a business. Our hashtag at the wedding was #TwoGirlsOneTipi – so we ran with this and started Two Girls Co – unaware that this would be still going strong 4 years later as our ‘side hustle’.
4 years, Congratulations! You run the business together, do you have distinct roles and also how does your work life balance work?
Due to our experience in different types of design, we have some specific roles which we’ve developed naturally and we get on with as an unspoken rule. Lucy is from a graphics and digital background so takes care of finalising the artwork and marketing. Vicki is from a product design background so has naturally started looking after production and prototyping. We both have input on concepting and strategy which is nice, so there’s a healthy balance of admin and the stuff that excites us. We’ve just had a baby so the balance is a bit more fluid during maternity leave. It’s all hands on deck whenever there’s a glimmer of a spare moment for either one of us.
Congratulations on your little one 👶! Do you have any tips for new parent entrepreneurs that are learning to look after their family as well as their business like you?
Oh this is all such a learning curve for us. Our biggest tip – don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t always push to be productive. You’re only human and the biggest thing you’re actually doing right now is keeping a tiny human alive. We’ve personally taken our foot off the gas on the development side of things until we have more spare time. We’re lucky that this is our side hustle of course, so we’re in an ok position to strike that balance. But also don’t forget to be consistent with the likes of social media, even if just to say “Hi! This is us right now, we’ve not gone anywhere.”
Talking about tips, Tide has made a commitment to support 100,000 women in business by the end of 2023. What advice do you have for other women looking to start a business in the design industry?
Don’t let ‘being a woman’ even come into consideration when it comes to what you want. Get experience, find a willing mentor and just go all in! There’s always someone willing to give you a helping hand and, at the end of the day, you get back what you put in.. If you go in knowing that it won’t be easy but up for the challenge, then you’re already ahead.
Finding a mentor is definitely key and something our members tell us often. Do you have recommendations for budding entrepreneurs as per how to find one?
Social media is such a great tool to start networking, without actually having to schmooze at events. Perhaps start out by being a consistent commenter on your wish list mentors. You’d be surprised at how valued a positive comment on a post is. That act of kindness could even be shown in return and you’re more likely to build a virtual relationship that way.
You launched Two Girls Co 4 years ago, what’s been your biggest challenge since?
Accounting is a bit of a fear and almost a little scary if you’re not from a numbers background. Once you’ve done it for the first time with help from a qualified accountant, it gets that little bit easier each year. It’s so important to get right though and at the end of the day, we’re creatives, not academic so it’s worrying hitting that send button to HMRC. We’re still working on confidence around this so it’s a work in progress!
Accounting… that makes us think, how did you hear about Tide? Why did you choose us for your banking?
[Vicki] It was mostly a case of the right place, right time. We started our side hustle out of our own pocket, and the expenses were coming out of my own personal account. It was becoming hard to keep track of. One day in London I was exiting Old St tube station and Tide had a pop up in one of the shops there. I had a chat with one of the staff and they explained I could open a personal business account for free and it would help to separate my expenses and income easily. And that was it. It was simple, I signed up and it was a piece of cake. One of the best things we did at an early stage, with no sign up fees. It was perfect.
This is music to our ears! What do you love most about your company and being a small business owner?
Having complete creative direction and control over any actions we take. Wanting to do something and just make a quick, instinctive decision to do it. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, as it’s all a learning experience and one which you’re at the helm of. No one else to blame but also someone to direct the kudos to as well. It’s so satisfying.
And looking ahead, what’s next for Two Girls Co?
For the short term, balancing parenting with continuing to keep our small business ticking over is the main plan. We’d love to invest some of our earnings into something bigger, but for now our focus is on our family and it’s wellbeing.
Before we let you go back to your busy day – do you have any last tips for fellow business owners or those just starting out?
Follow your instincts and just do what you find exciting. Often we can feel like we’ve hit a wall when it comes to ideas and have nowhere to go. With a bit of persistence and just writing and sketching down any ideas, 1 in 10 of those doodles might lead to an inkling of an idea. You’ve just got to get your head down in these situations, otherwise you’ll deepen yourself into feeling like it’s becoming a chore. Never let that feeling overcome you…otherwise your business will never last.
Connect with Two Girls Co.
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