This week on my Parents in Business series I’m featuring the very fabulous Anna who created Officine Haven, a virtual second hand shop on Instagram (which is really useful for finding all of those treasures), and it’s also a local business close to me in South East London.
Here Anna shares her story about how she set up Officine Haven after graduating from studying Interior Design, and her desire to help cheer people up in their homes. It’s great to hear that Anna’s business has been supported by the local community which is vital for growing a business and audience.
I have loved hearing the honesty that Anna shares about stepping out of your comfort zone, and also understanding and accepting that you can’t do it all. Do have a read of Anna’s story below and check out her Instagram account for all the treasures that she is selling at the moment.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I have been a nomadic professional photographer for the last 10 years, but my son growing up and the pandemic changed the balance for me. We moved to Brockley two years ago and I fell in love with South East London, and overall I started to be willing to set roots. I am now an interior designer and “virtual shop keeper” as I opened a little (but soulful!) second hand shop on instagram.
What motivated you to set up your own business?
In 2019 I won a scholarship to study interior design at KLC, funded by House & Garden: to say that it felt like a dream coming true it would be the understatement of the century. I graduated in the mid of the new pandemic world, and interiors never felt so important… I wanted to do something to give my contribution to my community. This is how Officine Haven came to life: I really missed a second hand shop in Brockley and I wanted to give people the chance to get a little something to cheer them up in their homes on a daily basis. Also, when you feel better indoors you are likely to be a better person in the world too!
How do you balance or juggle your business around family commitments?
It’s a daily seesaw, to be honest. My time is very fluid, and although I would love to curate a daily routine for myself and my business, I often work around my family’s needs: sadly my son has developed a condition for which he gets a very high fever every 14 days, and although we know he will need surgery and we are on the list, given the current situation we are not sure about when it will happen. Up to then, we can only adapt. But isn’t this what all parents do anyway, to some degree?
What do you view as your biggest success since setting up your business?
Without any doubt, the community’s support: I went wildly out of my comfort zone putting my journey online through my personal story as well as my items, and I have been rewarded with the warmest and kindest feedback. Local people have proven to be the loveliest community I could hope to find, and I feel like I’ve found friends, more than clients.
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
I would say, accept that you probably won’t be able to do everything, something will have to give… but if you set your priorities based on love and not fear, you won’t regret anything (and the universe is likely to support your journey! 😉
Thank you so much Anna for taking part in my series this week, it has been brilliant to feature you and I wish you all the best in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Grape and Nectar, Boiler Central and Jojo Bradley Interior Design.