Friday 12 July 2013

2Inspire Profile: Claire Mitchell, founder of Chillipeeps

Today, The 2Inspire Network interviews Claire Mitchell, a mother and entrepreneur who encourages us to never give up. Read her interview to witness how perseverance and clarity can turn your business dream into a reality.
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you? As we are trading globally, our typical day isn’t typical, we are on the end of the phone /email whenever we are awake. I have been known to respond from iPhone whilst in bed to urgent requests. Not healthy, but better than wondering all night if the customer has replied or needs another response. I spend most of my day on the phone, emailing, progressing projects, liaising with customers and suppliers. Cuppa time is for creating awareness through social media.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
My daughter made me start my business. We were going to a family party one Sunday to introduce our new baby to all the extended family. We were late setting off as we needed to change our daughter before we left. We had just set off driving and knowing I had ready-made formula cartons in the car, I couldn’t remember if I’d picked up the clean sterilised bottle. I asked my husband if he had, he tried to reassure me I would have, but knowing she would need a feed whilst we were there, I insisted my husband checked for it. So as he rummaged through the baby bag, I ranted ‘Why hasn’t anyone invented a teat that attaches directly to the carton!’ My husband found the bottle, I had picked up and off we went. Six hours later we got back in the car to come home and I said ‘I can’t stop thinking about why no-one has invented a teat to attach to the carton’. We talked about it all the way home and researched the internet that night, there was nothing. So we wrote reams on how we would change the world with this concept and contacted Peter Jones from Dragons Den telling him I had the next big thing and to call me. His automated response included advice that sent us to the Patent Office the next day for a free half hour session with a Patent Attorney and Chillipeeps was born.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
To actually get the concept to market is a HUGE achievement, many concepts never become products and many products never make it to market. Then to gain industry awards is just incredible and makes the crazy development journey all worth while.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Credibility – proving yourself as a new entrepreneur, a new brand and a new concept all at the same time is a big challenge.

Hurdles – every business has hurdles that they find on their journey, find your hurdles and learn from them.
What are your future plans for the business?
We are selling in 14 countries today, aiming to make Chillipeeps a truly global brand and household name. Developing our concept into new markets and industries.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely do it again, but I’d know this time round that timescales required and investment required is way longer and more than you imagine.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Because they have some fantastic dreams, they can multi-skill and they will be bringing up our future generations, so we need to inspire them to the best they can so that they can pass that on to their children. They need to be able to believe that they really can do anything they dream of, with hard work and determination.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Don’t do it… no only joking, definitely go for it, you only have one life and this is yours to make a difference. However research and be totally aware of costs and timescales required for all stages of the project before you start. If in doubt, contact me, I share my knowledge with many aspiring inventors / entrepreneurs in the industry and I am proud that quite a few of the products have made it to market. That’s Genius!

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I am totally inspired by every hard working entrepreneur, it is tough out there today and you have to find your something special that makes you stand out from the crowd. If you are asking who I would love to meet, that would have to the Queen, who I would love to spend the day with probably Richard Branson and Oprah.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
One I have said since school ‘Enjoy it while you are here, as there is no place like here there’

Contact Details

Claire Mitchell

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