Thursday 9 June 2016

2inspire Inspirational Woman: Pamela Sommers, Founder of SommerSparkle

Pamela Sommers is the founder of SommerSparkle which is a family-run online boutique, providing beautiful jewellery & accessories for every special occasion. Read her interview and dare to shine brightly with your own success!

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
It is important to preserve a strong mind in business, in order to do this you have to train it, just like you would your body. I start the day with prayer and affirmations as I am a Christian. I then meditate to keep me calm and grounded and I do a visualisation to focus on success.  I exercise afterwards, which helps to keep me motivated and helps me to cope with stress. I think it is important to keep centred and remember why you are doing what you do when you start your day, this helps to put me in a positive frame of mind, ready start my work.
I try to schedule checking emails and social media at certain times of the day, this way it doesn’t get too distracting. I do a list of what needs to be done and organise a slot for creating content, managing social media, product management, photo shoots. I have also started writing a book about life lessons for younger people, so I organise a slot for that too. I tick off what I do as I go along but I am also flexible enough to allow for surprises. At the end of the day I go through what I have achieved that day, I find it helps with productivity as a sense of accomplishment always feels so rewarding.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I had an accident, which meant that I was unable to use my right hand for a long time. I couldn’t even do basic things like washing my hair and eating and cooking, things we often take for granted. After a long and frustrating period of physio I managed to gain limited use of my right hand. Unfortunately, this meant I was no longer able to work at the school, which I enjoyed. I bought a bracelet to cheer me up and it was very sparkly. I received many compliments for it, which helped me to feel good about myself again. Later that evening I started thinking of how I would love to help others feel this good and this inspired me to start selling jewellery and as I wanted to help people feel really special I focused on selling jewellery and accessories for special occasions.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
My greatest accomplishment so far is achieving the Couple’s Choice award for 2015 and 2016 from WeddingWire, which means we are recognised for our excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionals, all of which are values we have placed at the heart of our business.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
My biggest challenge is keeping on top of the technology side of things. It is certainly a learning curve and takes time and patience to learn, test and implement changes. Technology is always evolving, which is great as it means you are constantly learning and implementing changes and achieving progress

What are your future plans for the business?
I would like to continue to offer the best possible service for our customers and this may also involve featuring guest bloggers to offer advice on specific areas, for instance from hair stylists, make-up artists, photographers, fashion stylists and wedding boutiques. This will add value to our customers and provide expert knowledge that can help them.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would try not to take opinions too heart, especially from those closest, who you assume will support your new venture. I would stop trying to change their perspective and just realise that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If I realised this sooner I wouldn’t have wasted my time and energy and simply focused on moving forward with my business. You can’t change people’s perspective.  

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
I believe it is important for young women to have instilled in them, the knowledge that they can do anything they put their hearts and mind to. Having self-belief goes hand in hand with self-esteem. They need to know that, yes they are worthy, they are good enough, no matter what others say. They shouldn’t compare themselves to others. We are all unique and have a message to share. It’s important that young women have the confidence to share their own message and to let their light shine.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
I would say remind yourself why you are doing this regularly, this will help you to carry on when you are feeling disheartened. Keep focused on your vision, regardless how it looks in the beginning. Everyone has to start from somewhere. Be your own cheerleader and always celebrate your wins, this is so important. I would also like to say be true to yourself, don’t compare yourself to others, just be you.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

Denise Duffield-Thomas has inspired me so much. She is down to earth and has taught me to just get on with it and don’t wait until you are ready. As I am naturally a self-conscious person this has really changed my perspective. So now I try not to wait until the nerves set in and put it off, I just get on with it.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
‘Don’t die with your music still inside you’ by Wayne Dyer

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