7 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
In 2013, Cecily, who was commuting from Brighton to London for a retail management job, became obsessed with the idea of replicating the smooth, creamy indulgence of dairy ice cream, in a natural, dairy-free version. A year later, she packed up her life in Brighton, headed back to her roots in Cornwall and set about turning her passion project into a career.
In 2015, Cecily launched Coconuts Naturally and within the first year secured their first Great Taste Award and a national distributor. Within two years the ice creams were listed on Ocado exporting to Dubai and had won another four Great Taste Awards. Following a stint on Dragon’s Den, turning down two offers, because they had received a better offer from one of the nation’s supermarket giants, the company rebranded to Coconuts Organic.
This year, Cecily’s has hit the shelves, putting Cecily Mills at the forefront of the plant-based brand. Now available for nationwide delivery, along with being found in the freezer aisles in M&S, the future is bright for this Cornish-based brand.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?
Having my own company has enabled me to have a family, to be there at school pick ups for my kids, it allows me to fit my life into my work. Don’t get me wrong, I work a lot of evenings and weekends too, but I still have the flexibility too be there for my children in a way that I would never have been able to had I stayed as an employee. I think you can start a company and make it work for you, around your life.
What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
1.You have to believe in yourself. This is a big chicken and egg – as so you start to believe when you see results, but you don’t get results until you start to believe you can. But it is SO important to learn this skill, and it can be learnt – from the language you speak to yourself to the challenges and goals you set.
2. Action tops pretty much any other skill! You can be talented, you can have a great product, or offer a great service but the thing that will make a difference, the thing that will drive you further towards your goals is taking action every day, consistently.
3. Be Consistent. Being your own boss you will have no one telling you where to be and what to do – which is brilliant. So you need to be sure that you show up every day and put in the work – most of the time the pretty boring work – that needs to be done. I firmly believe success is a culmination of all the little things you do over time. It’s never just one great thing.
4. Ask for help. This can be really hard if you’re like me, and like to just get your head down and work. But it’s so important if you want to grow and expand. You need to be able to filter advice, for sure (everyone will tell you how you should run your business!) but you do need to ask for help. I seek out others in my field and ask them – no one has ever said no, people are flattered when you ask for their advice.
5. Don’t wait for perfection – If you are looking for perfection you will never start. You need to start, and follow a model of continuous improvement…
Who are the 5 women who inspire you most?
· Whitney Wolfe Heard
· Stella Rimmington
· Cicely Saunders
· Sara Blakely
· JK Rowling
What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?
“Fortune favours the brave”
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