Today on The Mother Hub Meets we are chatting to the lovely Becky Sebright-King, a.k.a Lady B, entrepreneurial baker and owner and founder of Lady Bakewell-Park. We first connected with Becky through our #IamAnEssexGirl campaign (she made us an Essex Girl biscuit!) and were lucky enough to have her on our panel at The Mother Hub launch party last December.
In 2013, a year after starting her blog under the pseudonym, Lady Bakewell-Park, Becky decided to take a leap of faith and turn her passion for baking into a business, and so Lady Bakewell-Park, Fine British Baked Goods was born. Becky's brand is part and parcel of who she is; her famed original marbled lyrical biscuits now synonymous with Lady Bakewell. Since launching her business Becky and her biscuits have taken Instagram by storm and her business has gone from strength to strength - she has even visited 10 Downing Street as part of Small Business Saturday 100. Read on to find out more about growing a business from a passion, surviving the first year as a small business, using social media as a tool to connect with clients and much more!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far?
Lady Bakewell-Park began as a blog charting my baking adventures whilst writing about the city and life, all under a pseudonym. A year or so into it, I realised I was actually quite good at the baking thing, and so took the leap of faith, left London, and made LBP a real breathing entity.
LBP officially started in October 2013 from my kitchen table alongside my blog. It meant the brand became part and parcel of who I was and what I wanted to create.
I had a small humble bit of cash I could put into the business to help get me off the ground, and I simply learnt as I went, each step of the way. I got involved locally, as well as online with people, and took a Prince’s Trust course to help me get to grips with the business-admin-money side of things. It took some hard grit, many food fairs and markets, but as soon as people tried my goods, my name started to become associated with my baked goods.
Known best as being the home of the original marbled personalised biscuit sprouting song lyrics, LBP also features fine British baked goods like petits fours, Bakewells, Battenburgs, and brownies. We like things that begin with "B”.
What was the biggest lesson you learned when transitioning from working for someone to going "solo"?
The buck stops with you: there's no one to fall back on and it's all on you. All of a sudden, shit got real.
One could say that you are an Instagram entrepreneur; using the platform as a powerful vehicle to develop your business. Did you set out to do so and what advice would you give someone hoping to grow their business through social media?
Social media is the most powerful tool all small business have. For me, the brand and the lifestyle is all part of my product and who I am. I try my best to display the reality of who I am, what my business does, and how I make it possible to get biscuits out the door. I didn't intentionally set out to fall under the heading of an "Instagram entrepreneur" but I suppose it's where I naturally sit. It was a natural platform for me to speak to my audience and customers, and a natural place to demonstrate how my product - and specifically how my most loved biscuits - are more than a baked good: it's a dinner with a loved one, it's a walk in the park, it's a break-up, it's a romance.
If you want to grow your business through social media, my biggest advice is to be honest: show the world who you are and what your business does - for you and for them. It makes all the difference to bring a personable touch that people can relate to.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
To date, probably attending 10 Downing Street as a Small Business 100, and finally taking the leap and getting my own real life kitchen unit, allowing me the chance to let my business really flourish.
What has been the biggest challenge?
I'd say I have had two big challenges. Juggling motherhood and my passion for my work: I love what I do and I wouldn't be ashamed to say that LBP was my first baby. But I now have a real life baby (well, a toddler now). I want to do my very best at both of those roles, and moreover, I really want to demonstrate to my little girl that it may be hard to have it all, but it's really worth giving it a damn good go to try and strive for it.
Equally, I would say confidence and finding my voice have been other big challenges for me. As soon as I really began talking openly with my customers and audience, and demonstrating my products on a level that also showed who I was, I realised I could speak and be confident on who I was and my business.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Have courage and be kind. It'll get you everywhere you need to go.