Who are you and what do you do?
June… Or Junie Poonie as my Momma used to call me… friends & family call me Junie Poonie (& My Son calls me Poonie…yep I answer to that too!) I am a “Creator of Utter Loveliness” Specialising in Wedding & Celebration Stationery, Greeting Cards and Prints along with Wedding & Event Styling…
What inspired/motivated you to create your business?
I originally started with that old cliché “Not finding the wedding invitations I wanted” over 12 years ago… and it’s evolved from there. My Mum was a big inspiration for me; and even had a Studio built for me at the bottom of my Garden as a beautiful goodbye; knowing she wasn’t going to be around forever as she was terminally ill; she did something for each of my siblings… Mine being the studio I work from on a daily basis; my haven – where I feel close to her.
What advice would you give others wanting to start a business? Or rise up through the ranks?
I’m all about picking the biggest brave pants you can find in your knicker drawer, we all have them.. some are a little skimpier than others; (Mine are big momma ones and they make me do things I would never normally dream of doing) I’m also a firm believer of “Asking Questions” … no question is a silly question (unless its do you want Chocolate -erm hello – surely there is only one answer to that right?!?!) Collaborate… working with other businesses … big or small can be magical…
What have you learnt on your journey as a business owner?
To talk, be brave and ensure you have an amazing circle of people around you… its amazing what can happen when you ask questions, discuss idea’s and collaborate… some of my finest friendships have come from working with other businesses… supporting each other is crucial – get your pompoms out for others … ( you have to be your biggest cheerleader ... though I am also aware of those who don’t clap for you when you’re winning!)
What has been the toughest challenge being your own boss? Being in such a high position?
In all honesty, I feel that my hardest challenge is knowing the true value of my studio, I am forever grateful for what my Mum (& dad) have done for me; but I only know too well the price I have had to pay to have it. (I now have a Christmas Eve Angel Momma!) She always used to say “What’s meant for you won’t pass you by Junie” … and she believed in that to her dying day… the good, the bad & the ugly … if its meant for you… it won’t pass you by!
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Being able to work around my beautiful family; My Husband & Son are my biggest supporters, when its busy busy busy, you’ll often see a little poonie party happening … with all hands on deck to get wholesale cards and goodies ready!
I also love how I’m doing what I feel I was put here for, I love love love seeing or hearing peoples reactions when they receive their goodies from me; whether it’s a single card, wedding invitations, a happy couples reaction on their wedding day venue being set up … or even a beautiful set of Funeral Orders…. It makes my heart skip a beat!
What do you do in those times when you feel like giving up?
I think about the cost of what it has taken to get me here today... by no means the financial cost... more the emotional factors around how and why I have my studio... my momma is no longer here and the studio is what she had built for me so I can remember her by, its also where i feel so close to her. Another factor is my son... he inspires me to create and theres nothing more satisfying than seeing him wanting to get involved and do his own little business!
Looking after yourself is very important especially as a business owner and mother what so you do to recharge?
Oh Cleo....what's that?!?! No on a serious note our lifestyle is "Full On!" Full Full On....if i can have five minutes in the car to overpaint over my chipped nails... i'm a happy bunny (just being honest!) We love spending time together so we will often sneak a cheeky air bnb into some of my hubbys away games so we can have a little overnighter somewhere... just My hubby, Our Dude and Me....(& i've just invested in some doTerra oils and vitamins.... insane is all i'm saying.... ok ill also add 'gamechanger!')
Do you feel that being a women has held you back from achieving your goals?
Hand on heart I believe it hasn't...I'm a firm believer that every thing happens for a reason and "whats meant for you wont pass you by..." Being a woman and Mother I feel has actually empowered me more...
Do you feel there is a women's revolution coming as more women set up and run their own businesses and is it a good and is this a good thing?
It's wonderful to see so many woman 'doing their thang!' .... I do think its down to so many different factors and also to amazing opportunities out there... Look at Mothers Meetings.... where you can go along to a MM with babes in arms, toddlers on the loose.. it's AMAZING and how it should be!!! (We had our blind business date thanks to MM....and my Hubbys rugby fixture away!)
Do you have routine or do you a go with the flow?
Here's where I could say.... yes darling i rise at 0530 for a stretching session and then have my lemon and water..... but sadly nope.... due to the varying demands of my role some days can be old skool garage banging out of the studio whilst I prepare for a wedding or event I am styling, other days could be the drifters or Sade, Sade keeping me grounded and mellow whilst i'm designing a wedding stationery suite or new card collection. I always have a long to do list and prioritise as I go...
Being a mother has it's own set of challenges how has being a mother benefited you in building your business?
For me personally its been a 'game changer' .... hell yeah its amazing being around to take your son to school, be at the never ending numerous assemblies they have... but for us most importantly as a family ... Our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was five .. and whilst he's a legend and we continuously work our assess off as a family to control his blood sugar levels (it really is NONSTOP) knowing I don't have to 'ask' anyone for time off to be with him when needed gives us all a sigh of relief... though don't be fooled the mum guilt is still around... especially in the holidays.... though we've learnt a lot this summer holidays and have preplanned our working weeks for the next one so we can all have some quality time together whilst also knowing when we are werk werk werking!
Your business seems to be going from strength to strength with you recently winning a award what does the future hold for Junie Poonie?
Thank you ....yes ... "Winner of Best Wedding Stationery" in the UK Wedding Awards 2019... boom!!! Its so lovely to be recognised for it..(if anyone knows anyone who's anyone who can help me blow my trumpet from a PR point of view ...please give them a wink wink nudge nudge in my direction pretty please!) For me there's a few elements to my business.... I love my cards& prints and would love to get more stockists onboard for sure, the weddings are insane I'm in my happy place in my studio with the stationery and styling packages I do... I also love to do Funerals....its such a beautiful occasion and is always an honour to create personalised orders of services and little touches...and more recently I've taken on corporate styling and event support too which has been Mega as I do it day in and day out with the weddings so it has naturally lead me down this path... (I'm looking forward to seeing where it leads me .... who knows...but as my momma would say "what's meant for you....won't pass you by!"
Seven random facts about yourself
1. I’ve just been crowned as “Best Wedding Stationery” in The UK Wedding Awards 2019 ( Party poppers are a bangin!)
2. I used to be Cabin Crew (bloody loved working on cloud 9)
3. I wasn’t born (or conceived) in June?!
4. I’m a proud mother of a real-life superhero (No really I am … My son is an Insulin Warrior… otherwise known as a Type 1 Diabetic, he is insulin dependent and is the bravest little soul I know!)
5. I grew up as a child working in our Family Business… Ice Ice Baby … My Mum & Dad were also known as Mr & Mrs Whippy… they were the best Ice Cream Van Couple Ever!!!
6. I don’t drink alcohol … it makes me poorly poorly … ( I still love a good party though … and am often found driving home in my Poonie Party Bus… tunes bangin… girls giggling and usually in the drive thru of a well known chain at silly o’clock in the morning!)
7. I would LOVE to be a DJ for one night only … and ROCK a crowd…. Full on headphones, tunes banging .. BOOM!
Anything to add
For me a big part of my business is collaborating and working with others... we are so much better together... when we ask questions, support each other and believe in one another good things happen...I'm fortunate to be in an amazing network group too where women support women... and I honestly believe that having powerful women around you (& men) is priceless....
Connect with Junie
Website Junie Poonie Wedding Designs