Claire – Rose & Olive

Together with my husband who’s a qualified Chef, I run a vintage themed catering business called ‘Rose & Olive‘ – named in memory of my two tea loving Nans. We host vintage tea parties, pop-up tearooms and supper clubs brought to the venue of people’s choosing. We are also opening our first permanent vintage tearoom in Uckfield, East Sussex in May.

Prior to being an entrepreneur, I used to be a Police Officer in the Metropolitan Police – a role that was both varied and demanding – but which ultimately led me to want more for my life. So after six years service, in June 2014 I swapped my cuffs for cakes to become a vintage tea party connoisseur!

The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome in my business journey so far has been to do with mindset. The mental shift between being an employee to being my own boss took some getting used to. The comfort of a regular pay cheque being taken away brought with it fear but on the other side of that fear came the excitement that now I could choose when and where I worked and there was no ceiling to what I could earn. It took me about six months to fully adjust but now I don’t ever look back.

The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone looking to start their own business would be to never ever, ever give up. I’m 100% self taught in business and I’m the only person in my family to have fully followed this path. It’s not always been easy but when I’m not winning, I’m learning. Too many people give up at the first sign of fear or difficulty – the key is to stick with it. You may adapt and change things but every time you do something that takes you out of your comfort zone – you take that one step closer to making your goals become a reality.

Running my own business fills me with such pride. To know that I have played a key part in so many people’s special occasions, helping to create fabulous memories – makes everything so completely worthwhile. Watching our business grow from what was once a dream to now a reality has been so rewarding.