MENTOR OF THE MONTH

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Lisa Williams is one of the fantastic female founders who mentors at our flagship monthly mentoring sessions providing sound business advice, inspiration and amazing contacts – we enjoyed having Lisa at our March session.

After been a successful journalist working at Conde Nast, and the Press Association, Lisa decided to make the leap to entrepreneurship after having her first baby and realising there was a calling! She founded TantrumXYZ – ‘networking, inspiration, and shopping for modern parents.’ Lisa gives us an insight into her startup world and what inspires her to be involved with the SUK!

Tell us a bit about you and your career before setting up TantrumXZY?

I’ve always liked to talk, listen and write so journalism seemed a good career choice for me. I started as a local news reporter, covering crime, politics and health. I then went into the world of entertainment reporting: doing interviews, set visits and red carpets come rain or shine. From assistant features editor at Press Association to Conde Nast, where I edited Tatler’s website for three years, pulling stunts such as ‘Guess the royal bottom’ and ‘If Kate Middleton were a hipster’. When I went on maternity leave, I struggled to find interesting journalism to match my new experience, so TantrumXYZ was born.

What was the main driver behind founding TantrumYXZ?

There is plenty of good parenting content around the web, just as there are plenty of nice kids’ clothes and toys which don’t cost the earth, it just takes a long time to find it all. New parents don’t have time, and so TantrumXYZ was set up to do parents a favour: we trawl the web for the best writers, podcasters, filmmakers and photographers and present an edit of brilliant content alongside an online shop where parents can buy cool stuff for their kids quickly and easily.

How is TantrumXYZ different to other on line market spaces for parents?

Our main point of differentiation, and one that I am extremely proud of, is that we appeal to parents rather than just mothers or just fathers. As we approach a more equal world in which gender stereotyping is increasingly irrelevant, TantrumXYZ provides a site where parents can be parents, just like in the real world. The tone we have set among our community is one of a group of friends, male and female, who have had children at roughly the same time, and who are there for each other, through the silly and the serious.

Do you feel like you’ve built a sense of community with your customers and what the all important ingredient for you?

Absolutely. We have a closed Facebook group which acts both as a reader panel (‘what do you think about this artwork?’), a source for stories, and an advice forum where parents can ask for tips or opinions on anything from doubts about childcare to the best baby bath. We also hold events such as bring-the-baby stand-up comedy, a monthly business networking roundtable, and a post-natal sex discussion at pop-up shop in Shoreditch. All of our events have been broadcast on Facebook Live so we’re not limiting them to London guests, and we’re planning on hitting the road shortly…

What would your number one tip be to entrepreneurs embarking on setting up a business?

Time is money, and if you don’t have much money to start off, get good with your time. Learn some time-saving hacks for both your digital and real-world tasks, and don’t be afraid of saying no.

Lisa Williams

Do you think it takes a certain type of person to be an entrepreneur or can the skills be acquired over time?

I am certainly not a cookie-cutter entrepreneur, and there is definitely space for different personalities in business. However, the basics are important to get right: time-management, people-management, a good decision-making process and a head for figures. You can acquire these skills if you care enough to learn how.

What inspires you to get involved in SUK?

I think it does brilliant work, bringing together entrepreneurial minds from all levels of business: from the been-there-sold-my-business to the people who are just starting out and who may have less experience but who have all the ideas, enthusiasm and intelligence.

What do you think is special about SUK?
The place itself has a really good vibe: it’s full of friendly people who are keen to help and to join the dots between other people. It does a fantastic job of sourcing bright minds, and of supporting them on their journey.
Do you learn as a mentor also?
Yes, absolutely: I learn from everyone in the room, and love keeping in contact with people too.
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