A day in the life of Leona from Lucky Dip Club
Yay, it's time for the next 'Day in the life' feature and this month I'm super duper excited to be sharing what it's like for the ultimate girl boss, colour loving, all round indie biz hero, Leona from Lucky Dip Club. So, without further ado, let's find out what Leona's average day is like...
Hi there, can you tell the Adventures & Tea Parties gang a little bit about yourself?
Hello, my name is Leona Thrift-ola, I’m 40 and live in sunny Margate after 2 decades in the big smoke. I run a subscription box called Lucky Dip Club, which launched in 2014 to promote independent artists and encourage our subscribers to follow their creative passions. I’m not particularly crafty myself and I can’t draw but I have many, many ideas and I love ‘stuff’ so I enjoy collaborating with a wide range of artists to create a fun range of exclusive products to inspire living a colourful life. I’m very much a cheerleader with a go-for-it-whats-the-worse-that-can-happen outlook on life. So for me, the best part about running LDC is the community management aspect and I adore creating our Girl Planet zine, which is free inside every box, getting involved with our closed Facebook group and having the opportunity to get to know our subscribers who are a seriously inspiring and talented bunch of humans.
How does your day start?
My daily routine has recently been turned on it’s head since starting a family and had I completed this 2 years ago it would be very different! I now work from home in a spare room I’ve decorated and dubbed the Rainbow Room; it’s definitely my happy place and I feel very inspired in there. I’ll be sat at my desk once Lola has finished her breakfast around 8am, reply to emails and prioritise what I must get done that day. If my partner Glenn is at work then I’ll take Lola out around 9.30am for a walk along the front and some fresh air, if Glenn’s at home I’ll plough on and the aim is to have all online orders boxed up ready for Royal Mail to collect at 2.30pm. I found out recently if you spend over 15k a year with Royal Mail you can apply for a free daily collection which has been an absolute life changer in my daily routine. It sounds like a lot but we spent nearly double that last year. Eek!
Do you have a lunch break?
Lola has lunch at 11.30am (so I usually eat at the same time, we love to share an omelette which I hide vegetables in!) and then fingers crossed she’ll nap between midday and 2pm which is when I don my sparkly cape (not really) and go into overdrive attempting to cram in the majority of my to-do list. I’ll work on future designs, communicate with manufacturers, organise production timelines, respond to press requests, create imagery for social content and deliver customer service.
Do you work in the evening?
I really look forward to the time I can work in complete peace and quiet once Lola has gone to bed and we’ve eaten dinner. I sneak back into the Rainbow Room around 8pm, it’s like a guilty pleasure which shows how much I love my job! I do all my writing: blog posts, newsletter content, interviews and Girl Planet articles. It’s also a good time to catch up with the community across our social channels which is mostly Instagram and our closed Facebook group. I’ll try not to do this every evening though, as I also think it’s important to have downtime and activities away from work because avoiding burn-out, having suffered from it in the past, is often at the forefront on my mind.
Do you work at the weekend?
Since we moved to Margate, I try not to work weekends and Glenn, Lola and I will go out adventuring. I’d spent years not putting a value on my own downtime and since making that change I’ve been a lot happier. I’d also like to say we ‘relax’ on the weekends but a toddler just doesn’t understand that concept so we’re just running with that at the moment and tend to get out the house to go to one of the nearby beaches or outside spaces. We live on the coast and we make the most of that. A few years ago I took my work emails off my phone and if I really feel the need to switch off I’ll dump the Instagram and Facebook apps off my phone for the weekend or shock horror just leave my phone at home! I take my time off away from the business very seriously these days. The number of times I’ve been at the pub on a Friday night waiting for a drink at the bar and I’ll all of a sudden find myself scrolling my emails and having to respond to a customer query. Whilst giving excellent customer service has always been a priority in my businesses there really has to be a cut-off point to look after your own mental health.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business and what lessons have you learnt along the way?
Running an independent online business in the age of social media is very demanding and it’s a challenge to switch off. In my 20s I had a bricks and mortar shop, which I could physically lock up, pull the shutters down and walk away from every evening. My business has all been online throughout my 30s and I’ve struggled to get the balance right although I don’t think there’s a one-size fits all answer. I think trying new routines is a good idea to find out what works and what doesn’t and also mixing it up and throwing the routine out of the window every so often is good for the soul. As long as I continue to feel excited about my work amongst the blips of anxiety and frustration then I know it’s what I should be doing. If the butterflies in my tummy when the boxes go out each month ever disappear then I know it’s time to move on.
Thank you so much, Leona! It's been wonderful hearing all about the behind the scenes of your creative business world and how you manage it alongside being a Mum. You're such an inspiration!
I hope you've all enjoyed reading about Leona's day and are now heading off to check out her fab site and super colour Instagram page! If you'd like to discover more incredible people and what their average day is like, head over here!