Business Birthday Interview: Daisy Park

Emma Paisey talks about Daisy Park's fourth anniversary.

Daisy Park is a family-run business, based in Devon, specialising in shabby chic home accessories and gifts, which have been carefully sourced from brands including Newgate Clocks, East of India, Cath Kidston, Pip Studio, Miho, Emma Bridgewater and several others. We catch up with Emma Paisey, the company's founder.

We are celebrating our 4th birthday this year... Well, we weren’t invited to the Palace, so we are spending it with family and friends as these have been so important and supportive.

It was always a dream of mine to set up my own business... but I was not able to realise it until we relocated to glorious North Devon. It is such an inspiring place to live and giving up my corporate life enabled me to live the dream.

Generally, there are not enough hours in the day... I try to spend as much time dealing with customers, either in my shop or online as they are so important to the success of Daisy Park. I get involved in all parts of the business, from shop girl, tea maker, marketing manager to MD!

The high point of last year was... winning the award for The Greats Best Newcomer, South & Wales 2011/12. I felt it was a real recognition of our hard work. We were also listed as a finalist this year in the category of Best Retail Initiative.

A website I can recommend is... Business Link, which has been a great support for advice on all aspects of my business. For inspiration, I love Pinterest, for posting my love of design and gorgeous things, and also following those that inspire me. I also regularly use Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with the world.

I couldn’t live without... my Mac products - I must be Apple’s marketing dream. I couldn’t imagine running my business (or life) without them.

I mainly support... local charities as we live in a rural environment and I feel that it is important to support my community. Our shop is located in South Molton, a small market town on the edge of Exmoor and I work closely with the South Molton Business Association to help promote the town.

My advice to a budding entrepreneur would be... don’t let tales of the recession put you off. If you have a great idea for a business, and have the passion, just get on and do it! It’s a bit of a cliche, but always remember to look after your customers with great service, it’s what you will be remembered for! Lastly, take time to reflect, look back on how far you have come and celebrate.

You might not otherwise know that... I lived and worked in Denmark for 3 years with my husband who worked for NATO. The Scandinavian style really inspired me and I think a bit of it exists in Daisy Park.

Business apps... A number of apps enable me to run my business from my phone, which I think is fab. Breat business stress busters are Pac-Man and Angry Birds. I love (and trust) Trip Advisor.

The best piece of advice I regularly receive is... from my husband who tells me to calm down and stop worrying! It really does keep me in check.

As for the recession... We are constantly thinking of how we can make it a better experience for our customers; from sourcing new product lines, ease of use of the website, payment options, customer feedback and offering a personal service. We are currently working on a mobile version of the website to improve the experience of customers who wish to shop via their mobile phone. Conditions are tough at the moment and customers need to feel that you value them shopping with you.

I admire... my Mum and dad inspire me - they have been self employed all their lives and have really encouraged a spirit of enterprise right from an early age.

In five years time, I see myself... happy, successful and still living in Devon. Some work/ life balance would also be great.

When recruiting new staff, I look for... people who have a passion for my products and understand the Daisy Park philosophy. Enthusiasm, personality and a great sense of humour is also important as we are a small team. Also the ability to pack a mean parcel with the use of a tape gun at 50 paces helps.

June 2012