PLOOMS, inspired by awesome women
PLOOMS fountain pens come in five shades that have been inspired by women who have brought a splash of colour into owner and founder Sally Page’s life. Sally lets us know more about her colourful business, networking, role models and more.
What were you doing before launching your own business?
Most women I know are the sum of many parts, I like to think I am no different. Before starting PLOOMS I worked as a marketing consultant for many years, I also photographed and wrote a series of books about flower shops and in addition created a charity event for London, The Ten Stores Challenge – 10km walk, 10 iconic stores (for those who prefer retail to running!).
What was the defining moment when you decided to go for it and launch PLOOMS?
I was at a crossroads in my life and not very happy. I realised the only person who could change the situation was me, so I sat down with a blank sheet of paper to come up with an idea that would do just that.
Have you experienced any challenges launching/growing the business? Did you have any support and encouragement?
I have met with many challenges and drew on a combination of past experience and common sense to solve these. I have found if you ask for advice most people are kind and want to help. I also have an amazing husband who built our website and who is my sounding board.
We’d love to know more about your business and products?
PLOOMS is based on my belief that some words need to be written in ink. This and the fact I could not find the fountain pen I wanted – snug and weighty in the hand and such a gorgeous colour they make me smile every time I use them. I designed PLOOMS with this in mind. The name came from my thoughts about quills and plumage – a way to write and the way we think about accessories.
Where did the inspiration for the products come from?
I was influenced by Julie Deane of the Cambridge Satchel Co. Colourful traditional product, certainly, but perhaps more importantly the story of how she sat at her kitchen table and came up with 10 business ideas when she needed a way to help her family. I figured I only needed one idea!
We’re writing with pens less than we used to as lots of what we do is now electronic. How do you position your products in the market?
We do write less, so when we put pen to paper I think people want something lovely to write with. A PLOOM! I have also read that as the world becomes more complex we take comfort from traditional items – so I may have an ipad, phone and macbook, but I still love my PLOOM.
“I think networking is one of the most important things you can do in business. You never know where opportunities will come from.”
Do you have any role models in business?
Jo Malone’s story inspires me. She works with her husband, she has overcome difficulties and is such a pragmatic and dynamic person.
Have you ever attended networking events with other business people and do you see the value in these?
I attend as many of these as I can. I think networking is one of the most important things you can do in business. You never know where opportunities will come from.
If you needed extra funding or support, would you ever consider going on the TV show Dragon’s Den?
Never. I want to completely control my business (and own the vast majority of it!).
It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March. Is there a female who has played a big part in you getting to where you are now / has inspired you in your career?
So many. Each shade of PLOOM is inspired by a woman who has brought a splash of colour into my life. From Mrs Oliver’s High Heel Red to Libby Page Pink.
What’s next for PLOOMS?
More colours and fountain pen friendly stationery.
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