The Curious Mummy HQ meets the creator of the award winning frozen lollies Claudi and Fin. Claudi and Fin was born after Mum Boss Lucy and her friend Meriel, struggled to find a ice lolly which contained natural ingredients, so decided to make their own. Today Lucy shares her tips on running a successful business and how winning a pitch changed the course of Claudi and Fin.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Lucy, and I live in South London with my husband and two children.
Tell us about Claudi and Fin and what gave you the idea to start?
My business partner, Meriel and I started Claudi & Fin when we couldn’t find any lollies we were happy to feed our children. We were tired of all the sugar and additive heavy lollies that lined the supermarket shelves so we hit the kitchen and started making our own.
Congratulations on winning ‘Pitch Up With Sainsbury’s’, what an amazing achievement and thoroughly well deserved. Please tell us all about it?
We entered the competition with over 400 hopeful foodies and were selected with ten others to present in a final, not dissimilar to a Dragons Den/ Apprentice pitch. We were lucky enough to be a winner and offered 250 stores to launch our Claudi & Fin lollies – Europe’s first frozen yoghurt lollies. Up until that point we had never sold a single lolly in our lives. Sainsbury’s were our first customer.
Describe your typical day?
I normally have a list of what I want to achieve that day, if I don’t I take five minutes to write it. I deal with any urgent issues first, signing off artwork or pricing etc. Then I might have a meeting with our designer, Amanda to talk about the new product packaging. Often, I receive samples which require tasting (a big perk of the job if you love ice cream and lollies as much as me!) and then I’ll feedback to the manufacturers development team and our nutritionist or ask for advice from our product development technician. I also always allow at least an hour a day for sales. That might be researching potential new customers, putting together presentations or just getting on the phone. Every day is different and every day throws up opportunities to problem solve or make something exciting happen!
What is the best part of your job?
Developing new ideas for tastier and healthier lollies. I could do that all-day long.
What would you say the most important thing is in running a business? What has been the greatest lesson you have learnt?
I think the bit I enjoy most is new product development, creating products and packaging and then pitching them to buyers.
What do you think it takes to be a Mum Boss?
A really supportive husband who doesn’t mind you typing away all night and who juggles as much as you do. I also have amazing family and friends who have helped so much along the way and a brilliant Claudi & Fin team. You can’t do this on your own, it’s a team thing.
As the ultimate Mummy Juggler, how do you find a balance between running a successful business, and raising a family?
My husband really helps. The company he works for Stanfords have been brilliant at allowing him to work more flexible hours so one of us is around as much as possible. But it’s the same for any working parent, I don’t think our juggle is any different.
After work, how do you find time to relax?
I don’t! I’m not naturally good at relaxing. I’ve never done lie-ins and already at 43 I feel like time is running out and there is so much I want to do. I love an ice-cold beer and reading the weekend papers.
What are your top five tips for starting a successful business?
- Research your idea thoroughly – do a business plan/look at competitors/is there a need/want/ who is the consumer/where is the market
- Be passionate and believe
- Understand the power of brand
- Values – at the heart of the business should be a set of values/stick to them
- Build a loyal team who want to grow the business with you
If you were to host the ultimate dinner party and you could invite anyone in the world, who would be on your guest list?
Lord Bilimoria (Cobra Beer founder), Barack Obarma, Sue and Mel, Marilyn Monroe, Ghandi, Richard Branson, George Michael, Zinadine Zindane, Amy Whitehouse and Paula Yates.