General

Interview with inspirational business woman – Naudia Salmon

I was recently sent some comfortable clothing to review. This is no word of a lie – this is the most lovely and comfy clothing I have ever worn in my life. This is clothing that gives you a caress and feels superb on your skin. You can read more about the product below in Naudia’s story of her life and business. You will see that there are additional benefits to this sleepwear but honestly, just the feel on your skin is utterly divine. If you are serious about self-care, invest in this sleepwear also perfect for duvet days and the times you want to chill in loungewear.

Tell us a little about your childhood and teenager years

I grew up in South East London with my Finnish mum and two younger brothers. I was fortunate to spend my summers in Finland, at our summer cottage in the forest by a lake. By contrast, back in London we lived in the hustle and bustle of council housing with a vibrant and diverse community around us. I grew up a city girl but loved being in nature and exploring new places, and in later years converted to the peace and quiet of the countryside.

I enjoyed school and did well – getting the highest grades in my secondary school was a proud moment for my family and led to joining a grammar school for my 6form studies. I did sciences but also loved art and being creative. In the end, I decided to study Biochemistry at Warwick University and took up as many modules as I could in neuroscience – I was fascinated by how the mind worked. I also rediscovered my love of dance by being an active member of the classical and modern dance club, taking part in every possible dance (and social) by the end of my 3rd year!

What was your first job? What did you learn from this?

My first ever job was working part-time at JD sports while I was at school. I also did some work experience at the McDonalds head office in their marketing department, which piqued my interest in creative advertising. While studying Biochemistry, I was keen to find a career that would merge science with my love of something creative. Luckily when I graduated, I found healthcare marketing and joined a creative agency as an Account Executive, working within their healthcare team, which allowed me to use my scientific understanding in a more creative setting. I learned a huge amount from working in a fast-paced agency environment, particularly project management, from handling clients to scoping out and overseeing complicated deliverables from start to finish.

What led to you setting up your business?

As much as I enjoyed working in healthcare marketing, long agency hours and little work-life balance led to burn-out. I decided to take a career break and go travelling in South East Asia, to get some much needed perspective. I had an amazing time, it allowed me to reconnect with myself and the world around me. The only thing that I kept struggling with were bug bites, particularly at night! I got so badly bitten that I had an allergic reaction to my bites, as well as my antimalarials. I hated using DEET and insect repellent liners were incredibly uncomfortable. This gave me the idea to develop something super comfy that you could wear, that would also help keep bugs away. I also wanted to create a community around the values I’d learnt while travelling. Around the importance of wellbeing and living life on your own terms. For me that meant starting a busines I was passionate about, exploring the world, and prioritising self-care.

What are your products?

Our debut product is Bamboo Anti-Insect Sleepwear, made from bamboo fabric infused with a treatment that keeps 90% of biting bugs away. The sleepwear set is designed for peace of mind wherever you are. Our sets are unisex and include a top and trousers which can attach together, plus socks and a 2-in-1 pillowcase and storage bag. The bamboo is super soft, lightweight, breathable, and has temperature management properties, meaning it adapts to where you are. Not only is the treatment anti-insect it also makes the clothing odour resistant, so you don’t have to wash it very often, making it great for camping and travelling for longer periods of time.

What makes your business special?

We are the first to market using anti-insect treatment within sleepwear, and also infusing the technology within bamboo fabric. It was important for us to use an eco-fabric, which has the bonus of having an amazing luxury feel and adds to our fabric features. As our clothing focuses on sleep, we have thought about the entire sleep experience, from including a pillowcase to give some protection for the head, to including top and bottom attachments to keep your waist covered  in our anti-insect fabric when tossing and turning when you sleep.

We also partner with Work for Good to donate £2 from each sale to Malaria No More. Every 2 minutes a child still dies from malaria, and we want to do what we can to help put an end to the suffering caused by the world’s deadliest disease.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business but lacks self-belief?

Everyone has something unique and special to offer the world, no one can be you or do exactly what you do, so embracing yourself I think is a great first step to building self-belief. Also, if you have a desire to set-up a business, no matter what happens, just having the courage to go for it, is something I think you’ll never regret. So, approaching it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and have no regrets, might lower the resistance to getting started, to give you time to build more self-belief along the journey.

How do you ensure you look after yourself properly? What do you do for self-care?

I love planning, so for me planning in self-care rituals into each day is really important. My mornings usually include some journaling, meditation or yoga. Throughout the week I block time to read, exercise and do a little painting or mindful colouring in. I do leave room for spontaneity, and try and intuitively feel what self-care to do, especially over the weekends. Mindfulness and being present in the now helps with this. I also like to remind myself that self-care can come in many forms, so it’s important to be aware of what you need at what time – doing nothing or watching a film can be as important as getting organised and de-cluttering or meditation with breathwork.

Blocking out some alone time is also key for me, I’m an introvert so I need that time to re-energise, and it’s great for getting some stillness and reflecting on things from the week.

Who supported you as you set up your business?

My friends and family always believed in me, and although there may have been some concerns at the early stage, they all stood by me and were my early supporters when I first launched. Not only was it moral support, they were key to helping at all our early photo shoots, events, and sharing posts on social media. More recently I’ve also had amazing support from business networks, communities and accelerators. I’ve had support from advisors and fellow-founders, and found people to be incredibly generous with their time and contacts, helping pay it forward.

What things would you like to see change about the position of women in society?

I would like to see more women in power, with influential and leadership roles, and more specifically women who are leading with their feminine energy. We all have feminine and masculine energy, neither is good or bad, they are just different, and it’s important to have a healthy balance of both. What I think the world is needing is more feminine energy in positions of power and influence, to bring in empathy, compassion, collaboration and nurturing qualities which are all strengths. In combination with of course the right skillset, experience and other attributes required for those positions.

If you could recommend ONE book to women what would it be and why?

I would recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle to everyone, as it can really help you detach from your thoughts and give you back your power, which is always in the present moment. This is important for everyone but especially women, if you ever feel powerless. It’s worth noting that some of the concepts can be challenging to grasp if you’re unfamiliar with some of the topics and subject matter, it’s not the lightest reading to say the least, but reading a bit at a time and letting it sink in would be my advice!

I also feel compelled to mention that I found Michelle Obama’s Becoming really inspiring – her journey resonated with me, even though we grew up in different corners of the world. I’d say it’s a book that all women can connect with on some level and use as a tool to self-reflect. Michelle has been integral in championing so many important causes in the world, and I find her ability to inspire so many others to greatness outstanding.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Everything starts with a thought, which can lead to an idea which can grow into a business. Your thoughts are powerful, so be mindful of what you think about and how your thoughts serve you or don’t. How you feel and the quality of your life, whether in business or personal life all stem from what you have going on in your mind, so use it wisely and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Lastly, if you’d like to find out more about my company, We Drifters, you can check out our website here: www.wedrifters.co.uk

Thanks so much for reading!

 

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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