A cuppa and a Custard Cream with.... STEPHANIE SADLER of Little Observationist
    1. Who are you and where do you come from?!

        Hi, I’m Steph. I’m a social media strategist, content creator, and photographer. I moved from New York, where I grew up, to London 13 years ago and live here with my husband Jorge, 2-year-old daughter Emilia and our cat Oakley.

          2. How did your brand arrive into the world and where did the name come from?

            Little Observationist has been around since 2013, starting out as a blog to share my stories, photography, and interviews with creatives. It was a space for little observations, appreciating the little things in life, and taking time to live a bit slower. It later became the name of my Etsy shop where I sell photography prints, and around 2016, when I decided to try freelancing and had my first regular social media client on board, it became my business name as well. 

              3. What are the biggest challenges you face as a small business?

                Time has always been a challenge, especially in the early days when I was juggling looking after a baby Emilia during the day while fitting in client work during naps, evenings and weekends. She’s now in nursery four full days and Jorge has every Friday off of work, so he spends the day with her while I work, and this is less of an issue.

                Another big challenge is working “on” my business while also working “in” it. My regular client work takes up full time hours, but I know I also need to find the time to keep my blog and website up to date, keep my own social media active (especially challenging after being on clients’ social media all day!), and generally keep promoting my work.

                  4. What have been your biggest HURRAH moments so far?

                    Quitting my full time job at the end of my maternity leave in 2017 to give freelancing a real shot was a big HURRAH moment. My employer was incredibly supportive, and still is, becoming and remaining a client even years later. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

                    The biggest HURRAH moment of all was probably when I surpassed the salary I had at my previous job. That’s when I really knew I could make this work.

                      5. If you could give 3 pieces of advice to yourself when you started out, what would it be?
                          • You don’t have to have the perfect website/branding/etc. to start freelancing. Just jump in.
                          • Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.
                          • The chaos and exhaustion of working awkward hours, especially in the beginning, will all be worth it.
                            If I had a bonus, it would be to find an amazing support network of other freelancers and small business owners, which I now have, and could have used more of in the beginning! Shoutout to the DIFTK pod.
                            6. What are your long-term hopes and aims?

                              While I originally thought I’d like to become an agency and grow much bigger with employees under me, I’ve realised I love having the freedom and flexibility I have right now, without having the responsibility of managing anyone else. So I’m not sure exactly what this will look like in 10 years, but I hope to continue to have a great work/life balance, continue to work with clients who I really love and whose work I believe in, continue to support small businesses especially, and perhaps focus a bit more on the creative photography and content writing side than I am currently.

                              We have a second baby on the way in May 2020, so any more ambitious growth planning is going to be on hold for a few years.

                                7. If you could choose just one store for your publication for your work to be published in, who would it be and why?

                                  I would love to see one of my photos printed in Wanderlust or another one of the big travel magazines. I should probably start submitting some!

                                    8. What’s the most common misconception when it comes to having your own business?

                                      I think it’s rooted in the idea of working from home and what that means. I work harder now than I ever have in an office. I might work from home, but being home doesn’t mean I’m lazing around watching Netflix or that I have time to clean the house during the day. If I run to Waitrose, for example, or grab a coffee with a friend, yes I have the freedom to do those things, but those are then hours I will have to squeeze in another day or time. Also, while I have the freedom to go on holiday whenever I want, and can work from anywhere, it doesn’t mean I can just not work for a few weeks like I could with a full time job. Now, not working equals no income.

                                      9. You’re granted 1 wish for your brand – what would it be?

                                      Keep all of my lovely clients for years to come, and continue to collaborate with other amazing brands along the way.

                                      10. What’s your favourite biscuit?

                                      Good old Rich Teas, dunked.


                                      Find more about the Little Observationist here

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