Today catch up with Naomi Van, a friend of mine from university who decided to walk along the unbeaten path and open her own business. Keep reading to find out who Naomi is and what Superpeach is all about!
Superpeach has recently completed a refurbishment, please visit
https://www.superpeach.co.uk/ if you get a chance.
To start, please tell us about yourself? Your background, and job?
I do a little bit of everything and I absolutely love it. I don’t think I would enjoy doing everything I did if any of it was full time… I thrive on the variety of each day being different as I think it’s very easy to fall into a monotonous cycle, get bored and lose passion for something.
I was born and raised in London and have always been used to the fast pace of life – my Mum has constantly been opening small businesses and running them with absolutely no background in them whatsoever, she just jumps in head first with everything she does and gives it her all. Witnessing first-hand her dedication and drive really inspired me and made me think – why can’t I do it all? Now, I currently run Superpeach, my online boutique, work as Assistant Manager in my Mum’s supermarket and have an office job – all of which I love!
Tell us about your company ‘Superpeach’; why and how you decided to start it?
I’ve been really lucky to enjoy a high quality of education throughout my life, but it meant that after graduation I felt pressured to follow the route of getting a job in the City. I landed what I thought was my dream graduate role but how wrong I was! The days were grey and I had no motivation – I think that was the first time I realised it’s not all about money, you have to be happy in what you do too so I left and started Superpeach!
I started Superpeach because I wanted to do something of my own. I like shopping and I like cute things, so Superpeach made sense. It’s an online boutique stocking everything from socks to stationery and scarves. The idea is to make life a little brighter with cute everyday things!
It’s become a lot more of a side task now, I invest a lot less time in it but I still adore doing it. My favourite part is sourcing new stock – when I choose something, I think, will this make someone a little bit happier? It’s about appreciating the details and small things in life.
For those who are unaware, you name your items after your friends. Could you please tell us how this tradition began?
After leaving my City job, I was in such an uncertain mental state. I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted to do, but when I finally decided that I wanted to open an online boutique, I was inundated with encouragement from my friends. I was overwhelmed with love and felt so grateful that little old me with no experience doing anything of this had such unwavering support from such amazing people. When I doubted what I was doing, their belief in me was what reaffirmed my decision to start Superpeach and really kept me going. I kept thinking, what did I ever do to deserve such wonderful friends so naming the products after those who have supported me is just a little way to say thank you!
Please tell us about your proudest achievement since starting Superpeach. Or even, your favourite memory?
My proudest achievement was probably speaking at the Autumn Fair two years in a row. It’s a huge trade show for brands to showcase products for commerce with tons of industry experts attending. I genuinely felt so out of place– how did I get in this position of presenting about how to start up an online boutique to such an experienced audience?! Regardless, I put my whole heart and all my energy into it – practising and preparing to make sure it was just right.
I’m also proud of just doing it everyday on the side. It gets very busy and confusing sending out orders for my Mum’s shop and Superpeach and fitting in time to work on the website alongside my corporate job, but I refuse to give it up because it’s such a big part of me even if it’s more of a side job now.
Last but not least, Force Mujer is about celebrating women. Please tell us about a woman you look up to? She can be a family member, friend, public or historical figure. It can be absolutely anyone.
Obviously, the woman in my life that I look up to is my Mum and it’s very cliché but it’s just undeniable. Imagine coming over here not speaking a word of English but then having such a drive that you set up such a secure and happy life for your children allowing them to pursue whatever their hearts desire.
Seeing how hard she works keeps my head screwed on – when I work 2 hours overtime, I try not to complain because I see her work 10 hour days, 7 days a week and still make us dinner every night. Whatever I’ve done pales in comparison to how much she does and I’m so grateful for the life I have because of her. If I could be half the woman she is, I’d be happy.
Some final words…
Reflecting on life so far, I think it’s so important to be kind because then you attract kindness in return and will be surrounded by like-minded and encouraging people. I really wouldn’t be where I am today without my friends and family.
Secondly, I have learnt to try things even when at first, I’m apprehensive. Working in my Mum’s shop has been such an eye-opening and humbling experience. When my Mum first suggested I work in her supermarket after I was still finding my way having left my City job, I reluctantly agreed being arrogant and snobbish, I thought I was well over-qualified and such a job was far below me.
The experience has taught me to get off my high horse and appreciate just how much work goes into running a small supermarket, including waking up at 4am once a week to go to the market to buy fresh goods and learning how to deal with some of the rudest customers. There is no task below me, I do everything from mopping the floors and cleaning the toilet to ordering stock from suppliers. It’s a really gratifying job to have and most of the time I don’t even see it as a job, it’s more like upholding the hard work that my Mum has already put in the business and has highlighted to me, the importance of my generation ensuring its continued success by bringing it in line with today’s demands and expectations, whilst staying true to the core values it was built upon.