"Find those things which spark you, have faith in your own ideas and stay true to what you believe in."
WE HAD A CHIT CHAT WITH APRIL, FOUNDER OF THE NOURISH CO., ON TRAVEL, MUSIC, MEDITATION AND FINDING BALANCE WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
"I took a year out of studying at uni to be in a band and ended up quitting midway and using the time to travel across America. At every stop I'd make the effort to wander away from the main attractions and hunt down the small boutiques and cafes, which left me daydreaming between long journeys from city to city about having my own cafe one day...I soaked up so many ideas and inspiration that I subconsciously stashed away! Since turning vegan my love for food got even more out of control and an opportunity popped up last year to start a new business venture and I went for it! I really didn't plan anything too much, it all happened quite organically.
The idea started with me thinking it would be super cool to have a cafe inside Music Warehouse. We had a spare room which was a wasted space and that room was also in urgent need of some renovations. As soon as I started planning it I realised I had way too many ideas for it to just be an add on to the shop and asked my parents if I could rent the space from them and open my own business. I'm really lucky and have a super handy man uncle who helped completely renovate and decorate the space. I knew I wanted it to have a super earthy feel and I also wanted to use as many recycled materials as possible, so we began collecting pallets and any other pieces of usable wood and I bought as much as I could secondhand. We bounced ideas off of each other about making the small space work and I got a bit hooked on Pinterest during that period too! Deciding recipes was so hard that I decided that when I opened I didn't want to have a menu so that I had the flexibility to try new things and test things out, this also meant I could use what we had at the time ingredients wise and cut down wastage. I realised recently that people like consistency so I've only just started (a year later) working on a more permanent menu."
"We have the most lovely customers, I was so surprised and grateful when we opened at how interested, supportive and appreciative people were! We've gained a lot of regulars that work in the area who aren't necessarily vegan, along with students and regular visitors to the town. Then we have this amazing community of other business owners and like minded individuals in the area who have helped spread the love - we have a yoga teacher who comes in almost every day and 2 brothers who come in every week without fail after their yoga class. There's a lovely old man who comes by twice a week to pick up goodies for his daughter back at home and pretty much the entirety of a local cruelty free salon visit us daily on their lunch breaks! In the 10 months we've been open the vegan community has grown so much in Colchester - another 2 food businesses have opened, a vegan beauty salon and tattoo & piercing shop has opened and many restaurants have started offering and highlighting vegan options."
"I decided when I was 6 that I wanted to be vegetarian, I was pretty lucky to have parents which were cool enough to go along with it and supply me with my own vegetarian meals! I think I must have hit an age where I started to understand what meat was and how it got on my plate and really didn't like the idea of it. I'm a huge animal lover, I grew up with cats and have shared my living space with bunnies for the last 8 years - they pretty much rule the house. It was about 6 years ago that I turned vegan, I was already dairy intolerant and was very fussy with eggs. I vividly remember the moment I switched...I was eating an omelette and couldn't enjoy it anymore as I was so distracted thinking about how it got on my plate, it made me feel so sad that I couldn't eat it. The moment my mind had switched in that way it was so easy to cut it out of my diet. All of my favourite foods are naturally vegan or easily adaptable and I've never felt like I'm missing out on anything. I've felt so much healthier since turning vegan and definitely noticed a positive change in how my body and mind feel."
"When I first started working full time as a manager I found that my mind was quite often overwhelmed and fuzzy, I couldn't concentrate on one thing and felt like no task was every completed. I decided to try out morning meditation and downloaded an app called Headspace. It quite quickly had a huge impact on helping me think clearly and focus, and I found that within a week I was able to tackle my to-do lists so much easier and work was much more fulfilling. I 100% recommend trying out meditation if you're struggling to focus!
My main passion has always been music. I grew up surrounded by music and musicians and from an early age I knew I wanted it to be a huge part of my life. I started playing piano at the age of 6 and quickly wanted to learn to play every instrument under the sun! I currently play guitar/synth/backing vocals in a pop punk band called Boat Rich with a bunch of awesome guys and I also teach singing to children! I studied vocals and music performance at a music college and since finishing studying have found new things I'm also passionate about, food being one of them. I really got into yoga a few years ago and loved how it left me feeling so serene and balanced, this led me to get into meditation and lots of things fell into place in creating a more mindful way of living.
I still work 3 days a week in the guitar shop and those 3 days a week pay my rent and basic living expenses, that's immediately a whole heap of pressure and stress taken away from starting my own business. Everyone's different but if you haven't got lots of money saved up then I would recommend keeping hold of a part time job which you enjoy to start with, this gives you the time to play with ideas and enjoy the process without any worries. I'd also recommend not driving yourself insane planning too much, thoughts and ideas change so often and you can never predict the future or opportunities which may arise. Definitely pin down your main goals and set some intentions, but allow things to come and go and let your ideas naturally develop and go with the flow. Find things that inspire you and help you focus and think clearly - for me that was meditation and yoga, recipe books, Instagram, traveling and good people. Find those things which spark you, have faith in your own ideas and stay true to what you believe in."