Mother’s Day treats from Gillian Kyle

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Gillian Kyle was funded by PSYBT in 2009 and now sells her quiGillian Kyle Productsrky Scottish items in Scotland and further afield, catering to the Scottish diaspora who want that little piece of Scotland in their home.  As a textile designer, Gillian’s main passion is working with textiles and the core range consists of organic aprons, tea towels, tote bags and t-shirts.   

She recently featured in PSYBT’s Top 100 businesses, demonstrating just how much this small company has achieved in a short period of time.

We caught up with GK at what is a busy time for her, on the run up to Mother’s Day, and found out the key to her success.

  • What makes your gifts different and unique?

My work is an affectionate snapshot of Scottish culture and a nod to the emotions we all seem to have attached to certain unassuming brands – Tunnocks Teacakes, Irn Bru and Creamola Foam for example.  There’s an element of humour in these designs, and yet it’s not the usual, self-deprecating or completely clichéd perspective of Scottish culture that’s been forced upon us in the past.  Our decision to produce the products locally and to use organic cotton, ensures that everything we make is very high quality and we’re finding that the ‘Made in Britain’ label is something people really react to and want to support. 

  • Who buys your products, do you have a ‘typical customer’?

The Gillian Kyle demographic is spread pretty widely across the ages – people who buy Gillian Kyle products are looking for a Scottish gift that‘s quirky and that’s going to last.  I think that as a nation, we are definitely jaded with the “tartan tat” that we see plastered on the Royal Mile, and yet, as a patriotic bunch we do love products that strike the right balance and remind us of home!  There’s some magic behind the brands that we’ve celebrated so far – they have such a strong nostalgic and emotional pull on the heart strings of Scots.  This is a phenomenon that appears to get stronger the further Scots are away from the homeland – so ex-pats are an ideal market for GK products! 

  • How have you diversified your products over the years?

The beauty of all of these product types is that they are all lightweight and can be sent abroad easily and cheaply, which makes them perfect gifts for Scots abroad.  The popularity of the kitchen textiles encouraged us to bring out a range of fine bone china mugs and matching coasters, which are now best sellers as gifts for either men or women.  We brought out our range of baby items, due to high demand at markets and on social media, and they’ve been hugely popular as gifts for Scottish babies & children growing up outside of Scotland – wee badges of identity!

Gillian Kyle products have been flying off the shelves on the run up to Mother’s Day so if you haven’t bought mum anything yet, check out Gillian’s products http://www.gilliankyle.com/ also available in stores across the country.

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Setting goals and sticking to them!

Ayrshire based Ricky Singh set up his Personal Fitness and Training business in 2011 after seeking advice and support from PSYBT.  With January and February being the months for setting fitness goals and resolutions, we decided to catch up with Ricky and get some expert advice on how to stick to them.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get fit in 2012?

It pains me to say, but not many of us will complete our new year’s resolutions and I believe that this is down to lack of goal setting and motivation.  I’ve been running my business for the past year now and have found that by setting myself goals regularly, I have stayed focused.  I centre my energy on 3 goals, this is an achievable amount and it’s the same principle for getting fit.  Set small and achievable goals and stick to them.  You must believe in yourself, I will never stop or quit, the word no does not put me off – I’m an entrepreneur so it doesn’t exist in my dictionary!

 Have you overcome adversity in business?

I have experienced failure, I’ve been on the floor, have picked myself back up again and have gone on to have an Award winning business, so yes there have been challenging times. I believe there is no better measure of a person than how he or she bounces back when they have hit rock bottom. 

So how did you get over this and achieve your success?

I set myself goals and I didn’t stop until I had achieved them! I believe that if you have a goal that means a lot to you, then you will achieve it with motivation and energy.

Ok, so we want to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle, how should we do this for longer than a couple of weeks?

Business and Sport are very similar when it comes to setting goals.  First of all think back to last year, if that approach didn’t work, then how are you going to change it for 2012?  I don’t think there could be a better year to get fit, it is the year of the Olympics after all!

I like to use the SMART acronym when working with individuals who want to get fit.  First of all write down your goals then make sure they are:

S=Specific

M=Measurable

A=Achievable

R=Record

T=Time

How can we use this model for both keeping fit and in business?

There is no point in making your goals too generic, really think about what you want to achieve.  Think about how you’re going to track your progress for example measure inch loss or in a business context, look at your profit margins, how many new clients you’ve attracted etc.  Ensure you’re being realistic, if you’ve never exercised before then aiming to run a marathon is pretty unrealistic.  Likewise, a start-up who wants to make £1million in their first year is very ambitious but unless you’re launching the next Facebook, it’s unlikely to happen.

Writing your goals down and keeping track of them, makes them seem more real, every time you see them it reinforces the hard work you’re putting in and why you are doing it.  Finally, set a completion date.  Do not set yourself up for failure, give yourself enough time to achieve your goals and you will reap the rewards.

What is the best thing about running your own business?

I’m very passionate about what I do and love helping others change their lives for the better. I believe anyone can be successful in business as long as you have that passion, nothing is going to stop you making your dreams a reality.  I don’t think you should be in business solely for the money as it can come and go.  If you enjoy what you do and help others along the way, the money will become a by product of your success.

What are your plans for the future?

The very first day I walked into the PSYBT office I had an article about Matt Roberts who is a successful Personal trainer in London, in my hand.  He started his business in a very similar fashion to me, doing mobile and group training.   My aim is to be the Scottish version of Matt Roberts!  To have my own studio, help as many clients as I can and change their lives.   I have Celebrity Trainer Joe Fournier who is a friend of mine, helping me along the way and I believe I can do it.

Ricky Singh

Award Winning Elite Personal Trainer

http://www.teamsingh.com/

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