Interview With A Vegan Queen: Emma Powell, Punky Bunny
Continuing our series of inspiring vegan women, we're speaking to Emma Powell. Emma is the founder of Punky Bunny, the Birmingham based ‘not preachy, not political, just positive’ vegan and paper gifts company. Selling a range from cool keyrings to statement tote bags.
We caught up with Emma to find out what she's proud of achieving and the women that inspire her.
What inspired you to work for yourself?
The world of social media is full of amazing small businesses, start-ups, 'one woman bands'- and I just thought 'that's what I want to be doing!'. I'm a huge lover of designing and branding, so wanted to combine that with my passion for veganism to create something unique I could grow.
What advice would you have to anyone thinking of starting their own vegan business?
I'd say- stop thinking, start doing! Be original, be yourself and don't forget about your brand values. If it makes you happy and it's something you're passionate about, then why not? It's truly important to connect with your audience, understand what they love about your brand and take feedback on how you can improve. Don't be afraid of change either, as it's highly likely to happen at some point as your brand grows! One big tip is to surround yourself with positivity- I'm so lucky to have a great support system at home and in the online world with other fab small business owners. It can get lonely running a business by yourself, so it's important to not be scared to ask for help and reach-out to people when you need it- be kind to yourself and put your mental health first!
Tell us something you’re proud of achieving.
My biggest achievement this year is gaining some lovely stockists to sell my products! It's definitely one of the most exciting parts of being a small businesses- I'm just into my second year of business now and have gained a stockist in Paris, and two upcoming ones in the UK which is amazing. I love the community which surrounds vegan small businesses and I think it's great to be able to come together and collaborate with each other. Back in May I was also named as the 'Vegan Entrepreneur of the Month' by VeganLife Magazine which is also really cool!
Have you had a failure are you grateful for experiencing?
Sometimes an idea doesn't work- and that's okay. You might have a brilliant product idea in your head and it doesn't kick off as well as you imagined (I've had my fair share of these!). Learn from it, grow from it and take it as a lesson. After time you will have a better understanding of what works with your business and what doesn't- get to know your customers and take their feedback on-board.
Who are some of your favourite inspiring females?
I'm forever inspired by all the women out there who are running businesses and being their own boss- the passion they show is incredible and so infectious. From the woman juggling a full-time job alongside her biz, to those with children balancing it all - to all of them! I love those who are open and honest about what it's really like having a business, from the ups to the downs and all along the way. I'm also inspired by those who fight for change- to the powerful women out there (past and present), to the vegan activists making changes, and to all those fighting for a good cause. Oh- and my Mom of course! For teaching me to be kind and always keep it real.