Our Social Mum of the week is garden designer Seonaid who is a member of our Social Mums London Facebook Group. She talks about her fascinating childhood and how her life long passion for gardening and a desire to help others inspired her to start her business.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
My rather unconventional childhood centred around being taught to canoe, climb, cave and camp, and adapt to life in any culture, from the Australian outback where I was born, to Wyoming where I lived in a tepee and was taught by locals to track grizzly bears.
After an 11 year career in television as a production manager on a variety of shows including investigative drama docs like The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence and high risk entertainment shows like Top Gear, I changed careers and started a family.
I now have two children aged 4 and 7. With them both now at school I’ve really been able to challenge myself, and my business, and have a show garden at RHS Hampton this year!
What is your business?
I run a garden design and maintenance company in south London, called Sprout Up. However when I’m not doing that I work with local schools, nurseries and community clubs to help get children excited, engaged and inspired by nature. After all, the future of our planet may depend on them deciding that it’s worth fighting for.
With this in mind, I recently started a project called ‘Believe in Tomorrow’. The aim is to reconnect children with nature, starting with a series of gardening workshops for south London primary schools and culminating in the creation of a show garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Different elements of the garden will then be relocated to all the schools and communities that helped to build it – giving them permanent access to nature, and all the health and wellness benefits that come with it.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was made redundant when expecting my first child and I realised television might not be the place to be the parent I wanted to be for my new family.
Concentrating on a life long passion for gardening and a desire to help others I set up a gardening company, called Sprout Up, to enable more people to enjoy their outdoor spaces.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
I mainly use Instagram and Facebook. Have just started Twitter and have a LinkedIn account. Instagram is such a visual thing and so links well to design. I get a lot of business through Facebook groups even though I don’t have a big following myself.
What do you find most challenging about marketing your business on social media?
I really have no idea how I want to use social media to market my business longer term, I started using it because I was lonely setting up a business on my own and it was a way to share with people random things I enjoyed in my day. Most of my work comes from word of mouth and is very local so I tend to use social media as my office, somewhere to look up into and talk to when I need some fresh air or new ideas, not somewhere I market, so that’s a challenge in itself!
With the RHS Hampton show coming up I will be more in the spotlight come July, so do need to work out how best to use my social media accounts!
What is the best social media tip you have picked up for your business?
Keeping momentum seems to be the best way to get people interacting with you and I’ve started using Planoly to schedule posts, which allows me to forget about social media if I feel I need to.
What have you found most useful about being part of a Social Mums Facebook Group?
Having somewhere to ask the silly questions is fantastic. Always having someone out there is really lovely when you are on your own in the office battling some weird bit of technology.
Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me here: