Answers from Joanne Napier

Introduce your business and tell us what you’ve been up to recently?

Linen Loft at Home is a social selling business that enables women to work in their own time and be their own boss. We sell high-end home and lifestyle products, sourced as locally as possible, and sell them through relaxed Home Parties where people can browse the range, chat to our Home Stylists and have a drink. This is our third year and we’re expanding all over the UK, which is great.

What makes you different from other similar businesses in the area?

There are other social selling companies in the UK but to my knowledge, we are the only one set up here. There is quite a Linen Loft community in the NorthWest so it’s easy to get in touch; we’re like a family. We give women – often busy mums – the chance to work for themselves.

What flexibility does being an independent business give you over a national chain / business?

The beauty of running Linen Loft at Home has always been about fitting it around other priorities, such as family. I set it up when I became frustrated at the lack of flexibility for women returning to work after having a family. Our Home Stylists can organise Home Parties during the day or in the evening so it really is the ultimate in flexibility and independence.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge for small businesses at the moment?

Small businesses in my industry, retail, have obviously struggled, as people don’t shop on the high street so much, while rates are still high. This is why Linen Loft fills a gap – we offer luxurious products and good value, which is key in today’s difficult climate.

Looking back, which piece of advice would you give to somebody setting up their own business today?

Research the competition, research your suppliers, make friends with your bank manager! And do something you enjoy.

What part does Social Media play in your business?

Social media is becoming more and more important as we expand. Our Home Stylists use social media so they can promote their Home Parties and we’ve just launched our first catalogue so have been promoting that through social media. It’s both visual and conversational which works well for us.

And getting to know you and your town – Knutsford

If you had to sum up your town in one line, what would it be?
A fabulous place to grow up and grow old!

Where do you eat / take out in Knutsford?
We are spoilt for choice for restaurants, but Gusto is our family favourite. Great food and a great atmosphere.

Which is your favourite pub or bar to drink at in Knutsford?
I love the Knutsford Wine Bar. It’s cosy and has a great buzz – the perfect way to start or end a night out

Where is your essential must visit shop in Knutsford ?
I’m a bit of a book worm, so I could get lost for hours in Waterstones. The staff in there are really great and are good to ask for book recommendations.

What’s been the most impressive new business you’ve seen open in Knutsford in the past 12 months?
I’ve been really impressed with Pulse of Perfumery on Princess Street. They are incredibly knowledgeable about perfume and will spend time with you to decide on the perfect perfume for yourself or a for a gift.

Which local towns do feel Knutsford could learn from and why?
I used to really love going to the Wilmslow Artisan market each month but now that it is happening regularly in Knutsford I think it’s pretty perfect!

In an ideal world What major improvement would you like to see happen in Knutsford ?
It would be fantastic if our lovely restaurants had outdoor seating to take advantage of when the sun does shine in Cheshire.

For more info on Linen Loft

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About the Author

Alex McCann

Alex McCann runs Altrincham HQ - a Social Media Marketing company with 100+ recommendations on Linkedin and ranked Number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK on Freeindex

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