In honour of International Women’s Day this year we had a wonderfully thought-provoking 5 minutes with Rachel Galbraith, Owner of Frankie Doodle, an Aladdin’s cave of all things beautiful, in the Heart of The Country Village.
Thank you so much for your time Rachel and taking the time to talk to us.
First of all, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running the beautiful Frankie Doodle in the Heart of the Country Village?
It began when I was as a child really, I just loved to decorate and accessorise my bedroom, I would buy treasures from everywhere I went and add my personal touch to everything I laid my hands on! When I ‘grew up’ and had to choose a career path, I chose ‘Buying’. I worked for a major high street retailer for almost 15 years buying all my favourite things, then an opportunity came along at the right time and I ventured out on my own…. I’ve never looked back.
Thinking about your journey, what would you say are the key decisions you made in the past that shaped your career path?
Choosing a course at College and University that really interested me and I was passionate about. My friends were studying things like teaching, psychology, accountancy etc. Subjects that resulted in a good ‘proper’ job but I just wanted to draw and study fashion & textiles and learn about buying and design. Back then this choice was a much harder and limited employment path.
Then when I was working I took every opportunity that came my way. I went on every course that was on offer, went to speak to people if I needed help (rather than emailed). I networked, a lot! I was always as nice to the person at the bottom as I was to the person at the top!
Did you always want to work for yourself and run your own business?
Yes, for as long as I can remember but I had to learn and there’s no better way to do that than from experienced people which is what I did. I worked from the bottom to the top in 15 wonderful years. Working with the best of the best! A never had a day when I dreaded going to work and that’s, even more, the case now that I work for myself. I don’t see it like this is my work it’s my business and I love it.
What are you most proud of at Frankie Doodle?
How we’ve grown in such a small time frame. I started as a popup shop in a tiny little converted barn almost 4 years ago. Now we have a huge barn space (almost 6 times the size), staff members, wonderful loyal and regular customers, a successful Etsy shop selling worldwide and we’re just about to launch an e-commerce website which I’m thrilled about.
We’re quite big on the ‘Growth Mindset’ philosophy! What mistakes do you think helped you or you learnt the most from?
Don’t take everything so personally! Which is hard, but to everybody else its just a business even though it obviously means so much more to you! And don’t take anything for granted!!
Do you have any role models that you look up to or have influenced/inspired you?
My old Managing Director, she influenced and inspired me. I was in awe of her and I learnt a lot from her work ethic and sometimes I still ask myself ‘what would she do?’ in a particular situation. Other than that every working parent inspires me, we’re all doing our bit, we’re working and raising a family. There’s no better achievement than that and, let’s face it, nobody works harder than a working Mother.
It’s certainly rewarding but a constant challenge! If you could give your ‘younger self’ any advice what would it be?
Set up my own business sooner. Believe in myself more.
What a positive note to end, and message for our younger generation. Thanks so much, Rachel and congratulations on everything you have achieved. We’re really enjoying working with you and wish you even more success for the future.
Are you feeling inspired?
Us too (and don’t forget, if you are anywhere near the Heart of The Country Village, Swinfen near the A38/A5 interchange definitely pop into Frankie Doodle. You’ll find the perfect gift or accessory for your home and get to meet our lovely Rachel).