Name: Anna Grint
QB Community member name: @AnnaGrint
Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK
After ten years in advertising and marketing in London, Anna changed her career course when she had children and began working for a friend. That friend started an ethically-accredited clothing and accessories business in Vietnam which became Albetta. Anna brought Albetta over to the UK, where their line of children’s clothing, toys and accessories are sold online and in shops throughout the UK.
We caught up with Anna ahead of QB Connect London, where she is a featured vendor, to discuss the ups and downs of working for herself and what she is looking forward to at QB Connect London February 27-28.
How did you get involved in Albetta?
After working with Annabel Landra, the founder of Albetta, for several years on the wholesale side, I knew I wanted to be involved in taking her gorgeous collections direct to the buying public. We went into partnership on a UK retail website. I was able to take on a buying role, too, selling Albetta products as well as carefully curated collections from other independent creative businesses. We often describe our products as “traditional with a twist.” We use traditional hand-crafting methods of manufacturing, such as hand embroidery and hand crochet, but our designs bring these crafts right up to date. Our toys are beautifully made and designed to last, and it was a pleasure to find other small businesses with a similar ethos.
How did you establish Albetta’s UK presence?
Slowly! We were very conscious of our “bricks and mortar” wholesale customers, so we spent time developing different ranges and exclusive collections while establishing a customer base that appreciates Albetta’s handmade, traditional baby clothes and toys.
Where did your business name come from?
Annabel has four children and her eldest daughter is called Alba. Albetta, which means “little Alba” in Italian, is named after her.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I’ll be in the office/warehouse making sure customer orders are being dispatched and queries are being dealt with smoothly. I’ll also be keeping up to date with ordering stock, planning photography and collection launches, social media ... the list goes on!
What are some of the ups and downs you experience working for yourself?
Annabel travels a lot, so I’m very often making decisions without a sounding board. It sounds ideal not to have to gain agreement by committee -- and often I relish it! -- but on occasions it’s hard to take all of the responsibility. However, the benefits are enormous – the flexibility to choose your working hours to fit family life around work; the knowledge when everything is running successfully that you’re behind it all; the passion and excitement you feel about new opportunities.
What do you hope to gain at QB Connect London?
I love meeting other small business owners and finding out their stories. It’s always inspiring and stimulating.
Joining the QB Community connects you to others who, just like you and Anna, dare to work for themselves. (Sign up here!)
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Albetta has a very imaginative range of products. Looking at thier products almost takes us back to our childhoods.