7marvels

I’m excited to launch and bring you my ‘Small Business Spotlight’ series… 🙌🏼

Each week, I’ll be introducing you to a new business! This is the first instalment, and what better way to start than with 7Marvels – an independent home/online bakery based in Richmond Upon Thames?!

I got the chance to ask the wonderful Cristina Popescu, founder, director and head baker of 7Marvels, some questions and you can read the full interview below…

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Cristina Popescu, founder of 7Marvels

Tell us a little bit about yourself & your small business: ‘7Marvels’

CP: I’m a homebaker based in Richmond Upon Thames. I started 7Marvels two years ago.

A fun little fact about my business is that I made the decision to start it at our annual street party in 2018!

Here is a link to my website for more information about me and my passion for baking

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Macaron Stack

Why did you decide to open your small business?

CP: Since a very young age I’ve always been passionate about cooking and baking in particular but I never really took my passion up until recently when I started my baking business.

It originally started as a macaron business but later went on to be a bakery with a myriad of different treats (birthday cakes, celebratory cakes and french pastries)!

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What are your hopes for the future?

CP: I am so grateful for the fact that I am able to do what I love for a living; and so with that said I hope that my business carries on to thrive and flourish in the coming years.

As we all know, Covid has hit most small businesses hard… So, this next part of the interview with Cristina at 7Marvels delves into how Covid restrictions and these past lockdowns have affected her home business.

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How has 7Marvels been affected by COVID?

CP: I am lucky enough to have been able to stay open amidst those uncertain and turbulent times.

Having an online-only shop has helped me in various ways to stay open and carry on making cakes; I was able to bring a smile to people’s faces with my cakes and pastries which matters a lot to me.

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Mille-Feuille

How has your business had to adapt since COVID?

CP: Having a business open during Covid has to a certain extent confirmed my initial decision of opening an online shop in spite of having a cake shop on the high street.

Have you noticed any changes in your business (sales etc.) since the COVID lockdowns?

CP: I have noticed changes in customer tendencies as they are more inclined to buy online.

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What advice would you give other small business owners – or those looking to start one?

CP: Get all the resources and equipment needed to start an online business alongside with the rest. I believe that e-commerce is becoming progressively more powerful and prosperous than it was before.

The most important thing is to do what you love and be passionate about it, and you need to have the resilience and determination to carry on with it even if it gets difficult. Your love and devotion will be apparent in what you do and the customers will become recurring ones.

There you have it… Luckily for Cristina, Covid hasn’t affected her business, as it was very much online-based to begin with.

A massive thanks again to Cristina for giving up her time to do this interview, and for giving some awesome advice for self-starters too. What a sweetheart! 🥰

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Paris Brest

7Marvels’ cakes/bakes look 😍😋 incrEDIBLE! (you’re welcome! 🎤⬇️)

Here’s an added bonus, Cristina’s business caters for most dietary requirements, offering treats that are vegan, low-sugar, eggless and gluten-free! What’s not to love about some delicious guilt-free goodies!?

I’m planning on ordering one for my birthday this year, and I cannot wait! Judging by how quickly last year went, I’ll be 30 at the blink of an eye!

Follow 7Marvels on Instagram

LIKE 7Marvels on Facebook

There’s lots to come in this series… So watch out for more interviews with small businesses in the coming weeks. I’ve got everything from crystals stockists, candle makers, hairdressers and beauty salons! ✨

Small Business Ideas

Now’s the time for all the ‘supporting small business’ ideas in the world! Especially as we’re heading into another national lockdown, which – if it helps the NHS cope and means life can get back to normal post-vaccine, then it’s worth it!

This year has been one heck of a ride… Worst rollercoaster ever, one you’d never find at Thorpe Park!

A major thing that suffered is our economy, and on a global scale. Therefore, this year, it’s been more important than ever to support small and/or local businesses.

In the first national lockdown, plenty of businesses were forced to close… With another one on the way, I dread to think what that means for the ones that luckily & thankfully survived.

This post aims to give tips on what you can do to support small or local businesses wherever you are in the world.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #1: Shop online

This Christmas, I relied heavily on Etsy. In fact, all year round – my friends and family have been receiving gifts from small businesses which I’ve found via Etsy.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas- #2: Buy & send gift cards

Gift cards are a way of giving a business extra £££ during the pandemic – even when they’re closed – which you or a loved one can claim back at a later date, in exchange for purchases or treatments.

Non-essential shops rely on this sort of thing to keep their businesses open, it also shows your loyalty.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #3: Order a Home Delivery or Pickup a Takeaway

Although local restaurants and cafes have closed for dining, they are open for takeaways and home deliveries. So, pop in or order one via Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Just Eat to “eat in, help out”.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #4: Tip More Than Usual

Here’s another tip for you: get tipping. Go above and beyond your usual (when and if possible). That way, the business knows that they are valued by you.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #5: Leave Good Reviews

You must have come across the ‘support local businesses’ telly adverts by Google, where the likes of Anthony Joshua showcase their favourite local business, encouraging viewers to leave a good review on theirs’.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #6: Continue with Subscriptions and Memberships

Keep paying your memberships and subscriptions, even if they’ve been temporarily suspended.

For those of you who have a steady income, offer to continue paying your cleaners, hair stylists, nannies, etc. They need us and we need them.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #7: Don’t Always Accept Refunds

If you’ve paid for something, don’t ask for a refund where possible and if it won’t put you out of pocket. Think of it as a donation.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #8: Start a Local Business Network

Pretty self explanatory, set up a local businesses group (via Facebook or wherever) where all the local businesses can place ads. Then promote it, getting the local residents involved. It may just be that the locals in your area didn’t know of this particular service.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #9: Crowdfunding

If you love a business and know it’s worth saving (which all do), create a campaign on platforms like GoFundMe to boost its finances. Promote it to friends, and encourage them to share it with theirs and so on…

Another way to do this is to get in touch with your local newspaper and see if they can do something to help.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #10: Offer Your Services For Free

Calling all cool web-designers, web-developers, awesome content creators, ace copywriters, social media whizzes & excellent marketer & advertisers…

Offer your services to those in need. 9/10 times the companies would be so taken aback by the gesture that they’ll spread the word of how amazing you are, which might lead to extra business later down the line. But, don’t expect this.

Never do anything with expectations of reward – the feeling you get after helping someone is enough of a reward in itself.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #11: Share A Local Business’ Promotions & Ideas

If you learn of a unique promotion or idea from a local business, share it online. It may well be something your social-media following or network would like to know about.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #12: Search for Online Services Offered by a Local Business

Not everything must close entirely. Keep an eye out for those businesses who may be able to alter their services, offering online engagement.

Therapists, tutoring, yoga, personal trainers, coaches, financial planners, lawyers, music classes for kids – all of these can be continued through videos or online conferencing.

Whatever and wherever you can, do help out.

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