We're well chuffed to be hosting two amazing craft workshops with Square Pegs this summer. Spotted at the Parentfolk Weekender, it's fair to say it was love at first sight. The customised horse box, the contemporary crafts, the sheer gorgeousness of founder Emma...we didn't rest until the dates were set. And following the first workshop last week, it seemed like a great opportunity to delve a litter deeper into their world to find out what makes such a curious mind tick.
Tell us a bit about Square Pegs...
I’m Emma, founder of Square Pegs. We programme and deliver creative workshops for children to engage and inspire young minds. At the heart of our aims is the individual. Whether it’s our workbook that invites children to reflect on and appreciate what makes them unique, or the range of art forms open to interpretation within our workshops, we want children to feel inspired, valued and empowered through the Square Pegs’ experience.
How did you get started?
I was on maternity leave with my second daughter when an entrepreneurial spirt came over me, an extension of motherhood itself I suppose. I finally felt brave enough to become my own boss. Raising girls, it is especially important to me that they understand the limitless possibilities open to them in carving out their own identities, and pursuing my ambitions was a way of showing them they can be what they want.
How did you get started and can you give our readers a piece of advice for getting an idea off the ground?
The best piece of advice I can give, and I’m no expert, is to keep on keeping on. Teach yourself to be resilient if you believe in something, even when there are people around you telling you it’s a bad idea. As someone familiar to imposter syndrome, I’ve battled with self-doubt my whole life. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will not only be your backbone but lift you. My partner is the most realistic yet supportive human and I couldn’t make Square Pegs work without him.
How do you juggle being a working mum and business owner?
Being a working mum and business owner is challenging. But then so is motherhood. Working mums, non-working mums, each comes with its own set of challenges that have to be fought every day. One thing I will say for me personally is nothing was harder than feeling crushed by the ‘can’t’ in my head. I’d spent so long wanting and waiting and procrastinating it was exhausting! Even though I’m tired and skint, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. What keeps me going? A satisfied kid, a grateful parent, a good review, my eldest beaming, ‘I want to be in Square Pegs when I’m older’. Heart melting.
What’s the proudest moment for your business to date…?
I wouldn’t say I had a proudest moment of my business, more an accumulation of little moments that on their own feel really special at the time. It might be someone you really respect asking to work with you, or your child’s school buzzing because you’re doing some one-off workshops. I see beauty in the small things.
Looking to the future, what are your brand dreams and aspirations…?
I would love to develop the brand to the point where we’re really making a difference socially, working with groups who might not necessarily engage with the arts. I’d also really like to develop a line of Square Pegs products and do more great collabs. I’ve written a children’s book with the artist, Ben Javens and to have that published would be a dream. To own a permanent venue would be the cherry on the cake.
And a bit more about what inspires you…
I’m inspired by street fashion and art. Brands I love are Pam, Aries and Palace. My partner co-owns the skate brand Lost Art and I’m their biggest fan. I love hip hop music and feel untouchable when I’m driving along, listening to Kendrick Lamar or Thundercat loud! My friends are a constant source of inspiration. There’s nothing I love more than being tagged in a feed I’ve not seen before but speaks to the soul. That ‘ping’ that says someone gets you is as uplifting as it gets.
Who’s your favourite Instagrammer and why?
I don’t really have a favourite Instagrammer but love dipping into all sorts of content. I love Dolly and Fife who tells gorgeous narratives with her pictures and Beci Orpin, whose art is beautiful and who musically, I get. We both love NAS and Frank Ocean (I think we’d be BFs). I love work by Kevin Lyons; his gallery always puts a smile on my face. After attending one of her Hustle groups who she co-hosted with Faye from Annualstore, Rox, of Studio NL gave me hope and self-belief. In fact both women are killing it in their fields. I’ve got the upmost respect for them. My friend and founder of Rousso and Blossom, Liv not only makes awesome kids’ products but is the most humble and sweetest of souls. Instagrammers who take their shit seriously but aren’t too serious are my favourite kind of people.
We love holidays at Our Kid, can you recommend a brilliant family-friendly destination/hotel or experience?
We still do festival holidays with the kids. We’re heading to Soundwave in Croatia and Soiree 47 this year, a family friendly festival in Monteton, France. It’s all about the balance for our family.