Ella’s Kitchen Company Offers Gorgeous Designs to Spice Up Your Kitchen!
When Katherina Saunders joined the Mom Invented community and I saw the photos of her spice cabinet, I found myself saying, "I want that!" Katherina is a "Mum" from the United Kingdom. I love that we are connecting with moms around the globe. I'm happy to share her story with you here.
Mom Invented: What is Ella's Kitchen Company?
Katherina: Ella's Kitchen Company is the home of our Nordic style kitchen dry food and spice cabinet called Ella's Kitchen Cabinet, after my Norwegian Grandmother. This free standing mini-larder is hand painted. I also design lots of simple, functional and elegant kitchen storage.
Mom Invented: Why did you start this company?
Katherina: About six years ago, I was teaching children how to cook in my home using the original kitchen cabinet that my Grandmother gave me. The kids loved using it so much that I decided to have them made as they were no longer in production. I have now expanded the business to include different styles of cabinets and beautiful shelving and coat hooks. I love working and designing and I would just love every home to have one of my kitchen cabinets. I sell direct to customers worldwide from my web shop.
Mom Invented: What is your background and how does it relate to your company?
Katherina: I am in my early 40's and married with 3 children from ages 9-16. My background has been varied. I worked in PR which has been enormously helpful. I was a caterer for many years so I understand kitchens. I worked for an Antique Furniture dealer for a year. All these things have helped me start and grow Ella's Kitchen.
Mom Invented: Were there any setbacks in product development that had to be overcome?
Katherina: Constantly. The scoops were a nightmare to recreate. There were, and still are, problems. Every time I receive a shipment I hold my breath.
Mom Invented: What secrets have you learned in terms of publicity and marketing your product?
Katherina: I don't think people trust Advertising. I am lucky enough to have had a lot of editorial which has been fantastic.
Mom Invented: What was the biggest learning curve in terms of marketing your product?
Katherina: The importance of price.
Mom Invented: How much money have you invested so far? How do you feel about that?: £50,000 (approximately $80,000 U.S. Dollars)
Katherina: When I feel as if I should throw in the towel I look at that figure and it keeps me going.
Mom Invented: What has been your greatest success or high point with your product or business?
Katherina: When I received my first Scoop that looked right I was so excited I cried.
Mom Invented: Have you experienced a low point in business? If so, how did you get back on track?
Katherina: Yes. When I realized that I did not understand the importance of margins. Any artist will tell you that it is hard to sell their own work and I obviously regard my business as would an artist! However, I decided to teach myself about the importance of margins and % when costing my products and put that into practice.
Mom Invented: How long did it take to get your product from idea to market?
Katherina: Much longer than I thought. Because I was starting from scratch with no real business education or contacts I had to find manufacturers for the different components. Glass, cast aluminum, sheet aluminum and wood.
Mom Invented: How have you managed to juggle the roles of business owner and mom? What falls by the wayside?
Katherina: It is really hard. In the first 3 years I worked every weekend. I painted nearly all the small items myself and turned the house into a factory. My husband and children were very supportive and would often help me with the packaging and labels. Now I have a warehouse which is great. However, right now I am typing this in my office which is still at home. Sometime I will move that out too.
Mom Invented: Who has been your biggest source of inspiration? What keeps you going?
Katherina: Martha Stewart. She is without a doubt a formidable woman, but I bought her cook book Entertaining when I started my Catering Company years ago and one day I would like Ella's Kitchen Company to be a brand like hers.
Mom Invented: What advice would you offer other moms developing their products/ideas?
Katherina: A lot of people out there offer advice and don't really know what they are talking about. Use any contacts you can and do not be afraid of people.
Mom Invented: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Katherina: Just that I love what I do and if anyone out there wants to ship our products to the USA lets speak!
Thank you for sharing your story, Katherina! You can learn more about Katherina and Ella's Kitchen Company here.
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