Came to Earth on 4.12.1986 // 12:46am // Guildford, UK
Sagittarius Sun / Virgo Rising / Capricorn Moon
I’m over the Moon about introducing the first feature in our Moon Stories with Hannah, co-founder of Puck Wanderlust, yoga teacher and adventurer. Her life has been full of action (with some quiet breaks at her parents' house) with working on the next jewellery collection in Bali, enjoying a family holiday in Greece, moving house, hosting a pop-up in Topshop and teaching for a yoga video for Shake Down.
Puck Wanderlust is all about longevity and sustainability, rebelling against the usual “fashion or retail calendar” with rigid seasons and collections. As for a lot of us on the journey - growing out from our old selves and transforming into new beings - also Hannah says she struggles with not knowing what the next step will be, especially regarding finding a new place to call home, perhaps a bit slower and quieter than London.
My purpose is..
…to be happy. For me that means living life as true to myself as possible. Creating my own path. We all have to live somewhere, eat and make money, but my goal is to do all this while staying true to my core way of being. It’s evolving though - the path changes as I learn and grow.
I studied Retail Management in Bournemoth and worked for a big fashion company afterwards where I also met my current business partner, Ranelle. Puck didn’t launch just yet though. We both did many different jobs in between, but after several years, Ranelle came up with the idea to start a jewellery business with recycled / reclaimed materials and this is when Puck started.
I decided to start my own business because..
I felt the 9 to 5 job I was doing at the time was wasting my youth & talent. I remember sitting there, looking out of the window, thinking what I’m doing with my life - it’s a soul destroying feeling… I’d dream of adventures and travelling. We launched Puck in November 2015 and being able to do something that encompasses my love for flexibility and travel is great.
PUCK: a mischievous fairy in English folklore
WANDERLUST: a strong desire for adventure
The mantra behind the brand is one of collaboration and the shared wealth of skills to create something unique yet mindfully made. This interest in sustainability is at the heart of the brand, from packaging to production.
How to build a sustainable & ethical business..
Either of us had the expertise in making jewellery, but the idea of longevity and sustainability was there from the start. So we travelled to India to look for people who could produce for us. We found an amazing workshop and they pretty much took us under their wing and made us part of the family.
In Bali, we drove around in the back of the motorbike for days and eventually came across an all women workshop, run by women… It was such luck as empowering women matches the ethos of Puck 100%.
Working in Asia..
..made us more laid back. It truly changed our lifestyle for the better. It transformed how we look at life and made us to adjust the business to the way the locals work - in a slow flow.
We decided to create one collection per year and only focus on the styles that work. That helps us to become masters in what we do, rather than create unnecessary fast-fashion pieces.
Also Bali has a special spiritual connection like nowhere else. I really didn’t want to leave. In Bali you could just be, no need to worry about having clothes or make-up on, while in London you have to be more groomed ;)
Three things I’ve learnt since creating & running a business..
1 // Being more present.
As I don’t have the time to over-think/plan/worry, I just ask myself - what’s the worst that can happen. At worst - a lesson learned, at best - super interesting situation. My yoga practice also helps in this area ;)
2 // Being open-minded.
By working with different cultures, in different situations, you often do something you’ve never done before. Having an open mind to everything and trying not to deal with situations the way I “always deal with them” just out of habit. In yoga we call them samskaras - your body is like a record that has grooves in it and the needle always falls back into those grooves. What we want is to develop a clean slate.
3 // Use my intuition.
Nobody in the business tells you what’s the right thing to do, there’s no pre-made structure, so you have to strip everything back and go with your intuition. From the people you work with, the leads you follow, the steps you take. If you get a good feeling, go with it. Taking risks is the huge part of running a business.
Two key things that make a successful business..
1 // Foundation.
Making sure you have a solid foundation before you start - website, accounting, loans..
2 // Management & people behind it.
Your resilience and persistence. Really understanding each others strengths and not trying to push things that aren't your strong skills. You might find out that your real strengths might not be what you previously thought they were. If something comes to you super easily and when someone else is trying to do it, they don’t find it easy at all - this is your strength.
My three essential & non-negotiable self-care rituals…
1 // Eating well
If you don’t have right fuel in your body, you won’t have enough brain-power and energy. Making sure I get nutritious food & eat when I need to be eating is essential. I always start with a good breakfast (even when stressed or busy) and a green juice. I use meal times as breaks and allow myself good refuelling stops.
2 // Yoga
Yoga is my exercise of choice because it also involves learning proper breathing. Taking few minutes to ground myself and centre on the breath works wonders - you can even do it on a bus or train. It’s impossible to stay anxious after 10 conscious breaths!
3 // Reading
Reading is super relaxing for me. Fiction, non-fiction, magazines… I read 3 books while in Greece. I read as an evening ritual, otherwise I can’t fall sleep. With reading I get into a dream-state :) My recent find is a book called “Rebecca” - a real classic; an eerie story about a women who is murdered by her husband because she couldn't be tied down, pinned down…
Are you aware of the changes in your energy levels throughout the month?
There are definitely times when I notice having more energy or less. I may keep changing my mind on small decisions - for example, what I want to eat…not quite able to connect with my gut feeling and stay in my head too much. But - I want learn more about this!
Do you track your cycle? How?
I don’t, it’s always a bit of a surprise…it’s the one thing I’m not very organised with.
I do notice that a week before I get a bit sensitive, little things annoy me…. physically, my boobs get really big and I break out with few spots. And I tend to get quite unnecessarily emotional, but I only noticed it because I reacted to something out of the blue recently ;)
Talking about the cycles, as the business develops we have to think how to work it more into the way we work. For instance, designing is a very introspective and quiet time, and then there’s the time when we are doing a pop-up or a market and have to sell which requires completely different energy. Luckily, our business is very organic and spontaneous so I’m hoping we can keep it that way.
My advice for a starting female entrepreneur
1 // Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
This would hold you back from trying & testing things.
2 // Don’t listen other people too much.
There are going to be people who think your business idea is not going to be a valid idea for a career, but you don’t need to explain yourself and take their advice with a pinch of salt.
3 // Have an open mind to all opportunities.
You never know where they will lead - even if it seems they won’t take you where you want to go. The strangest meetings can take you to most amazing collaborations or greatest revelations. Don’t shut any doors…
Sideline piece of advice
As females, we should really try to support each other - be nice to each other, help each other out… It’s better to have a huge group of friends in the industry, instead of having “competitors”. Focusing on collaboration, community and collective atmosphere perhaps comes from our India/Bali experience, which is not such an individualistic culture like it has been in the West.
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