Updated: Mar 9
Surviving lockdown has been tough for everyone, in particular getting used to working from home, juggling kids and home learning on top of that. But for some small business owners, working from home together all day long is something they’ve been doing for years.
Meet Heidi and Angus Griffin, husband and wife team creating light-hearted prints for the home as ‘Baldy and the Fidget’. Their business began 6 years ago and they work from a spare room in their home in sunny Leyton.
I was curious to find out more about their set up and Heidi kindly agreed to answer my questions:
Name: Heidi and Angus Griffin
Business: Baldy and the Fidget
Who lives in your house?
Me (Fidget), Baldy, Fidget junior, Moo the plump cat and Archie the tiny cat.
What were you doing before you started your business?
I used to run and design for my accessories business Heidi Mottram. Also, mum duties for our super tall Fidget junior.
What inspired you to start your business, was there a lightbulb moment?
I was really missing being ‘arty’. I used to paint and sell in galleries but then the fashion business took over. Fashion is a whole other world and I missed ‘proper’ painting and drawing. Baldy also had loads of print ideas that he wanted to create as a change from his logo and branding business.
How has lockdown changed the way your business operates now?
Lockdown has slowed us down slightly but has also taught us how to mega multitask. Home learning has taken up most of my time of late but has taught me to think on my feet more.
How did you cope during lockdown being stuck at home all day together?
Both Angus and I are only children. We’re used to our own space and cracking on with what needs doing. We shared the same office when we ran our own individual different businesses. It was fine because we were concentrating on our own work, we didn’t have to impress each other and the very handy thing was if one of us had a mental block, we could literally pop our head above our computer and get artistic advice.
When Baldy and The Fidget was formed, we already knew how each other worked. We know when to stay clear if either of us are having ‘one of those days’ or is needing a stress relieving tea and biscuit! We are on the same team rather than competing to climb corporate ladders. We both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so job/duty allocation came naturally. Really, we have worked together/in the same office for 14 years! We are well rehearsed.
Name a product that you'd never bought until Covid happened?
To be honest we have been exceptionally lucky with our shopping deliveries so haven’t had to buy anything different from normal. Briefly though I remember leaving the computer running for 3 hours in an online shopping queue and having to keep an eye on it for when it was our turn. Felt like the battle of the wills! Baldy does say I am a bit stubborn, and I was determined to get a shopping slot!
What are you most looking forward to when things go back to normal?
I would love to go to the theatre and see a show. I am also looking forward to taking Fidget Junior to various events again and having lots of fun experiences like we used to.
Best piece of advice you were ever given; or perhaps a saying that you live by?
There’s a few to be honest but the main ones I live by is to take one step at a time and keep going forwards. For bad days ‘tomorrow will be better’. Usually after a nights’ sleep the next day is better. Go with your gut is another motto (Vivienne Westwood even said this to me!) Your gut is usually right. Listening to too many people can often confuse matters more! I think they are my main go to mottos or advice to myself.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Decide what you want to do and go for it. One way or another anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Some journeys are quick, and some are longer than planned, but all are possible if you keep putting one foot in front of the other. Patience is also key!
Any words of wisdom for new or expecting parents?
Your life as you knew it hasn’t stopped but areas may have been paused. You WILL figure it all out. At times it might not feel like it and might not all be instant, but you will rise to the challenge. Kids can also give you a whole new outlook and send you on a different, better path. When we were due to be new parents, a friend sent us a ‘starter’ pack. That pack was like gold! Calpol, Infacol, muslins (I totally underestimated how many we would need), Bonjela baby etc. Ask fellow parents what they wish they had or discover they needed once the new baby arrived. Often it will be things you haven’t thought of!
Desert island product - what can't you live without?
Crisps. I’m a crisp addict!!! I know I should be saying something arty like a sketchbook and pencil etc but really, it’s crisps 😆