Meet the Local: Megan from Mini Megan Turner

"When you support a small business, you support a dream" couldn't be more true for Mini Megan Turner, a children's handmade clothing and accessories store based on Catherine Street.

I found Megan's story incredibly inspiring. Her determination and entrepreneurial spirit just prove that you can create your dream job if you put your mind to it, even from such a young age. So grab a cup of tea and learn more about this week's local, Megan Turner....

My day starts… at about 7.30am. My first job of the day is to check all the orders that were placed overnight and to reply to any emails and direct messages on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll grab a cup of tea and get ready to head to the shop. On my walk to work I’ll publish my first Instagram post of the day. Before I open up at 9:30am, I’ll run any errands or do the daily post drop. Once the shop is open I’ll get to work hand-making the orders that are due out that week. The morning normally consists of the basic construction of the garments and in the afternoon I’ll work on the topstitching, finishing touches and then the packaging. Throughout the day I will also serve customers and take any custom orders. With wedding season just around the corner, I’m currently taking orders for lots of lovely little bridesmaid outfits. At 5pm the shop closes and if any next day orders have been placed, I’ll power walk to the Post Office in the hopes of catching the last post. My stroll home is the favourite part of my day as this is when I get the majority of my design and fabric ideas. After eating dinner with my family, I’ll have a little break before going to my office where I’ll work on designs, source fabrics and check any other messages from customers. Depending on the time of year, my day will normally end between 10-11pm.

There are two things I love most about my job… I absolutely love when I recognise a name on an order as being someone who has ordered before. There is no bigger complement than someone who orders from you twice. I also love seeing all the tagged photos on Instagram. I love seeing how my designs are worn for such special occasions in people’s lives.
I ended up creating Mini Megan Turner… as when I finished my degree in womenswear I felt pretty deflated. I didn’t know which direction to go in and I couldn’t find a job that included all the parts of fashion I enjoyed. So I decided if I couldn’t find my dream job, I would create it. With £100 in the bank and a lot of determination, I started Mini Megan Turner from a tiny desk at the end of my bed. I worked tirelessly using Instagram and my 5 years of sewing training to build a business. I started to interact with lots of mums on Instagram who were styling their children and after a few days I had my first order. A few months later I moved into the spare room and invested every penny to new fabrics and new designs. After 18 months, I was worn out and knew I needed to separate my home and work life. While doing my weekly post drop I spotted a small shop on Catherine street up for rent. My dream has always been to have a pink shop in St Albans so I placed an offer and on the 3rd October 2017 I collected the keys.

The best piece of advice I've received was... if someone tells you “you won’t ever be able to do that” use it as fuel to prove them wrong. Sadly I’ve been told that a few times and being brought up on a council estate and being dyslexic the odds were never in my favour but my determination is stronger than any of my weaknesses.

My favourite work memory was... waiting to collect the shop keys. I'd walk past the shop slowly, peaking through the windows of what soon would be mine, trying to imagine what it would all look like when it was decorated and full of my designs. I still walk into the shop everyday and pinch myself. I’m so proud of what I have achieved at such a young age. It's insane when I look back at what I've created from a big dream and £100. I’ve not had any loans or any financial support from my parents. Google has been my best friend and I’ve listened to every bit of advice I have ever received.

My Favourite… Pub in St Albans: – Blacksmith Arms – particularly in the summer, the pub garden is lovely and I’ve made lots of friends from the social atmosphere.

Place to eat in St Albans: I’ve recently discovered AYOS. Every time I think about the food I’ve eaten there my mouth waters!

Memory of St Albans: It’s got to be the many summers as a child visiting the paddling pool at Verulamium park.

Place to drink tea/coffee: I’m not a massive tea drinker and I’m not a fan of coffee. But if I could choose anywhere I do love afternoon tea at St Michael’s Manor. I think the cakes may have swayed my decision.

Place to buy a present: Raindrops on Roses is my go to!

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