We were lucky enough to get the chance to speak with Lola Hoad, designer, letterer, business owner, mentor and founder of One Girl Band.
Hey Lola, we are very impressed with what you have achieved in the last few years, not only do you have your own paper goods company but you also run a collective for self-employed women. Tell us a little about how you got to this point?
That’s very kind, cheers! I think I’m at this point through a lot of hard work and determination, and I’ve still got a long way to go. I started LH design in 2014 when I was 19, after I was made redundant from a graphic design job and realised after months of job searching, I wasn’t going to find a job I enjoyed wholeheartedly. So, I created it. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, so I didn’t feel too scared about going full time in a business I didn’t know was going to work out (but there was definitely an element of nervousness!). One Girl Band started around a year into LH design, when I was doing a blog series of the same name and journalling what I was learning in the world of business. It gained popularity quite quickly, and I knew I had to get these amazing women that were hidden away on social media into the same room, to share stories, advice and real life knowledge.
What is One Girl Band, what do you do and how to we join?
One Girl Band is a collective for creative female entrepreneurs and freelancers. We’re all about empowering and connecting creatives together, and we have monthly meet ups in Brighton (usually at H.EN) where we encourage, support and nurture one another in a non-threatening, malice-free environment. We’re a bit ‘non-networking’, a bit sweary, and no suits or elevator pitches are involved. We also offer 1-2-1 mentoring sessions for new or established women in business, and branding services. We’ve just launched membership options to One Girl Band, where you can get a year’s admission to meet ups, access to our Hub which is full of helpful resources on business, access to our Facebook group and a 1-2-1 mentoring ‘Power Session’. You can join on our website, but you’re also 100% welcome to meet ups even if you’re not a member!
You have a massive following online, how does one go about building such a popular social account, any tips?
I think one of the reasons as to why I’ve got a certain number is because I created content that related to my audience. I did a piece of lettering that had ‘shop independent this Christmas’ on it and it went crazy; My phone nearly melted from the notifications! So, my tip would be to focus on creating content that your audience finds relatable, and is something they would want to share with their friends. Spend some time connecting and interacting in an authentic way, too. Don’t just look at what others are doing, use your brand’s mission and niche to have a different, interesting account. And remember, numbers really aren’t everything.
You are also a mentor for Mentor MatchHER, tell us a little about this?
Mentor MatcHER is a brilliant initiative for empowering women into enterprise. There are some seriously amazing women on the roster as Mentors, ranging from CEO’S of huge companies to innovative digital minds, and it’s an electric atmosphere when we’re all together. I love hearing their stories and advice. I also have a great mentee at the moment who is launching a neon signs business, and it’s great to see her grow and sell out of pretty much everything! You can find out more here. I also do my own mentoring/coaching under One Girl Band.
How do you come up with new and fresh content to write on your paper goods all the time, where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from day-to-day life (boring answer I know!). I carry a notebook with me everywhere so I can write down any phrases that come into my head. I tend to steer away from typical motivational quotes, as I think their power has been lost a little bit, so I just write what I’d like someone to say to me if I was having a tricky day.
What can we expect from Lola Hoad in the future?
I’ve actually just had a massive overhaul of everything in business, and some parts of my life. One Girl Band is going to be my main focus from now on, as that’s what I feel so passionate about, and I’ve got an end result in my head of what I want it to be in 5 years time. LH design is still going to go on, but I won’t be spending so much time and energy on it. I’m hoping to finally get a studio by next year, so fingers crossed! I’d also love to be doing more speaking gigs and empowering more women into business.
Finally can we take a peek at your workspace?
Here you are! I’m currently working from my house in the North Laine, it’s got beautiful light and I love hearing the city bustling past my window.
Photographer: Emma Gutteridge