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Pioneer of the Week: Sonia Meggie of FunkyNChunky

Thought Leader

Pioneer of the Week: Sonia Meggie of FunkyNChunky

Sonia Funky N Chunky.jpg

Name             Sonia Meggie
From              London
Business        FunkyNChunky – Fashion and accessories made by women in Africa for social impact.

 

Sonia was invited to become our Pioneer of the Week because we wanted to celebrate how she has used her business FunkyNChunky for good by partnering with women crafters in Ghana and collaborating with a not-for-profit there to give back to the community.

 

Tell us 3 important things we should know about you:

  • I am a mother.
  • I am passionate about equality and community.
  • I have a keen interest in Africa and the Caribbean.

Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?

After a trip to Ghana in 2014 I was moved by the volume of women hustling and running small businesses and wanted to know how I could connect with them. When I arrived back in London I asked my friends to connect me to traders, and asked for advice on where I should travel in order to find women there who I could work with to sell their products over in the UK.

I have always had a passion for statement jewellery and bags as well as African fabric.  I decided to fuse the two and my business FunkyNChunky was created.

What do you love most about running your own business?

I enjoy that I have total creative control and that I am able to meet customers from all backgrounds.  Using my business I have been able to raise funds for my new Saturday school in Lambeth as well as partner with a not-for-profit business in Ghana.


Tell us about a challenging experience you’ve faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.

It is very challenging working in Africa whilst being based in the UK. Language barriers, quality control, price and brand control can be huge challenges that are difficult to solve from another country. I had to make a lot of contacts out there very quickly so I could have a team based in Ghana.


What advice could you give to other startups about starting up in your industry
?

Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask your peers for their advice. Take the time to find your niche instead of replicating another business. Before I made the jump to starting my own business I built 6 months of savings so I knew I’d be financially stable. The most important thing is to stay determined - keep thinking about where you want to be next and go for it.


Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward?

In 2014, I attended an accelerator course which really opened my mind as to what I needed to focus on next.  On the final pitching day, the judge gave me really useful tips and reminded me that the ethical side of my business makes a huge difference to my story. Most of my customers want to hear how I started and suFullSizeRender.jpgpport the business because of that.


Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it?

 

I work from home and trade via pop-up events and at festivals. One of my favourite books is Girl Boss which is a must-have in my home office – it really inspires me!


What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?

Be prepared for slow days, people who want a discount and hearing excuses. No two months are the same so you have to be prepared for all scenarios. 


Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?

If you need help, ask. Running a business can be isolating; you have to focus on growing it which can impact your friendships and relationships. Don’t forget that success is much more meaningful when shared. 

Finish the sentence: To be an entrepreneur… it takes focus and conviction.


If you want to connect with Sonia, follow FunkyNChunky on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or in the comments below!

Comments
Well Connected

Sonia, you never cease to amaze me.  It's been delightful watching and supporting you on your journey and I absolutely love the brand. Fantastic and inspiring read and insightful feedback regarding setting up a brand.  Thank you!

 

Really interesting to read how well you prepared and researched ahead of launching and goes to show that preparation truly is key.

Keep inspiring and keep us all glammed up with the FunkyNchunky brand.  Keeping us way ahead of trend.  

 

Been meaning to get the recommended book for a while now and will purchase asap.

 

Warmest....

Tendai.....