A letter to our past selves after 5 years of Mustard
Dear Becca and Jess circa 2018,
You have no idea what you're getting yourselves into.
Like, no idea.
Turns out, that's a very good thing! You're brave, but you might not be that brave. While the next five years include a global pandemic, a fire, typhoons, copycats, customs issues, and a whole lot of sleepless nights (see, good thing you don't know this!), it's something else, too.
It's the best thing you've ever done.
If there is one piece of advice we could give you, it's this:
Dream big — nope, bigger than that, and bigger still!
Where you'll be five years from now is beyond your wildest dreams. We know you think you're busy starting a little locker business, but actually what you're doing is so much more than that. You're creating a life for yourselves and your families. You're giving each other the freedom to travel, to work together, to set your own agenda and to expand your horizons. You're building a brand that will give back (in five years you'll have donated over £145,000 to Beam!) You'll create a workplace that you and your team — yep, you have a team of over 30 now — will genuinely look forward to coming to. Last, but certainly not least, you will have the best, best, best community of locker lovers across the globe.
Not bad, right?!
Listen, now we're on a roll, there are actually a few other things we'd tell you if we could.
Here are five things we now know that we didn't when we started our business:
as this business grows, you're going to need to grow too
Mustard is a completely different business from what it was five years ago. But you're different people, too. (Jess, you're a mum now!) One thing we've had to learn over the last five years is that if we want the business to grow, then the people behind it need to grow too. The good news? Growing alongside the business is going to be one of your greatest joys and triumphs. So much will change on the outside, but the biggest transformation will be within. #cheesybuttrue
you are not exceptional, you are predictable humans
Brace yourselves for this one. It turns out you are just the same as every other human. You need sleep, downtime, exercise, water and sunshine — essentially, you need balance in your lives just as much as everyone else. There are no shortcuts or special superpowers that make the laws of life somehow not applicable to you. No matter how much you test the theory, it always turns out true. But Mustard will give you the capacity to set your own schedules, and that's going to be a game-changer when you embrace it. You get to make the rules, so make them in your favour.
family is the foundation
People will advise you not to work with your sister. They'll tell you mixing business with family is a recipe for disaster, that it will strain your relationship and change your priorities. For you, the opposite is true! Working together means you talk every single day. You prioritise trips to see each other. Your kids spend so much time on FaceTime that even though there's half a world between you, it really does feel like they're growing up together. In fact, you love it so much you've brought your husbands, Jono and Marc, into the business too. The four of you make up a team that plays to each of your strengths and is truly perfect for you.
trust your vision
Even if no one else gets it. Yes, there will be plenty of blank faces when you try to describe Mustard. Five years on, you will still have to pull your phone out to show people what you mean when you say 'colourful lockers.' But the ones that get it, really get it. So stay in your own lane, follow your instincts and go with your gut. Believe us when we say that you are on to something special. Put your big girl pants on and hold your chin up, you have to go all in if you're going to do this.
get ready to have your mind blown
One day, not too far from now, you are going to see Mustard Made lockers in Kim K's house, Paris Hilton's gym and an Uber Eats ad. You'll see them in Architectural Digest (jump to 10:20!). You'll be stocked in Heal's, where your grandparents used to shop and in Urban Outfitters where you dreamed to shop as a teenager! But although these are definite pinch-me moments, what will really stop you in your tracks is when you stumble across Mustard in the real world. Like when you go to a cafe in Brighton and spot a Blush Lowdown. Or when you pop into a school mum's house and see a locker that you didn't put there. It's not your Mum's house or your Dad's house or your best friend's. It's just… out there, doing its thing, with a momentum all of its own. That's a feeling you can't beat and that will never grow old.
So, 2018 Becca and Jess, here's the thing. It won't get easier. But it will get better (and better and better.) Jess' biggest fear is that Becca will get bored, but it hasn't happened yet, because the business keeps growing and forcing us to grow with it. Our hunger, curiosity and ambitions will keep shapeshifting, and that's what keeps it interesting. You probably won't ever feel like you've made it, and you definitely won't make it to the mirage of a 'comfort zone'. Making Mustard will always feel challenging. That's what makes it so satisfying.
Keep going because the best is yet to come…