Who are you?

My name is Marie Savage. I am 43 years old and live in the Southside of Glasgow.

I’ve been a self employed domestic cleaner since 2005 after leaving a well paid job in Financial Services.

I’m the co-founder (along with my husband) of humblestuff.

What does your business do?

We are Scotland’s only producer of handmade, eco-friendly & cruelty-free household cleaning products.

Where are you based?

As a small business, every penny counts, so we are home based in Glasgow at present.

How did you get started?

I started to make my own cleaning products and using them in the homes of the clients I was cleaning for. One day I was asked if I was planning on selling the products I had made. Until that point I had no intention of doing that, but the idea took hold of me.

What is your background?

I’m not a scientist, but I am a cleaner. I think that knowing what needs to be cleaned in a house has helped me enormously while making the products. If they don’t work for me, then I wouldn’t have the cheek to sell them to anyone else.

Having used a huge amount of traditional big brand petrochemical based cleaning products in my time I decided that I no longer wanted to breathe in those fumes, so started creating my own products in 2013.

What is your top tip?

Running a small business is not for everyone. Think carefully before ditching the day job and borrowing a load of money on a plan that may not work. It’s hard work, and there’s no safety net, unlike being in employment.

How long has your business been running?

We began trading in February 2015, but had been working on the products and brand since March 2013. We are slowly building our brand

via social media and by attending a variety of local and national markets and vegan festivals.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

My father in law has been a great support over the last few years, he has been able to lend us cash to cover bigger expenditure at times. I was accepted to join Entrepreneurial Spark in 2016, but I felt that it didn’t match my ethical business ambition of focusing on people, planet then profit.

What was your first deal?

Our first market was at the brilliant Urban Market at Glasgow’s Drygate, where we literally set out our stall for the first time. It’s an incredible feeling of achievement when people want to purchase your products.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently? (Optional answer)

Spelling the business name without a capital letter. This seems to cause a bit of confusion.

We thought that by having no capital H the name would appear more humble somehow.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

We plan to still be in business by continuing to do what we are doing.