Cosy Wee Reads

Tell me a bit about yourself and your business?

I’m Jen, the founder and owner of Cosy Wee Reads, a book gift business. I live in Edinburgh with my husband and two kids – currently, a 10-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl and I started my business when my daughter started at primary school. I create beautifully wrapped unique Scottish book gifts and subscriptions. Every book has been individually selected by me to help spread the joy of Scottish literature.

I take great pleasure in wrapping up every book that I send out. I spend time and care making sure that each one is beautifully wrapped and the tartan bow is perfect because I want the recipient to be wowed when they open their gift. I want to spark that moment of joy that a perfectly presented, thoughtful gift creates. As well as the actual gift side of the business, I spend lots of time researching and reading wonderful Scottish books to discover new books and authors to include in my gifts. As reading is my passion, it is an absolute pleasure to be able to do so.

How did you come up with the name for your business?

I enlisted the help of my friends to brainstorm! I’d had the business idea but hadn’t managed to think of a good name. I can’t even remember the other ideas now, but I love my final choice. Cosy because that’s how I love to read, curled up in a cosy corner. Then Wee as a reference to the fact it’s a Scottish business and finally Reads – because it’s all about books.

What inspired you to start your own business? How do you motivate yourself to keep going when things are difficult?? 

After I had kids, I was lucky enough to take some time out from work to look after them, but once my daughter started school, I knew I wanted to get back to work. However, I also wanted it to be flexible around school hours and holidays, which is hard to find. My husband told me for years that I should start my own business, but I just never felt brave enough. Once I came up with my business idea, I chatted to my friends and family about it – a lot – and they all encouraged me to go for it. So, I took the leap and here I am.

When things are difficult, I try to remember why I started Cosy Wee Reads. Books are my passion, and I want to share that with others. I wanted to create a gift that begins as you open the wrapping but doesn’t end there. Ultimately, I want to encourage people to make themselves a big mug of tea, grab a cosy blanket and curl up in their favourite corner with a good book.

What is your workday like?

One of my aims when starting this business was to be there for my kids. So, I primarily work during school hours & sometimes in the evening once they’re in bed. I try hard not to work at the weekend, although sometimes that doesn’t work out.

What part of your work do you struggle with or hate doing, and what would you rather be doing?

I’m naturally introverted, and so I’ve definitely struggled with trying to put myself out there in the world more. But, as the wise would say, the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and I’m much more comfortable than when I started.

What are your favourite business resources, tools or apps to use?

I use Canva and Snapseed all the time for my social media images.

What has been your best business purchase?

It would have to be my website – without it, selling my gifts would be a lot harder.

If someone came to you for advice about starting their own business, what would you tell them?

I would say – do it! It’s scary but absolutely worth feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I love being my own boss and having the flexibility to work around my family.

Have you ever outsourced parts of your business, and if so, did you have any concerns about doing it?

Not yet.

Who is your Biggest Inspiration?

I’m going to say two. Firstly my Grandad was a massive reader & as a kid, I loved reading & always dreamt of having a library in my house as he did! Secondly, my husband Prak really believed in me & inspired me to take the leap of faith to start my business.

Share some fun facts about yourself or what you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?

I LOVE reading – no surprises there – but that is the main thing I enjoy when I’ve got the time. Otherwise, spending time with my family and I recently got into fitness, so I am really enjoying that at the moment.

Do you have any book recommendations from one you have recently read, or if podcasts are more your thing, share with me which ones you enjoy?

Of course! The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie, The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman & The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I could go on, but those are three recent reads that I enjoyed.

Cosy Wee Reads logo

Thank you, Jen, for taking the time to talk to me; it was lovely to find out more about you and Cosy Wee Reads. If you are looking to treat yourself or know someone who would love a book subscription, head over to Jen’s website here to make a purchase or take a look at her social links below.

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