RUTH FOENANDER 1/2
Co Founder Pear Drop Paper
Can you tell us a little bit about your background before founding Pear Drop Paper?
I worked part time at Selfridges during my university years, including a year’s placement as part of my business degree. My experience included working on the shop floor in fashion, human resources, personal shopping and customer services. A great place to start your career.
After university I moved to the marketing and visual merchandising teams at Selfridges before settling in the marketing team there. I worked on some fantastic projects; opening of their Birmingham Store, Vegas and Brazil store promotions, Personal Shopping re-launch, Christmas campaigns to name a few. Selfridges was an exciting place to ‘grow up’ and I learnt a lot there. After many years of Selfridges, I felt I need to try something new, pull the security blanket away, and I spent a year working for Visit London as part of a project team charged with promoting London in emerging markets. Visit London wasn’t for me, I missed retail and change was needed. I landed on my feet with my next role, joining the European Retail Marketing team at Apple. New Store Openings, Product launches, In-store events and experiences, all incredible learning, fast paced, travel and so much fun! Fantastic.
What inspired you to start your own company?
Pride and drive in my work. Having kids changed my priorities but it didn’t diminish my drive. My most important job is being a mum but it’s not the only thing that defines me.
I was keen to apply my retail marketing skills to a job that would challenge me but also allow flexibility so that I didn’t have to choose between being there for my children and the responsibilities of a corporate role. I met my business partner whilst pregnant with my first child and together we decided to see if we could create our own line of products and run a business from nothing more than an idea and a cup of coffee. This is how Pear Drop Paper began.
Who would you say is your biggest role model?
My mum. She didn’t always get things right but she was a highly successful career woman, put her heart and soul into her work and her family and she loved what she did.
What drives you to succeed?
I’ve always taken pride in what I do whether that be planning a child’s birthday party or opening the Apple Store in Beijing; being proud of my work drives me to succeed.
What has been your most rewarding moment so far career wise?
It’s early days with Pear Drop Paper and I think there are many highlights to come but to date seeing all of our illustrations printed on products for the first time was when we realised we had created something special.
Can you share with us what your typical day is like?
Our household gets up at 7 every day. A busy few hours of breakfast for the kids, everyone dressed, and school and nursery drop off. I come home and then eat my breakfast and have a coffee before my workday begins around 9. I first check in with my business partner and prioritise what we need to do that day, we rely heavily on FaceTime as we often work independently from one another. Late afternoon is all about the kids; school and nursery pick up, followed by homework, dinner, bath, stories and kids to bed. I have dinner with my husband and then back to work for a few hours. I fall into bed around 11.