Boss Babe: Nicki MacDonald
Company: Bonnie Affair
Tell me a bit about your business.
My business offers activities for hen dos in Scotland. Activities range from outdoor events, food/drink masterclasses, art workshops and erotic parties.
What made you decide to start it?
I was maid of honour for my cousins wedding in 2014 and I was in charge of organising her hen party. As I was researching activities I realised there was no Scottish company who offered to organise hen parties. I loved the process of finding activities that would suit the groups budget. I understand this can be a stressful task for bridesmaids but for me I loved it.
What’s a typical day/week like in your shoes?
Typical week involves speaking to clients who have upcoming bookings, updating social media channels to show potential clients what activities I offer. There is a lot of networking involved to get the word out about what I do. I always find someone knows someone who’s getting married.
What’s been the most difficult thing to get your head around when you started up?
When I first started up my business I was definitely naive. I showcased my business at wedding fairs thinking there would be an influx of bookings without realising that brides to be often tend to visit wedding fairs a year or two before the wedding. Hen parties are normally one of the last things to book so it made me realise I had to find other ways to get the word out. I’ve attended lots of business networking events (often starting at 6am, ouch), I’ve done a lot of paid advertising and really had to think out the box and find an activity that no other company offered.
Have you encountered any hiccups along the way?
There will always be hiccups along the way for any business which I think is a positive as it makes you learn and grow. My hiccup was actually offering too much choice. At the start I had over 50 activities and felt like my website looked too busy. I now only offer activities that always prove popular. I actually find when I go to a restaurant and the menu only has a limited amount of choices I make a better decision. If I’m faced with lots of choice I get stressed and end up choosing out of panic when the waiting staff come over.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated when I get lovely reviews from my customers. I love knowing that I’ve made a groups weekend a fun experience. I love being my own boss, I’m constantly learning.
What’s your main marketing took/social media platform? Are there any you want to try out that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Instagram is my main form of marketing. I love that you can create a story and use hashtags to get more interaction. I need to try out reels as that seems to be a popular option on that platform.
What’s next for your business?
During lockdown I couldn’t offer events so I created an erotic party kit for Hen parties. Each kit includes an erotic mould, paint, paint brushes and accessories. It’s proved popular and means I could offer a virtual hen party. Also means you can have you every own bookend or ornament on your mantlepiece, not that’s a talking point ha. The kits were featured on a few celebrity podcasts which was great for business. My next goal in my business is to keep pushing these kits.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?
Advice I would give to any woman looking to start a business is to put your research in before seeing up to make sure there is a market for what you want to do, network, join social media groups in regards to woman in business as there is always people willing to help if you have any questions.
What do you do to relax?
To relax I go for a bubble bath and read. It clears my head and I make sure my phone is out of view so I don’t feel the urge to check emails.
And lastly, what did you have for breakfast?
I’ve recently started a plant based diet so for breakfast I had smashed avocado, smashed cannelloni beans, spread on sour dough bread, topped with cherry tomatoes and lemon juice. Very very delicious.
Thanks Nicki! So great getting to know a bit about your life as a business woman! If you're thinking about organising a hen party soon, head over to Nicki's Instagram @bonnieaffair for all the info you need. x