Lynda Pepper, Founder of Pepper Social

Helping people to increase sales and build their online community using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest 

I founded my first business with a smartphone. I did it with no money, no qualifications and no outlay; in short, I’m a self-taught entrepreneur!

Before stepping into the world of self-employment seven years ago, my career was in the civil service – handling statistical data. At the height of New Labour, I was seconded to Whitehall from Leeds, which was exciting – especially seeing the London Eye going up bit by bit over countless lunchbreaks!

Returning to Leeds, I got into IT and learned lots of new stuff, but the Government began to make massive cuts across the civil service sector and my role was affected.

By 2004 I was working for a local high school and created their IT database – a position I loved – but a couple of years later I’d started a family and, by 2008, had two children. I decided not to go back to work.

We moved to Cheshire in 2010 to be nearer to our families and then our youngest was born a year later. When I went to register my job title on the birth certificate, they wouldn’t accept ‘domestic goddess’! I’m listed as ‘housewife’, and although it felt a little funny, I was honoured to be a stay-at-home mum.

Pepper Doodles, my first business, came about as a money-saving idea when my children started attending birthday parties. I’d make gifts for their friends and word spread between the parents. Soon I was taking commissions for all sorts of occasions!

I worked my socks off building that company – using the smartphone during night feeds to learn everything I could about online marketing and selling – but it nearly broke me.

Looking to outsource, I realised my appetite was for the social media side – not the product creation – so in early 2018 I launched Pepper Social at a networking event and closed Pepper Doodles that financial year to focus solely on my new venture.

Working from my Congleton-based office, I’m passionate about helping people who are in the position I was once in: they’re either still working things out for themselves or their company has grown to a stage where they can’t do everything.

If I can do it, any woman can.

Pepper Social