In this episode, I chat to Emily Mathieson, founder of Aerende, an online interiors store with the tagline of “life improving homewares”.
Everything Aerende sells is not only beautiful, it’s also made in the UK by people facing social challenges.

Aerende has just celebrated it’s first year in business, and Emily and I discuss the importance of being able to share the reality behind a start-up social enterprise, and the need for us as a community to learn from each other, and to support each other in becoming better business people, so that we can prove that this model of ‘good business’ really does work and is a credible and attractive alternative to traditional business.

Photo credit:

Here are some of the things we discuss:

  • “Mo (Farrah)” the baby tortoise
  • Why Emily chose to create an interiors shop focussed on social enterprise, rather than just another interiors site
  • What social enterprise means to Emily
  • The advantages of working with social enterprises and how to use them as a selling point
  • How Emily has approached her business possibly from a slightly different angle to many social entrepreneurs
  • Whether the ‘ethical premium’ exists
  • The question Emily asks herself before she buys anything
  • Why it’s so important that as a community of ethical business owners and social entrepreneurs we need to get more comfortable with thinking like business people, and why we shouldn’t be afraid of being more ‘business-like’
  • How we can end up creating ‘bottlenecks’ within our businesses, and how sometimes we need to step back to allow our businesses to grow
  • Why social enterprise could and should be the future of business
  • Why sometimes there can be too much advice when you’re starting up
  • Emily’s advice for start-up social entrepreneurs

Useful Links:


Camphill Village Trust

Episode 014 – Financial basics for social entrepreneurs and ethical business owners

Fashion Revolution – #whomademyclothes?

The Making Good Facebook community 

If you’re starting up a social enterprise, or have an established ethical business and you’re struggling with the business side of it all, you are very much not alone. As people passionate about making good stuff happen, the business bits, the technical terms, the strategy, can all feel very alien and overwhelming.
If you’d love some support and help with this, my passion is helping people just like you to create truly sustainable businesses – book in for a chat here to let me know about your business, and the things you’d love some help with.