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Each month we will interview local mums who have started their own businesses and find out a bit more about their world…

Name: Rebecca Aspin from Beverley

Business: Sell My Wedding (www.sellmywedding.co.uk)

Family: William (6) George (2), Husband Sean and Sonny the Golden Retriever

Top tip for something to do with your family that is free, or costs very little: Now that Will can ride his bike without stabilisers, our favourite family activity has to be a bike ride. We bought a trailer for George and I have a very impractical (but pretty) Pashley bike so we love to head off down the Transpennine Trail. We normally join at Skirlaugh and then cycle a 5 mile stretch, stopping for a picnic lunch on route. It’s a gorgeous trail and we can even take Sonny with us!

Best way to relax once the kids are in bed: Pizza, red wine and an episode of the Good Wife.

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Q: Firstly, tell us about Sell My Wedding.

Sell My Wedding is a UK-based online wedding marketplace for buying and selling pre-loved or second-hand wedding items. There are just under 2,000 items, from dresses to decor, currently listed for sale.

Q: How did the idea for Sell My Wedding come about?

Sell My Wedding was established in July 2011 when following my own wedding I was unable to find a UK website where I could recycle my wedding items with another bride. Whilst there were websites for selling second hand wedding dresses, there was nothing out there where you could literally sell everything to do with your big day.

I thought that such a marketplace would not only help make a wedding more affordable but it would also enable brides-to-be to gain inspiration from newlyweds, who had already done the hard work by trawling websites and shops to find the perfect items.

Q: Did you have experience in running your own business?  How did you start?

My background in is public relations and marketing so whilst I had experience in helping other businesses, I had no idea of running my own or starting a website from scratch. As there were no similar websites in the UK, I spent a lot of time researching similar concepts in the States, as well as taking inspiration from UK wedding blogs as well as attending wedding industry networking events.

I have found the experience of starting my company, developing a website and the daily running of a business to be so much harder than I ever imagined. There have been some low points (tears and frustrations) along the way but I am extremely proud of the website and where it is now from when I worked on the first draft four years ago.

Q: What’s it like to work at Sell My Wedding? (Could give us a brief daily role)

I juggle the website on top of my day job (Communications Manager at York Hospital) however Wednesday is my day off the day job! After dropping Will at school, George and I go to a local playgroup. After lunch, while George sleeps, I have a two hour ‘Sell My Wedding’ window which involves replying to any enquiries that have come in from both buyers and sellers, with any questions that they may have. I then schedule new listings, to appear on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as writing and scheduling blog posts.  I then pick things up again in the evening once the kids are in bed. I try to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the wedding industry so read a lot of wedding blogs. Evenings can be spent writing copy for blog posts and feature articles as well as contacting potential suppliers who may be interested in joining the website as a sponsor or wedding vendor.

Q: What’s your advice for fellow ‘mumpreneurs’?

It takes time! Especially with a web-based business it takes time to build a presence on Google and there are no quick wins, you just have to be patient and keep at it. I found that contributing articles to the leading wedding blogs and online press coverage has really helped with my online presence and SEO.

Q: What do you think has been the key to Sell My Wedding’s success?

Identifying a gap in the market and making a quick decision to run with it, my thinking was I would rather give it a go then look back and regret I hadn’t done it. I have also listened to the feedback of our users (including the negative which is very hard when it’s your business) investing in the development of the website last year so that we could iron out glitches to improve the user experience. While this was costly, it was certainly worth it. We now have 14,000 people using the site every month.

Q: What makes Sell My Wedding different?

It’s not just about buying and selling, there is Ebay and Gumtree for that. Weddings are so personal. Our sellers love telling their story and the idea that items that they carefully chose for their wedding are going to be used by another bride. There is lots of interaction that takes place between our buyers and sellers, which I love.  I have sold many of my own wedding items and was sent a picture of the buyer of my veil, wearing it on her wedding day. You don’t get that with Ebay!

Q: What are your plans for the future?

We have recently added a hire feature so that sellers can list items to hire as well as for sale so we will be further developing this over coming months. We already have some great hire businesses onboard and many newlyweds are also choosing to hire out their items rather than sell them.

If you have set up your own business and would like to be featured in East Riding Mums meets, please email Lucy@EastRidingMums.com

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