In Conversation with Keri Haw | Hopper HQ Spotlight

Introducing Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel! A fun print on demand service made to make you smile, laugh and connect with your mental health and wellbeing.

Founder, Keri Haw, is an inspirational advocate for mental health and wellbeing. Not only does she work as a house mistress, and consult in schools for mental health and wellbeing; as of two months ago, she took the leap, followed her passion and became an entrepreneur!

Keri’s passion and love for her work is extremely evident. The love she’s put into launching her business in such a short time proves this. In our chat we covered everything from her business, to social media scheduling tips, and platforms new business owners shouldn’t be without!

Introducing Keri

I’m Keri.  I am many things: my day job is that I’m a housemistress at a boarding school, as well as a mental health and wellbeing lead.  So nothing to do with small business really!  Recently, I decided to start a ‘side hustle’ (as they say) and I’ve started a print on demand business, consisting mostly of t-shirts, sweatshirts and mugs.  My business is aimed at spreading joy and raising awareness about wellbeing and mental health through t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Did your background in social care lead you to create Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel?

Exactly.  Mental health and wellbeing is my jam – in all ways!  It has manifested itself in lots of different ways.  Professionally, I support young people.  I lead on our mental health and wellbeing provision, and created a whole school approach to this.  I also consult in different schools too.  Thus supporting mental health and wellbeing in education as a whole.  

But also, it’s my passion, my drive and my raison d’etre.  I get very geeky about mental health and wellbeing.  It comes out in all areas.  My social accounts are very much focused towards that, and that’s very much the focus of my products that I produce.  

For example, we’ve got an affirmation series, t-shirts and mugs that have an affirmation focus.  But also a little tongue-in-cheek!  Because as much as I’m slightly obsessed with wellbeing, I’m also a bit rubbish at it!  It’s trying not to take myself, or ourselves, too seriously along the journey.

Is Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel something you take into school and your consultancy?

To a degree, but mostly in a sense that my students who know me really well take the mickey out of me for it.  

A lot of the phrases that I’ve used on the products like “Recovery is possible”.  They hear me say all the time.  “I’m not judging, I’m noticing” – they are signature me phrases in school and out. This one came about during a mentoring conversation with a student. I always talk about listening non-judgmentally and during our conversation I reacted with a bit of judgement and they called me out on it. In a moment of quick thinking I joked that I wasn’t judging, I was noticing and the phrase stuck. Again, it’s about not taking ourselves too seriously, even around serious topics like mental health and wellbeing.

What is Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel‘s mission statement?

Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel is wearable joy for the wellbeing warrior.

If you had to describe Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel in  a couple of adjectives what would you choose?

Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel is: 

  • Joyful – it has to be!
  • Tongue-in-cheek – can this be an adjective?
  • Produced for the wellbeing warrior.

How important is social media to Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel?

My business is brand new.  I’ve only been doing this for just over a month!  Whilst I started out on Etsy, I’ve since created my own website.  In terms of starting out and being fresh on any platform, I’m relying almost entirely on social media to build my community, to grab people’s attention and hopefully to eventually create that community where people like me feel seen.  

I want those people who have a passion about looking after themselves, self care and wellbeing for improving our mental health.  But also, not really taking ourselves too seriously.  I want those people to find me and for us all to find our tribe, and be something together.  

Social media is absolutely vital for doing that.  If you’re just set up on a website, how do people know that you are there?  Especially on Instagram, I have found you discover your people and you connect over something really silly.  You know, I’m a massive Drag Race fan, so I’ve got a couple of products which are a little bit Drag Race-y.  And I did something on my Instagram stories the other day and mentioned Drag Race, and somebody straight away was like “oh my gosh, you’re my people!”.  That’s what social media can do.  

You know, starting out a new business, there are a few things that are really important to me.  One is definitely community, and that can only come from engaging with social media really.

@adventuresinwellbeingapparel has amazing Instagram Stories, how do you keep that channel active?

It’s all a bit bonkers really!  My day job is a 62 hour week already.  So this is all on top of that.  But that’s where Hopper HQ comes in and how Hopper HQ has been absolutely game-changing.  Because it means that I can have posts going out really easily and I can be 100% confident that they are going out exactly how I want them, when I want them, when it suits my community and my audience, not when I have free time – which is really limited.  That’s been hugely key for me, with keeping up with things.  

I think from what I’m picking up,  I’m not really au fait with social media.  My sister is very much more ‘in the know’ about all of these things.  But from what I am picking up, with stories, the key at the moment seems to be, not being on there all the time.  Previously, I think it used to be ‘keep that light on all the time’, and ‘make sure that you’ve got stories posted all the time’.  But now, it seems to be actually if you take a break for a day, come back to it, do something with purpose, ask questions, use the polls, etc.  Then you get much more engagement that way.

You recently said Adventures in Wellbeing Apparel went through a rebrand, would you like to talk us through that?

When I first started the company, I used an old logo, which I had set up for a blog a few years ago.  It was fine, the Adventures in Wellbeing has been part of my identity for a while.

I used that logo to get things going, and I wanted things to be colourful and bright etc.  A couple of weeks in I asked my sister for feedback, as she’s much more cued up as she does a little social media managing – she’s a lot more entrepreneurial than me.  Actually, she recommended Hopper HQ when I asked what scheduling tool she uses, as I’ve used Later before, but she recommended Hopper HQ as she really liked the interface.

So I arranged a call with her for a little bit of coaching.  And she had a look at my feed and said “ooooh it’s a lot isn’t it, there’s a lot going on’.  It had all different colours and was quite busy.  So anyway, bless her, she didn’t say ‘I think you need a rebrand’.  I just came away from it knowing I can rethink this.  Thinking about it, it was a pink and grey theme, and it felt very 2017 Keri and I thought actually maybe now is a good time to have an overhaul!  I went away and played with some colours.  And came back with a more succinct colour palette for the branding.  I did it all on Canva – love Canva!  What’s not to love?  And yeah!  Hopefully the colour themes will start coming through a bit more consistently.

Also Read: How To Embed Instagram Feed On Your Website

What’s fantastic is I already had quite a lot of content scheduled on Hopper HQ, but actually it’s super easy to move things around and change things up.  Again, that’s another reason I’m obsessed with Hopper HQ.

Also, your social media is scheduled in Hopper HQ until August! How have you done that?

I’m just a keen bean as it’s early days.  Again, what I’m finding and what’s been really good, is that I know there is no point in me sitting down and thinking ok, I have to do this now.  Rather, I have to go with the flow.  I can procrastinate, and put things off, because if I make myself do something if I’m not in the zone to do it, it will be 10 times as hard and take me 10 times as long.  Whereas, if I can, wait for that moment when I’m in the right zone for it, it’s so much easier.  

And so, that is why scheduling is really important as well, for helping me work in flow.  So Friday is meme day.  I’m definitely not always in the right frame of mind to be making memes, but you know if I can schedule those as and when the creative juices are flowing, they go straight in the scheduler and then I know that it’s taken care of.  And I’m not thinking on a Friday ‘ oh gosh it’s Friday, I need to post a meme today I don’t really have any inspiration’.  Actually it’s all already there, because I’ve harnessed those moments when I’m in the right place for it.

Meme fridays?  Is that something you’re bringing out on your account?

Yes, another tip from my sister was to post certain things on certain days.  So that’s another thing that I’ve chopped and changed and moved things around about.  So the calendar view in Hopper HQ has been really useful for that.

Tuesdays are shareable content, Thursdays are quotes, and Fridays are memes.  And then interspersed around that is actually stuff that I’m trying to sell!

I’m genuinely such a fan, it’s been the most fantastic tool, it really has.  There are a few things that have been absolute game-changers in terms of making it easy to start a business and using social media for marketing, Canva, Hopper HQ, and Placeit are right up there.

What’s Placeit?

That’s a website for mockups.  Basically all of the images that you see are product mock-ups.  They have a huge variety of different scenarios, flatlays, and they’ve got lots of different models.  That’s another fundamental thing that I want to promote through the social media accounts is representation of lots of different body types and ethnicities and they’ve got a fantastic selection of options you can use for your mockups.

I’m really keen to make sure that there are people with disabilities, different genders and ethnicities showing up on my feed.  Anybody that comes to the account can feel like there is somebody like me on there.

What would your advice be to someone on the fence for starting a new business?

I think it would be; just do it.  Don’t wait for the right time because there won’t be a right time.  Whatever is holding you back, there will be a way around it.  I don’t have any startup or anything, and so I’ve gone down a print-on-demand route.  So I don’t need any startup.  There is always an answer to things and I think we can be held back by, waiting for the perfect time.  It might not come.  

But there are ways of working smart and making life easy for yourself.  There are ways around any possible hurdle.  Just start and feel your way as you go.  It’s ok if you make mistakes.  For example, the very busy rainbow of my first few posts was very much in your face and colourful – but you know that’s fine!  It’s ok to go on a journey with it and feel your way as you go.

If you had to pinpoint a favourite Hopper HQ feature what would you say it is?

I think I really like the calendar view, because it gives me a really good overview of everything that is coming up.  

There’s too many features!  I love that you can schedule the first comment!  That’s where all my hashtags go.  I love that when you enter your hashtags it gives you potential suggested ones.  And also, how many people follow that hashtag so that gives you an idea of where you should be placing that.  

Everything in one place which is absolutely fantastic; the fact that you can schedule carousels.  Other scheduling tools that I’ve used can do some things but not everything.  Whereas, I haven’t come across anything in Hopper HQ that I wish it did.

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