Starting a Social Enterprise fresh outta' Uni ... Am I crazy?
For those of you that are sensible enough to sift through the endless posts I have made in the past few months about launching my first ever business, hi! For those that have put up with the endless tirades and constant begging for sharing and liking and commenting... thank you; and welcome to the first of what I hope to be many blog posts about mine and Ringo's tumultuous journey.
I want to map my journey for you. Tell you the hard hitting truths of what it is like to open a business as a fresh-faced and terribly optimistic graduate. Tell the you the secrets that I have had to learn by myself and hopefully show you that you can do it too if you really want to.
Where to begin?....
I was living in Amsterdam back in 2018, loving life but missing my brother more than I care to admit. We depended on each other and we spoke every day on the phone. As strange as it may be, we connected during my college years over mental health and I helped him just as much as he helped me (even though he never believes that).
His professional life was not where he wanted it to be but he had just been gifted his first ever puppy, Ringo. It made things a little easier for me when I left knowing that he would always have someone, a purpose. I feel like, without Ringo in his life, my brother would have given in to his dark thoughts long ago.
While I was away, I read more and more stories about how animals acted as a saving grace for so many people. There was Paul, the homeless man in Cardiff who finally sought help from family after his dog barked at him; there was Joanna, the lady who took down the rope from her banister after he cat cuddled up with her.... the stories were endless and still are 2 years on.
So when I broached the topic of starting a business after university with my brother , I began with "Ringo's Dirty Diner...how does that sound?"
Back then, the idea was unrefined and extravagant. I wanted to open a cafe. A cafe where we would sell every menu item you could think of and it would be a beautiful place, filled with comfortable, yet lavish sofas, and books, and games, and wi-fi and there would be a new cake to try every day, and we would help every homeless person and every sad person in the world.
Despite the childish image I had drawn in my head of the venue and scale of operation, some things have stayed the same. The important things have stayed the same. The name. The concept of offering things that make you feel comfortable yet laden with luxury. The vision of helping others.
We are still not yet open, we still have a few finer details to work out before we can launch. But we are so close. The journey of my dream in Amsterdam, to the opening of what I hope to be a successful and bold street food company that will help as many people as we can. And I cannot wait to share with you each stage that I have experienced.
Look out for the next blog post and check out our social media accounts @ringosdirtydiner
All my love,