Regina Alonzi is the owner of local business, Wooden Toys Edinburgh, a children’s boutique that specialises in wooden and ethical toys and books for pre-schoolers. www.woodentoysedinburgh.co.uk@woodentoysedinburgh
How did you balance being a mother and professional? With great difficulty. My little one’s dad made it clear at pregnancy he didn’t want to be involved, and so I had to find myself a job that offered flexibility. I also rely very heavily on my parents for childcare – they are an absolute Godsend!
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career? That’s an interesting question. It’s really hard building a business with a little one, as you are constantly making trade-offs. Time is such a luxury and I’ve often thought that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Being my own boss also means I don’t have as much flexibility nor guaranteed as my friends that are employed, but it’s totally worth it.
Who inspired you and why? I wouldn’t say there was just one person that inspired me, rather a whole host of people. In a previous life, I used to attend conferences fairly regularly, and I used to watch the speakers in awe and dream that one day I had a project or business that allowed me to go around and effectively mentor others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my past experiences!
What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? Do not give up. Life and success isn’t without it’s frustrations.
Do you think women feel intimidated in business? I think they can do. Every business though is different, and will have it’s own challenges regardless of gender
Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? I really really want to say the Edinburgh park run as I know that’s when it’s on, and I really want to say that I am a regular there, but the reality is I am normally at my shop as that is near it’s opening time.
What do you love about your job? I love the social side of my job. I am very much a people person and so I really do love all the people I get to meet as part of my job. The best part though are the kids and watching them grow and change as time progresses.
What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made? To be my own boss
What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made? To be my own boss
What would you be doing if you were me now? Hmmm..*Regina tries to think like Gail*
How do you organise your time? I used to be Miss Organised with calendars and planners, but I’ve totally relaxed that since my child came along as I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I now spend as much time with my child as I can during the day, and do my own work in the evening.
What do you think is your greatest strength? I think one thing that most people appreciate is the fact that I have a really good memory and so I tend to remember customers and what they have bought, or what their kids enjoy playing with.
What do you think is your greatest weakness? My greatest weakness is that I can sometimes take far too much on
How do you make decisions? Argh! I’m Miss Indecisive!! I hate making decisions – especially when they can be life-changing! I do talk most things through with friends, and that really helps put situations into perspective
What do you read? I love reading non-fiction, particularly consumer pyschology books
What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to? I think knowing your limits is something you have to remember. Nobody works alone in anything they do, and people around you want to help so use them! That’s what I did!
Wooden Toys Edinburgh Ltd
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