Claire Dunn - Founder, no faff

I quit my job and gave 5 months notice. I needed time to work out what I needed to do but I also needed to make the leap before I could talk myself out of it
— Claire Dunn | No Faff
(HRcropped) Claire founder of no faff photo copyright Ursula Kelly.jpeg

Describe yourself in three words ...

Sarcastic.  Determined.  Loyal


What makes you happy?

A view. When I can see further than the four walls I'm in, it always lifts my mood, this especially works if there are mountains and blue skies. It's a shame I live in Nottingham!


If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone, anywhere who would it be with and where would you be?

Deborah Frances White from the Guilty Feminist Podcast. She is making feminism acceptable and accessible again. She's from Australia so I'd like a view of Sydney Harbour whilst we sipped a pinot noir :)


A book or podcast you're currently obsessing over?

The Simplifiers Podcast. An incredible range of interesting guests with real and helpful advice for women in business.


Best way to unwind?

Yoga.  I have to focus on my breathing, where my legs and arms and hands should be and so I don't think about anything else for a whole hour. Its the only way I can really clear my head and unwind.


When did you realise you wanted to create a change or do something different in your work life? What was the trigger for this?

A year ago. My husband is also self employed and life was getting complicated at home as he worked away more and more. I've always wanted to run my own business but didn't think I was good enough at anything but a few glasses of sangria, a great pep talk from my mum and here I am.


Thinking back to then, how were you feeling?

Frustration mostly. Frustration at not doing a role I loved. Frustration at myself for not being braver. Frustration at playing it safe and treading the standard corporate/life path. I felt like I would look back at this time and kick myself if I didn't try.


What first steps did you take?

I quit my job and gave 5 months notice. I needed to give myself enough time to work out what I needed to do but I also needed to make that leap before I could talk myself out of it. Those 5 months were hugely valuable to develop recipes and products, to design packaging, branding and build a website. When the 5 months was up, I was mentally ready for the leap.


How did you figure out what you wanted to do?

I looked at what I was good at and what I cared about. I've always loved cooking, my son has a wheat allergy, I care about nutrition and food and so I brought it all together to create no faff.


How did you (and how do you now) overcome any self-limiting beliefs? Can you give us an example?

I tend to take action before I have a chance to overthink it. I know that if I dwell on something it wont get done, so if it feels right, if initial findings point in the right direction then once I'm 80% there - I'll go for it. It means lots of things are imperfect but it also keeps me moving forward .


Looking back with the knowledge and experience you have now, what advice would you have given to yourself?

I could have/should have taken the leap earlier on. There's nothing I'm doing now that I couldnt have done 4 years ago but it was fear that held me back. I would tell myself to be brave - that I would work it out


How do you maintain your Creative Confidence (your ability to have ideas, think creatively and do things differently)?

I read loads and loads of food blogs, recipes, follow food folk on instagram and listen to my customersand what they ask for. There is so much information sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming but by focussing on what I need, what resonates with my core values and beliefs, it's easier to sort.


What advice would you give to another women who's considering making a change in her working life?

Do it!  When I left corporate life I was stunned by the amount of support, knowledge and the general goodness of people out there. So many women supporting each other in real and practical ways to grow businesses. If I had know this before, it might have helped me make the leap sooner.


Best piece of advice for looking after yourself physically and mentally?

I use the app Headspace to get 5 min meditation in each day, it makes all the difference.  I also make sure I have healthy snacks with me so that even if I’m on the go, I can fuel my body right.  When I eat badly I feel sluggish and find it hard to concentrate.


Having pivoted (created a change in your work life), what are you most proud of?

My brand.  It hasn't changed much from it's first creation in Mallorca a year ago when I designed the logo using a freebie app on my iPad. It reflects what the products are, what I am and what I hope it continues to be


An intention for 2018?

To grow no faff. into a business that will pay me a wage in 2019.


Claire  is offering 5% off an order with No Faff for all readers of her '100 Women' story.  Please use the code '100WOMEN' (limited to one order per person).