Find out how therapeutic coaching helped the owners of a small family-run fashion business build their mental resilience.
Covid and Black Lives Matter had a huge impact on Adeola and Ronke Jane Adelakun, owners of small fashion business, Cultureville. They reflect on how therapeutic coaching helped with their strategic business planning as well as improving their mental resilience.
Running a small business isn’t just part of your life, it’s who you are. But carrying the emotional weight of the business’s performance can take its toll, with recent Mental Health UK research showing that 80% of small business owners experience symptoms of poor mental health.
Adeola and Ronke Jane Adelakun of Cultureville are small business owners who took up free therapeutic coaching sessions offered by Lloyds Bank, in partnership with Mental Health UK. Therapeutic coaching is an innovative hybrid of counselling and coaching, designed to help you build your resilience while supporting your mental health.
The entrepreneurial sisters are originally from Nigeria and founded Cultureville in Manchester in 2018 to reconnect with their heritage and make modern African fashion more accessible in the UK. It has since become an award-winning, sustainable fashion brand, but that’s not without facing many challenges along the way. The pair left their full-time jobs in law and media in June 2019, but when Covid hit shortly after, both their business and their mental health were significantly affected.
Cultureville pivots to online
Adeola and Ronke Jane could no longer continue with face-to-face events, which previously made up 80% of their business. Moving to trading online was necessary and, through their ‘Stay Safe with Cultureville’ mask initiative that offered free African print masks to anyone who wanted one, they successfully managed this change. “The intention was just to help people stay safe but sales started to pick up,” says Adeola.
Then in June 2020, Black Lives Matter made global headlines and Cultureville customers flocked to support this black-owned business. Great for their bottom line but the pressure was huge. “We were trying to process being locked down again alongside business uncertainty and heavy feelings around Black Lives Matter,” remembers Ronke Jane. “We were exhausted.”
Both sisters were reluctant to burden the other with their issues. After all they’d been through over the last few years, Cultureville realised they needed outside help. When Lloyds Bank introduced the therapeutic coaching initiative the pair were keen to sign up for sessions.
“With Covid, Brexit and cost of living, you just can’t catch a break,” Ronke Jane says. “But Lloyds Bank’s therapeutic coaching is such an incredible initiative. We’re so excited for all the businesses that get to take part and have no doubt it will be hugely beneficial in building coping strategies to get through unprecedented times.”
Ronke Jane - Co-owner, Cultureville
Therapeutic coaching builds mental resilience
Adeola and Ronke Jane have each worked with a coach which gave them a place to talk, plus effective tools to deal with mental health pressures and tactics to build up their resilience. “Having coaching feels like I can offload unapologetically without feeling guilty or that I’m going to impact Adeola’s day!” says Ronke Jane. There’s a cheerleading element, too: “In business, you rarely have someone to bounce ideas off, you just have to get on with the next task. Having a coach who cheers you on is so supportive. They see the value in what you’re doing and you feel less isolated and more seen”.
Adeola worked on very specific goals with her coach, Priscilla. “I’m not good with confrontation or knowing my worth. Priscilla helped me think about my value in a detached way, which really helped me to feel confident when negotiating.” Meanwhile, Ronke Jane’s sessions with coach, Trish, focused on feeling overwhelmed. With Trish’s support, Ronke Jane was able to break down and tackle her tasks. “My self-talk was also quite negative,” Ronke Jane says. “I regularly thought ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘I’m out of my depth’. But I came away from the sessions with manageable steps to take. Trish listened to my worries and we came up with practical solutions for improving the business.”
The importance of rest
One key change the pair have implemented is adequate rest. “If you want to be stronger and better able to do more, you have to make sure that you take care of yourself. But without coaching, we wouldn’t have stopped to do that. We’ve now put in one day of rest each week to reset.”
When asked would you recommend therapeutic coaching to other small business owners, the sisters certainly would. “With Covid, Brexit and cost of living, you just can’t catch a break,” Ronke Jane says. “But Lloyds Bank’s therapeutic coaching is such an incredible initiative. We’re so excited for all the businesses that get to take part and have no doubt it will be hugely beneficial in building coping strategies to get through unprecedented times.”
Important legal information
Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH.
Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Registered office 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 10399850. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278, 169628 and 763256 respectively.
Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH has its registered office at Thurn-und-Taxis Platz 6, 60313 Frankfurt, Germany. The company is registered with the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 111650. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.
Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.
While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.