Nicola Brown

Construct Design - Founder

Nicola BrownYou were chosen in the top 100 female entrepreneurs #ialso100 campaign in the UK for 2020, tell us a bit more about this and what it means to you?


The aim of the f:Entrepreneur campaign is to showcase and celebrate dynamic and inspirational businesses led by women. The campaign is built around a programme of content, stories and events including roundtables, Q&A sessions and panels, as well as larger all-day events throughout the year. On International Women’s Day all 100 women are invited to the House of Lords. I’m really excited about that.

Tell us a bit about your business


I have a genuine love of interiors and an ability to see potential in any house or building. I am commercially minded thanks to my own experience of making gains renovating properties, and I consult for mid-sized property developers so they can maximise profits on their developments mainly through design and story. I also enjoy working with individuals so offer trouble -shooting mini consultations for people who need a bit of help getting their house to feel like home.
I believe everybody should live in a home that lifts them up and makes them happy.

What was your inspiration for starting your own business?


I have worked for myself since my early 20s and it’s always felt right for me. Sometimes there are setbacks and as a single parent not having a regular wage can be especially daunting . I have had to, at times, be completely fearless and just trust I would get through. I am not saying I recommend the “jump in and worry about it later” route, but I think working for yourself definitely requires courage and if we question or try to plan the ‘right time’ that right time may never come.

How important is the option to work flexibly to you?


Flexible working has been key since I became a parent, but when my daughter was 18 months old, we became a single parent family, I knew I needed to create a working life that enabled me to be around to collect her from school and to put her to bed during those formative years, whilst financially supporting our family unit.

I would often work flat-out during school hours, then be back at my desk at 8 pm. My daughter is 12 now, and after years of feeling like there would never be enough time in the day, I am at a point where she is out either at school or training with her swimming squad; so in comparison I honestly feel I now have more time than I know what to do with!

What support do you give / receive to and from other women in business?


I love the whole movement happening right now, of women truly supporting and empowering other women. Back when I was developing houses as my business, it was such a male dominated industry and lonely as a solo female entrepreneur.

Since then there are more and more women in the industry and we’re all willing to share and help each other which is really refreshing.

A turning point for me was when I was invited to join a selective business tribe called Sister Snog, which is a magnet for female founders.

To have a 60-strong group of women who are making their mark in the business landscape, and inspiring each other to do the same, as well as being a constant source of support and ideas when needed, does incredible things for your mind and your business. You are the company you keep, and surrounding yourself with people who lift you up has been game changing for me.

How long have you lived in Primrose Hill and what do you love about it?


Although I am definitely a city girl, I do love to be near the grass and in the parks. I have been living here for the last five years. We make good use of the hill during the summer, when we’ll go for a stroll, take a picnic or G&T and a card game, and sit on a blanket in the light evenings. During the week if I have meetings in town, I will usually walk through Regent’s Park rather than get the Tube. This always gives me a moment of clarity and time to feel super-grateful for where we live. Primrose Hill is a green community space minutes from the city – the best of both worlds.

Where can people make contact or see more of what you do?


There is plenty of information on my website or my favourite social media platform is instagram where I can be found;