This week we interviewed Amelia Rope of Amelia Rope Chocolate about her latest venture - Hope and Patience podcast. Together with her guests and their favourite chocolate (oh yes!) Amelia explores the joys and challenges of running a business. Selvedge founder Polly Leonard joins Amelia this week on the podcast.
Amelia, tell us a bit about yourself.
I have had quite an eclectic ‘career path’ and funnily enough only really settled when I set up Amelia Rope Chocolate in my late 30’s back in 2007. Previous chapters included years hopping around as a PA, and training as a massage therapist and then breaking both my arms in a bicycle accident. My last ‘proper job’ was as a Practice Manager of a very busy NHS/private doctor’s practice. That and splitting up from an adventurous boyfriend were really my triggers to go on BBC Masterchef. From there the doors opened or rather, I stepped forward and opened them. And now I am 50 with a new start up in an industry I am getting to know and loving.
Why did you decide to start Hope and Patience?
I have always loved audio as a medium as well as listening/reading about how founders have built their businesses. But I have always wanted to know slightly more – what makes the founders really tick, how they cope with things like uncertainty, do they have an inner critic and so on, as well as hearing about how they looked after themselves whilst at the helm. The latter I failed to do at a key time in my business and it led to me being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition I wouldn’t wish on anyone. At one stage I was barely able to walk, let alone stand and it took me 20 minutes to mobilise my ankle joints to get out of bed. My friend (and now investor) and I decided to do a pilot series and well now we are onto Series 3 and H&P has become a weekly show.
Hope & Patience for the name … because who doesn’t have to have a ton of hope and bucket loads of patience when creating and building a business. In fact, now more than ever isn’t it evident we require hope and patience in our day to day lives. They are also the names of my grannies who were very different from each other but incredibly strong women and also extremely talented.
Image: Photograph by Mary Wadworth
What can listeners expect from an episode of the podcast?
Chat – lots of chat. Mainly from our guest. Our guests are founders and from different ages, cultures, experiences, and specialities. Each show explores their backstory, a bit about what makes them ‘tick’, a quick fire round of questions, a ‘chocolate break’ (because of course it had to be part of the show!), a wellbeing section, and finally, where they have had to have hope and patience. So a lot to fit in! I finish each show with a quote and recommendation which may be a website, podcast, book, song…
Is there a piece of advice that founders refer to time and again to encourage budding business people to take the plunge?
One theme which is emerging is that founders seem to struggle with patience. Constantly searching for the next fix. Another is that success and failure are very personal to each guest and success is not financial gain. The advice Polly gives in her episode is right on the money.
You have interviewed many inspirational founders in the 3 seasons of Hope and Patience - tell us about one of your favourites.
Ahh I don’t have favourites. Absolutely not allowed! Each guest has come on the show because I have wanted them on the show. I have treasured their honesty and openness which are two vital components required to come on the show. Oliver Chittenden, Founder of the mental health charity Head Talks, revealed a very very dark space he had ended up in and really showed his vulnerabilities. That takes a lot of guts. I love connecting with people: I love hearing their stories; hearing more about what makes them tick; and learning about different industries too.
In each podcast episode, you and your guest have a 'chocolate break' - do you have an all-time favourite kind of chocolate?
I adore chocolate. I was extremely biased when it came to my brand and recipes as I created what my palate was craving. My weak spots at the moment are two bean-to-bar producers (one in the South - Ama’s Lucocoa range - she was a guest on the show in the first series) and the other in the North, Duffy’s range. It’s been interesting to see the clear winner from guests on the show – Green & Black’s 85% closely followed by Lindt.
Listen to Hope and Patience S3 E3: Polly Leonard, founder Selvedge Magazine from 25 March 2021 on your favourite podcast platform.