Meet Inclusive Entrepreneur: Emily Rennie of Hygge & Hope

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Emily Hygge Hope

"I would say go for it! But don’t make your disability your main identity.. our body is an overcoat to the soul… and you have a story to share and skills to impart! Equally… don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek wisdom, as together we can do so much more than when alone!"


Emily Rennie
Founder, Hygge & Hope



CEO Jacquline Winstanely caught up with Emily Rennie to find out what makes her an inspiring and Inclusive Entrepreneur. Emily is a member of the Inclusive Entrepreneur community

Emily, you are An Inclusive Entrepreneur, a member of our Inclusive Entrepreneurship Community. It would really help me if you could set the scene so our visitors understand not only the concept but the person behind your brand.

"I have been fascinated by motivation, and what gets people going all my life. I studied for an MA (Hons) at Aberdeen University, where my dissertation was on the motivation of an Entrepreneur. Since then, I have had various jobs, the most important being the privilege of raising a family. Following the success of The Hygge Club set up in 2018 I am just launching Hygge & Hope. The Hygge Club is an awesome intergenerational group for women that looks at the Danish art of Hygge. From poetry and music to crafts and tasty treats, it was a wonderland and described by one member as “walking into another dimension. 

I share ideas about gratitude, techniques and tips to add a little peace and joy to your days. In a time when people are feeling burnt out, under-appreciated and often rushing through life without pausing to enjoy it, or realising where they are dashing too, we are here to help.

I have set this up in part as, due to my visual impairment I can’t drive. Living in a rural community where the last bus in is before 6pm I am limited regards job opportunities. I have had 'bad eyes' my entire life yet was never told they were “bad” enough to classify me as disabled. It was only in my 30s I found out I could have a bus pass for example which has given me so much freedom! 

I am still getting used to the new badge of “disabled” and still feel a sense of being fraudulent at times as I just thought I was a bit slow, a bit fearful, and a bit clumsy. I was even told I was ignorant, for not remembering people’s names/faces, and discovered in the last year it is actually part of the brain damage caused by my eyes not being formed correctly that I struggle to recognise people easily."


What led you to Entrepreneurship?

"I have always had a passion for business, I love to sell, and the idea that the product I had could make someone’s life better, and the sooner I told them about it, and the quicker they had it the better their life would be! I studied Entrepreneurship at Aberdeen University, and dipped my toe in a few times. 

It is now my kids are a bit older and life has taken a new shift of pace that I feel keen to set up my own business… a big part too, is so I can earn an income and be with the kids, and the fact I feel everything takes me a little bit longer so this way I can “just” wake up at 5am to squeeze the maximum out of my day, without a boss telling me when and where to work."


How did you embark on the Entrepreneurial journey?  

"I mentioned it at the job centre, and then have been on every possible business gateway course, sometimes twice, to help me learn the skills necessary to set up this business."


Did you feel that this was tougher for you than for people without disabilities?

"I in some ways haven’t had many issues as I am still getting used to knowing I am disabled, and not just thinking I am slow. For example, I get bad migraines and have medication for them, but if I work too long without a break, I can be days with a migraine… So I can’t do the hours I really want! 

I also have to rely on lifts from others or public transport, online deliveries, and lack of being able to be as spontaneous as I would like which can be frustrating as I wish I could just get on!!" 


Please outline the how, where and what about your business and the value it brings as an Inclusive Enterprise.

"Many people feel stressed and overwhelmed, they don’t realise it is the little things that can add the biggest joy to life. At Hygge & Hope, we share the tools & techniques to help you enjoy the details of your day. So you can live a life you love. We sell hand-curated gifts and run events to help teach you how to add joy to everyday life.

We sell these “hug-in-a-box” gifts, to help encourage people to show gratitude to others in meaningful ways, as well as self-gifting the box to provide some tools and ideas to help start a new chapter of joy. Rather exciting are the online sessions and talks I hope to do, from under an hour on zoom, to much long sessions in person. I can study a company’s values and aims, and translate them into ways that can inspire and encourage a workforce to enjoy their job and the life it helps them live."


What successes have you had along the way that you are particularly proud of?

"Well, I am brand new! But I was honoured to of received a thank you letter from Nicola Sturgeon for a letter of gratitude I wrote to her thanking her for what she has done for families like mine. When I spoke at a virtual event for a local business, I had around 35-40 people and had messages of sincere gratitude and thanks, as well as people in tears as so re-inspired and encouraged by my session."


Mention some of the obstacles you had to face and overcome to get to where you are today.

"Finance is a big one, time another, space a third… I think all of these would be faced by people in all situations… But physically not being able to do an all-nighter due to eye strain and migraine, or physically taking so much longer to learn to (for example) build my website is frustrating."


What are the economic benefits of being an entrepreneur? 

"I hope to have the flexibility to earn enough to feed and nourish my family, be generous, and have enough income to pay others a great wage so we can build the economy. I also feel my message of hope will help people in all industries enjoy life and in turn, this benefits the economy as healthy happy people are able to work earn and spend more."


What assistance have you had along the way, and how has that helped you get where you are today?

"Business Gateway & New Enterprise Allowance Grant."


As an entrepreneur, what would you advise other disabled people who are also considering embarking on a similar journey? 

"I would say go for it! But don’t make your disability your main identity. our body is an overcoat to the soul… and you have a story to share and skills to impart! Equally… don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek wisdom, as together we can do so much more than when alone!.


If you would like to contact Emily, you can email her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You can also follow her on social media:




Instagram: @hygge_hope


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