It's True! It really does take a Village to raise a Business!
Happy Birthday to us - We turned 3 years this month!
I started making Earrings three years ago in October 2015 while I was living in Darwin, Northern Territory. The first year was a write off as I had given birth to my third child and motherhood took up most of my time. I attended local markets occasionally & listed my earrings on Facebook & Ebay, any sales I made went right back into the business buying more supplies.
Two years ago, August 2016 I moved back to Cairns with my family & I vowed that I was going to concentrate on my business. I was extremely motivated to succeed and the last two years have been EPIC!
When I say it takes a village to raise a business it's very true, over the past two years I have worked my arse off and there are so many people, businesses & organisations to thank. I'm going to take you behind the scenes & show you all the things I have done to get where I am today.
I joined Networking Groups!
These groups have been established by wonderful Women in our community who are very inspirational & extremely giving of their time to help fellow business owners.
Special thanks to Kristy Vallely & Renee Gibbs Demowski founders of She Means Business, Abi Gardiner founder of Mums On The Go Business Network Inc., Jodi Allen founder of Trading Mates, Julianne Steer President of the Cairns Business Women's Club. Thanks to their Committees/Teams who are all behind the scenes helping them!
I have attended these Networking Groups for breakfasts, lunches and dinners which have been fun & I have met a lot of wonderful people.
These Networking groups have put on Workshops, invited Guest Speakers to inform & educate us, they have organised Pop-Up Markets, put on Fashion Parades which I had models rocking my Earrings down the Red Carpet. The opportunities I have been given by these Networking groups have been outstanding & I am so grateful.
I invested in myself!
This was a very big one & extremely important decision I made for myself, the only way to grow it is to become educated. So I went along to the above Networking Groups, attending their workshops, listened to Guest Speakers & gained a whole lot of knowledge! I watched Webinars, YouTube Tutorials and I also participated in the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) Tourism Small Business Development Program & went along to The Space. This is where I really excelled, the workshops & mentors I met with got me up to speed on what I needed to be doing to succeed in the business world. Special thanks to Kelsey Anderson - TTNQ, Troy - The Space & the following Mentors & Guest Speakers:
Michelle Bridges - Founder of 12WBT,
Alex Tomic & Nik Mirkovic - Founders of HiSmile
Chris - Precedence,
Bob Cobavie & Amy Turnbull,
Rachel Wilson - The Dirty Apron,
I revamped my branding
First Impressions Count, if you want to be the best you have to look the best. I revamped my logo, got professional images taken with my gorgeous models, I got new banners & props for my Market Stall and I also created a Website! Having a Website is crucial for a small business, if you don't have one - GET ON IT!
I was able to triple my income on this alone!
I attended Markets & Pop-Up Events
Attending local markets & pop-up events is one of the biggest, challenging & exhausting things for a business to do. It's Epic setting up a Market Stall every weekend, with early mornings, long days & weekends away from the family, such a huge sacrifice! But it's crucial for a Start-up Business to be out there & engaging with the public. It's important to test the market & see how the public responds to your product before taking any further action.
I've attended the following Markets:
The Esplanade Markets,
The Handmade Expo,
Palm Cove Markets,
Cruise Liner Markets,
Rotary FNQ Field Day,
Carnival on Collins.
I have poped-up at:
Mums On The Go Christmas Market,
Trading Mates - Trade Table Nights,
Trinity Beach Community Kindy Market Night, Yorkey's Knob State School Fete,
JCU Open Day,
PacMag Family Expo,
Pregnancy and Baby Expo &
Freshwater Women's Event.
We have poped up at Stocklands Shopping Centre!
I hired Casual & Permanent Staff
I couldn't have done it without the HUGE team who have helped here at HQ, from setting up the Market Stalls, Selling and helped behind the scenes in the workshop with all the logistics. Thanks to Mary, Gillian, Shana, Corinne, Karen, Connor, Vicki, Greg, Matthew, Amy & Jake!
Stockists have come on board!
To have other Stockists come to you wanting to stock your brand is such an amazing thing to happen! Almost all of my Stockists got in touch with me, I haven't even hit the road to get Stockists yet. A special thanks to:
Collaborations with fellow Businesses
When businesses come together great things can happen, whether it's passing on scrap fabrics to putting each others products together to take photo collaborations or shouting out for you. It's been so wonderful to have the following brands to Collaborate with:
Pippin Dolls Wardrobe,
Arch and Aya,
Maria's Buzz Wraps,
Mentors, Inspirational & Supportive Fellow Business Owners
These are the people behind the scenes who have given so much value, mentoring, educating, inspiring me, supporting me -giving me suggestions & ideas. Many who have become great friends, always giving an ear to listen, they offer advice & even give hugs when needed. I've been given huge opportunities! Thank you to:
I have Sponsored Businesses, Organisations & Events
It's wonderful to give back! When you have been given so much, naturally you want to give back and I have Sponsored & Given Away tones of products to the following:
Kelly Wealth Services,
Relay for Life,
Edge Hill State School,
Event Cinemas Chicks At The Flicks,
Cairns Business Women's Club,
Trinity Beach Kindy,
Mums On The Go Business Network,
She Means Business,
Gerlinda Personal Stylist,
Babes & Picnis,
Chat & Play
Ambassadors, Brand Reps & Our Models
I have a HUGE following but it's thanks to several BIG FANS who have become Ambassadors for our brand, these wonderful people love our brand so much that they wear our earrings & SHARE with their friends all about our brand and send in photos. They go that extra mile, over & beyond expectations to HELP our brand succeed!
We also have our gorgeous models who have walked the red carpet at Fashion Parades rocking our Earrings on their lobes & who come along to our photo shoots - these Women are the Face of our Brand!
Thank you to our Fans, Ambassadors, Band Reps & Models:
Corinne & Elliot Johnson,
Shaunte & Kailee Francis,
My sisters Charlene Ericson & Annette Price, Mercedes Stella,
Nicola & Emily Jennings,
Maria Koko Designs,
Lesely Van Stavern,
I've Hired the services of Professionals!
When your business grows and you can't keep up with everything, it's time to hire professionals. This has been fantastic, as most of these things I hated doing & now that I was earning more income I could afford to do this. There are so so many to name!
Rachel - Impress Arts - who does majority of my graphics,
Rose Torrisi Photography & Veronica from Blue Click Photography for professional business photos,
Cairns Plan Printing & Cardzilla for professional printing,
Rachel - Miss Wastell who handled all my Tech stuff,
Jayme - Grant Thornton - my mentor Accountant,
Michael - Pinacle Tourism Marketing - helped with my game plan,
Yi who has helped with my Pinterest & other Social Media Chanel's,
Juliette - my editor who cleans up my work from time to time.
I also updated my bookkeeping to XERO - oh how this has changed my life! Now that I'm registered for GST, this step has been vital!
I'VE SAVE THE BEST TILL LAST - MY CUSTOMERS
My customers I thank you all so very much, because without you - simply put I would not have a business. You keep asking for more, I listen & just keep making. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!
Concentrating on keeping my customers happy is #1 Priority, offering top notch customer service & delivering on promises is most important.
TO OTHER BUSINESSES
I wish you much success, I know the hard work that goes on behind the scenes & 100% respect to you for giving it a crack! Hopefully you can get something out of this blog too.