So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire! It is so important to support local and share your findings with others.
During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.
Today is an exciting brand we are sharing as I was totally wowed by their offering. Please can I introduce you to Carry On & Co! They make the most gorgeous handbags made from bamboo, as well as stunning earrings and necklaces, also made from bamboo. So beautifully made and so elegant, their bags are serious statement pieces that will turn heads! Check out their website to find out more! Please support this local business, who hand make their products with love.
We chatted to the lovely Simone Pelser, Founder of Carry On & Co and this is what she had to say!
Carry On & Co is more than just a brand or a story, it’s a mantra. It encapsulates a way of living, of taking responsibility for our actions and moving toward a sustainable future.
Being absolute nature lovers, it is very important for us to create products that are soft on the environment, and our conscience.
The only way we can truly carry on is by changing our mindsets; how we produce, what we buy and where we buy it.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
We are a small brand with a big focus on sustainability. We create handbags and other trinkets for the mindful consumer. Our whole company currently revolves around the Bamboo Box Bag. It combines our obsession with nature, love of fashion and appreciation for great design. It is such a lovely piece that attracts so much attention and sparks conversation wherever you go. That is the best part about our little business; we are able to talk to people about sustainability and conserving this incredible planet we call home.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Trust your instincts – This is a very important one for me. Sometimes there are things that look right on paper or is the correct thing to do according to the books. But if it just doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it.
Planning is everything – Something I still struggle with a lot. When I plan well things run very smoothly and I actually get results. Bad planning just allows for so much time to be wasted, which is crucial when you have to do most of the work yourself.
Always believe in your product – Every now and then you get that one asshole that makes a rude comment. You have made the best product you possibly can, according to your beliefs and abilities. Be proud of your product and never let anyone take that away from you.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
We are so excited about the road ahead. There will be some major changes that will help to realign our brand, but in keeping with our ethos and all the things that our clients love. We are also working on a few more designs to extend our range of bags. One of the new designs is dropping very soon, yay! We would also love to grow our brand to a point where we can provide a few permanent employment positions.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
The thing you probably want to hear is: “Just do it”, but I don’t know if that’s always the best advice. I believe there are some major benefits to working for yourself, but there also many things that make it really hard. Other, more technical things to consider is that you don’t have all those perks big companies offer like pension, UIF, a contribution towards medical, etc.
If you are really passionate about starting your own business and you have something unique to offer, I would suggest that you try doing it as a side hustle after work and on weekends. If you find that there is a lot of interest and that you still enjoy doing it (even though you might be zombie-tired) then you might have something worth fighting for 😀
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
Making people happy – There is just nothing that feels as good as a customer telling you how much they love and enjoy your product. That honour of knowing that you made something that has brought so much joy into another person’s life.
Meeting people – I consider myself to be a bit of an introvert, as I have great hermitting skills. But I have met the most incredible humans on this journey so far. From models and photographers to people who help build your stands, suppliers, clients, other small business owners and new friends.
How has lock down affected you and your team?
Although it’s been a tough last few months, I feel that this has actually been a great opportunity to relook things. To really see what is working well and how we can improve on the rest. Sometimes you need to take a step back to be able to go forward in a better way.