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.
Was super excited when I came across Happy Island, an accessories brand from Cape Town! Their earrings are definitely statement pieces – using fun colours and designs! Their designs are really beautiful and you will find it hard to choose just one pair to buy (so buy more!). Check out their website and you’ll be surprised (and delighted!) to see they even sell DIY kits to make your own! How cool is that? I love it when businesses are innovative and come up with new ways to excite their customers.
We chatted to the lovely Stacey about her business and she had this to say!
You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?
I see myself as still being at the beginning of this journey, but there is no better feeling than following your authentic truth and it’s been a long hard road for me to recognise what that truth is for me.
No matter what you do, all jobs have their ups and downs, but I definitely have far more ups since I decided to turn my hobby into a full time business.
I now see challenges and set backs as something to get excited about and feel empowered with each hurdle I manage to cross. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to have to focus on areas of business that I’m not formally trained in, but I’m learning more each day and I think that’s the key to a fulfilling life- keep learning, keep evolving.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
The more your business grows, the less time you have for the creative fun stuff. Not only are you the manufacturer, but also the content creator, photographer, marketing manager, book keeper..the list goes on! It’s been tough for me to focus on areas that I have little interest in, but I understand that it is necessary and try to pay equal attention to all areas.
If there’s one thing COVID-19 taught me, it’s that things can change at the drop of a hat. Don’t get too comfortable and always be willing to adapt.
MVP (minimum viable product) is key. So many of us feel we aren’t good enough to publish our work or put ourselves out there, but then when will you ever really be ready?
At first, I had a specific vision for my packaging which was way out of my tiny start up budget. I didn’t want to launch without this packaging as I thought my product would be perceived as being untrendy or too “home made”.
My need to have the perfectly packaged product was in fact holding me back and delaying my chances of bringing in much needed cash flow to get the business going. I decided to scale down and launch with something simple and more realistic to my budget at the time.
The response I got from customers was surprisingly positive and I quickly learned that while it’s good to aim high, you really don’t need to have all the bells and whistles to get going. Get your name out there and you will improve in time as you go along.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
It took me a long time to share my secret hobby with anyone, let alone the courage to attend markets and approach retailers, but I wish I had done it sooner.
Looking back, I was scared of failure and rejection, but failures are actually a vital part of the recipe for success.
You can’t learn to walk without falling down, so welcome the setbacks (there will be many) and embrace the fear!
Brene Brown sums it up perfectly – “ Vulnerability is the birth place of creativity, innovation and change”. So be vulnerable, it’s your superpower!
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
Definitely the variety that each day brings. Some days I’m manufacturing, other days I’m out on the road meeting retailers and doing deliveries or attending workshops to gain new skills. There’s definitely less monotony than a regular 9 – 5.
Setting my own schedule. I used to spend my mornings in traffic, but now I start each day with a 45 minute dog walk in the forest. It’s small lifestyle changes like these that make working for yourself all worth it.
How has lock down affected you and your team?
Lock down has been a double edged sword. On the one hand there have been a lot of setbacks and challenges for the business, but on the other hand it also allowed me the time to focus upskilling myself in areas that I normally wouldn’t have time to develop. I was able to practice sculpting, start an online design course as well as develop creative new products such as my DIY earring kits. While it has been difficult to deal with the sudden changes and uncertainty, sometimes this type of pressure is needed to force you to think out the box and get creative.