So as you all know I love to support local and started a #girlboss segment where we could share, learn and inspire! 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.
So I would like to introduce to you the most beautiful hand made, proudly South African chocolates – they are like individual works of art! AND they are allowed to deliver during lock down so no excuses, buy your fabulous chocolate and have it delivered direct to your home! So I would like to introduce you to Jack Rabbit Chocolate Studio!
Let’s see what Stephanie, the Founder of Jack Rabbit had to say!
You started your own business – How does it feel to be a successful #girlboss that inspires others and loves what she does?
It’s really a super special terrifying lifestyle, although its really rewarding I think its one of those things that are usually not spoken about. When things go well, we hardly think of the responsibility that we have as business owners, but in the end – the buck stops with us. Everyone looks to us for salaries and inspiration – to lead from the front. It’s the lifestyle that I won’t be able to go back on now, but I have learnt so much about who I am and how to lead from it.
In terms of my ethos, I just really want to be my best and do it my own way, and if I was going to inspire others it would only be for them to believe in themselves, throw caution to the wind and to do their best.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, especially in this tough economic environment but I am a firm believer in the fact that there’s never a perfect time to start something, There’s only making the very best of the situation at hand – and if you can get through the bad times then the good times will be even better!
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
-Not every idea is genius, even though you really thought they are. Sometimes you have a genius thought to get you started but then there really isn’t any money that gets made by that idea. Success can lead to you think that sometimes you are always going to succeed when really, you won’t always. However, at the same time – its easy to see which ideas are a great success based on how many people copied you after you did it! We’ve found this quite alot in trends that we accidentally set. It’s gonna happen. The key is to not tell everyone your ideas before doing them so that you can do them first.
– I’ve learnt ALOT about business relationships. In business you will be so lucky to find friendships – through customers and suppliers, and its really difficult sometimes to separate business and friendship. People don’t always see eye to eye and everyone’s interpretation of the situation is different. So I would say its really important to try and make sure that you don’t a) lose the friendship over business, and b) lose the business over friendship. It’s a SUPER difficult balance to strike and you won’t always make it out on the other side with both.
-Reading books and watching seminars aren’t going to get you anywhere. Those people selling those events and hosting those seminars are making money for themselves- that is THEIR business. I have learnt VERY little by attending these, simply because not all techniques work for everyone. I’ve had much better success by finding my own way and figuring it out as I go along for the business side of things. Number one lesson is to listen to smart people – who have a vested interest in your success, or friends that own small businesses that have already gone through the start-up issues you are probably going through. Listening to the voices that say you can do it, but taking inspiration from those who say you won’t.
I would also add that you should start small, and stay small as long as possible. We all have big dreams, but investing all your liquidity into a big dream isn’t always the best idea. We grew organically over the past 2 years. starting with me working all night from the spare room in our house, sleeping 2 hours a night in 1 hour shifts – to having our own store and having 3 AMAZING full time employees.
It was hard HARD work, and nothing comes easy if its meant to be. We have been offered multiple investments by third parties since we opened, but felt that the time wasn’t right. We weren’t ready. I needed to think of the long term longevity of the company and that sometimes a huge injection of cash only leaves you with huge personal debt and a failed business.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
We are working really hard on being able to have a product that we can export. we have laid the foundations for this over the past year and hope that within the next year or so we can be sold in department stores like Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Harrods etc and have our gin be exported into the EU. Other than that we hope to have been identified as one of South Africa’s biggest most successful independently owned chocolate houses.
What is your advice to women out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
BE SCARED, BUT BE BRAVE! You have it in you to do great things, the difference is the ability to learn from your mistakes and move on. you can’t get stuck and focus on the failures- but definitely learn from them. go back and see where you went wrong. follow up with unhappy customers, ask WHY they are upset, what did you do and how you can improve, don’t just appease them. I promise you that an unhappy customer that was helped in the right way with the relationship mended will be a forever customer.
JUST START! I spent 10 years thinking of if when how. I finally just started. life is so uncertain, I personally believe that an experience is worth so much more than regret. you can do it. and if you can’t then you tried and then you go back to the drawing board and do something else. It’s so much better to try and fail than to never have tried at all.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
Sitting back and looking back at all the hard work and realizing that its your accomplishments, and all your hard work shows.
We are the artists, we are the decision makers. You get to empower other people to be their best. Doing it my way. It may not be the best, but looking back I can say that I did it my way. Kind of like that song from that guy. Hahaha!
Check out their Instagram and Facebook page – please follow! They would appreciate the love, and check out their stunning goodies – have you ever seen anything more gorgeous looking? They both taste and look like a dream come true! You can also shop online, please check out their website here.