So as you all know I love to support local! 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!
It is so important to support each other over this time and I am so thankful to have discovered so many divine brands and products out there to share with my readers. So I wanted to share a wonderful little business with you, called Mossie! All of their products are beautifully made by hand with love, here in Joburg. Courier can be arranged nationwide. I mean have you ever seen such stunning items made with felt? I was totally blown away!
So the lovely and very creative Nicolette, the creative lady behind Mossie had this to say about her business!
You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?
I never started Mossie to make money. I still have a full time day job, so Mossie is my after-hours creative outlet. It feels truly surreal to have strangers react so positively to something that started as a complete labor of love. I feel so grateful that my little Mossie is growing bit by bit and taking on an identity of it’s own. I think my proudest moments are when someone tells me they immediately recognised one of my items because it means that the time and effort I put into each piece is becoming a signature for my work.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
– to manage my time well and with that, to create a balanced lifestyle – with a full-time day job it can become crazy at times. I get up early and work late almost every day of the week. It used to be easier to manage when Mossie was still quite small, but I’ve had to learn to extend lead times, limit orders, schedule the processes involved in making my products and keep a very detailed order book. It’s important to take a little time for yourself and your loved ones, so I am trying my best to limit work over the weekends (even though it’s still a bit of a struggle :-D)
– to be able to say NO! I went through a phase where I accepted any and every order that came my way, no matter the type of product or design. As a small business I felt the need to accommodate everyone as I had to be thankful for the business. I struggled to finish orders as I didn’t feel inspired and I was overwhelmed. To this day I don’t make popular characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, etc. as I don’t get to put my own creativity into them and if I don’t have the time for an order I won’t accept it.
– to not be complacent! The small business scene is cut throat! There are people popping up all over the place doing the same thing as you are. So you constantly have to up your game, be it creating even higher quality work, more elaborate designs, or a wider range of products. I am extremely proud of my work, and I hope that it will show in the time and effort put into each piece.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
I hope that in 5 years’ time Mossie can come into its own as a brand characterised by its unique products of unrivalled quality. I’m not looking for it to become a huge company, I will always strive to keep the handmade aspect, as that is what I am so inspired by! I will be content if it can grow to a point where it can be my full-time passion.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Start small and find something you are passionate about! If you do something purely for the money, you’ll soon get bored. If you do something you truly love, you’ll make the time and you’ll put in the effort, Keep learning – read a book, take a class, watch a Youtube video. And try as many different things as you can. You’ll find your craft! Start by working on something after hours or on weekends. We have so many resources at our disposal that you can easily run your side hustle without compromising your day job.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
– that it is 100% me. I do everything myself – so there is no boss, no employees, no partners. I am responsible for the success or failure so I know whatever I put in I will get out. It’s so rewarding seeing your little business grow because of the sacrifices you make.
– it is a challenge that constantly keeps you on your toes and it’s quite the rush to be forced out of your comfort zone and succeed. I’ve had to learn patience, people skills, accounting skills, crafting skills. I am an introvert, but I’ve had to adapt and I’ve grown so much as a person. Being completely in control of my little business has given me the confidence to become more outspoken and embrace my weirdness 😀
How has lock down affected you and your team?
Because it is just me behind the scenes of Mossie the effects of the lockdown luckily haven’t been too hard. I have a habit of buying wayyyy too much fabric, but it came in handy for three quarters of the lockdown 😀 I did however run out of fabric eventually and I couldn’t courier items for close to 7 or 8 weeks, but I’m happy to have such understanding and patient clients. I am also so incredibly grateful to have a bunch of orders that came in throughout lockdown. I am so excited to get a shipment of fabric next week so hopefully I’ll be back on track and things (relatively) back to normal in the near future.
Please follow Mossie on Instagram and Facebook to see all their gorgeous goodies. The Llamas are my favourite! They are so stunning. And felt mobiles for above a baby cot or bed – so gorgeous! Please support local and give Mossie some love!