You can read the interview below...
Author: Tori Mackle
There are so many obstacles to starting a business, and I think it is easy to see others at the middle of their journey, having success, and think that it was a smooth ride, and they mustn’t have had as many challenges?!
Sandra-Lea is so honest and I can guarantee any Home Business Mum reading this will be able to relate to a lot of the challenges she has faced and still faces everyday. I would love for you to take some of her determination, can-do attitude and willingness to learn and apply it to whatever you are working on to get you to your vision, to live the life you choose!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Sandra-Lea, I love it!!
What inspired you to start your own Business?
A few things but really, there are a handful of Australian designers who I have major girl crushes on. I looked at what they were doing and think they are doing something cool and great… and I really want to be a part of it. We really can do anything, so once my first baby came along and I wasn’t a slave to someone else 9 to 5 I set to it and never looked back. Not even for a millisecond! I wanted to do something really great. Time gets away so fast I’d hate to think I’d get to the end of my short life and think “shit I wish I gave that a go”.
Business wise would be cracking 60 wholesale accounts in my first year and a half of starting. Working REALLY hard, educating myself and making all those awkward phone calls makes me really proud of what I have achieved.
Personally, right now what comes to mind is our little girl Honor who is two in a couple of days. She is confident, happy and so incredibly bright. You can have a lovely conversation with her, she’ll tell you all about her day, about the sandpit and pictures she drew, how she pat pat pat the big doggie and with all her friends… she’ll tell you all their names. She’ll also tell you she doesn’t like cow cheese and just goat cheese. She says please and thank you and your welcome and excuse me. She really does blow my mind. I’m so proud of her.
I think it’s 99% brand and 1% product. Really. I believe even if you had the worst product but had an awesome brand selling it – you would sell it. Your brand is everything and you need to make your customers want to be a part of it.
What have been your biggest challenges? And how did you overcome them?
My product. Sometimes I come up with really crap ideas/products. Sometimes they break or look terrible or they don’t last but the ONLY thing you can do is move on fast and get on with it. And try not to cry! You are going to make so many stuff ups along the way its all part of the ride!
Social media is also a challenge from me. I don’t like it much at all as I prefer to do real life in real life. I struggle big time with expressing myself on my social media accounts as I really get a bit shy because I really do not know what to say and I get all conscious thinking what I have to post is silly. Huge daily struggle for me that is very real.
Did you have to learn any new skill sets to get to where you are?
Oh absolutely. I hate social media as I mentioned before and I didn’t even know what Instagram or Twitter was when I started. I had to educate myself big time on these platforms as well Facebook for business. I have done a Facebook marketing course and some short business courses. I had to learn my way around bookkeeping, invoicing and banking. I found having professional photographs taken for product shots very expensive so I paid for a photographer for one day to teach me all about my camera, lighting, product shots and editing. Also… website creation… and everyday I learn more about my actual product and the materials I use. The list goes on and on – I seriously don’t think I’ve stopped learning since the day I started.
What are your best tips for fitting your business around family life?
This was a big issue for me in the beginning but I eventually got my priorities sorted. I, for starters deleted my emails from coming to my phone so emails can only be checked and seen when I am sitting at my desk. I also turn my phone on plane mode for most of the day or on silent and out of sight. I can not stand how Instagram notifies you every single time someone likes your photos. 200 likes per photo and that’s a WHOLE LOT of distraction! Family time is family time and work time is work time and that’s it. Work will and does wait, good husbands and gorgeous children don’t come by often.
What is your favourite quote?
I have two.
“If it’s meant to be it’s up to me”
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney