Thanks so much for inviting me to be on your show.
My mission is to bring the business world into the retail world for small business owners. So many people work in their business, and they just don't know how to find the time to learn new things, to grow and to be inspired.
Once upon a time I worked in the sustainability sector of the government. I was an arborist and I was managing teams of contractors and dealing with angry clients on a daily basis. I mean the environment is a really touchy subject, right?
Fast forward to when I was pregnant with my daughter, and researching sustainable baby products. I noticed that it was really difficult to find them in bricks and mortar stores. So I decided to create one (do you see a pattern emerging here).
If you can’t find it, create it right?
Juggling a business and a child was hard. And I only had one, so I have complete empathy for those women doing this with several children!
It's a constant battle to create that so called balance, that as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t exist. Whenever you’re doing work, you feel guilty for not being with your family. If you're with your family, you’re constantly thinking about what needs to be done at work.
So, I had some money saved, I rented a shop, fitted it out in just 3 weeks with the help of my amazing husband. And let me point out here, that we were doing this on my daughter's first birthday. Her party consisted of having my family and friends come to the park across the road from my new shop, partying for an hour, then leaving my little one to revel in the glory of constant attention, whilst Ed and I went back and continued working.
Before I even opened.
So, not only was I juggling new parenthood, and being a business owner, I was struggling with how retail as we’ve ever known it was changing. Oh, and did I mention it was in the middle of the GFC?
I would spend my days and nights, reading, searching for information.
I read so many business books, but most didn’t seem to resonate with me. They were based on print advertising, newspapers and radio ads. My target market was new mums, They didn’t have tim to read the freaking newspaper. Heck, they probably didn’t even have time to have a shower each day.
I felt confused, overwhelmed, and often, I felt like a failure.
I had this amazing vision for what I wanted to create, but no idea how to get there. I got a business coach, but we didn’t gel.
I distinctly remember one Saturday morning, walking into my store, thinking that if I continued to do the same thing every day, how could I possibly expect anything in my business to change.
I was literally like someone hit me. I felt like crying for about half an hour. Then, I had a cup of tea and a few biscuits, and then I decided to do something about it.
I invested heavily in learning and self development. I made it my mission to figure out the why. Why I was doing this, what I wanted to get out of it all, what I wanted my business to look like and what I wanted myself to look like.
So I built my business into an award winning chain of on and offline stores.
In 2015, I decided that it was time to help other retailers. I sold my stores and create The Boutique Academy, the first ever business course designed specifically for retailers.
My vision is to help 100 million retailers become more confident and business savvy.
In addition to my courses, I do this through my weekly podcast and weekly tv show, which shows retailers how to implement simple, actionable business strategies into their retail biz.