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I loved to paint my nails every weekend after a long stressful week at work, with my background in design and a knack for nail art. I wanted to create a product that would save me from my misery of waiting for my nails to dry along with the hours of nail art work that would chip in a matter of days. Each and every single one of our nailart designs are created and designed by me along with illustrators around the world for limited edition collaborations. In 2015, after quitting a pretty sweet job in design and marketing. I realized I was bored, therefore I made a leap of faith to start PERSONAIL in my parent's lounge room. In 2016, our product was included in every Girlfriend Magazine nationwide and voted for nail product of the year by Girlfriend Magazine!
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Having a retailer cancel their order after the products have been made, with thousands of dollars of stock not moving, I decided to reach other businesses who wanted the stock at cost price on lieu of promotion and it ended up being the best decision we've ever made.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
No, all my friends were all very supportive although it was an air of uncertainty.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
A lot of hard work, luck and being able to keep failing but picking yourself up and just keep on going.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Trading the 9-5 work life and becoming your own boss sounds like the dream, But little did I know that it would become a 24/7 job, you breathe and live everything work, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Believe in your service or product, your customers can feel when you are genuine. If you are doubtful and not 100% sure of it, don't serve it to the masses.
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hbeonline Magazine by Http://ameyawdebrah.com - 3d ago
I started blogging in 2008. I studied B.A Publishing Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology primarily with the vision of venturing into a publishing business with my father. Unfortunately, months after completing University; my father passed away and everything changed. I went ahead and did my national service program with Ovational International Magazine because while in University, I won the Best Publishing Student Award, which was sponsored by the company. I carved my teeth in covering celebrity and lifestyle news while working with the magazine until I finally left. Before leaving I started emailing online publications about writing for them and a few agreed at no fee. Eventually I joined the voices of Africa initiative, where I was given a simple Nokia phone to use in creating video content for news on www.africanews.com. I had an invitation to go to the Highway Africa Summit in South Africa to share my experience of mobile phone news reporting and through that summit I learned about others experiences in the area of blogging. When I returned to Ghana I created my first blog! With lots of hard work and persistence I have managed to create a brand online that has grown from strength to strength.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
When I started writing I was purely led and encouraged by the reach I was getting, the response and the little money that came with it. I was more into the creation process. But some friends of mine visited Nigeria for the first time and met Nigerians doing similar things to me, and learned how they managed to run theirs as businesses. So that became a turning point for me, as I now started looking at blogging/publishing as a business venture. I made changes in how I operated, registered my business, created a variety of options with the services I could provide and put together a rate card for prospective clients.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The challenge was finance, generating revenue and things along that line. Sometimes, there were challenges with resources like quality and affordable internet and other tools. I overcame this by believing in my brand, creating value with it and creating dynamic services that allowed me to make money from small entities to corporate bodies. The digital space in Ghana is so not developed and so we are not getting a lot of advertisements in that space but things are improving with time.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am terrible with reading books but the last one I read was "Olori Supergal: From Social Misfit to Social Media Hero'; it was very practical.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I never had any major contention. There were some worries from my mother regarding how people would take it since primarily I write and publish news on people. My family have been very supportive and they even help with administrative stuff sometimes. Now they are all very proud of what I have been able to build over the years.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Determination
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Treating everything as a business! Keeping records and managing finance better.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Do what you are passionate about and be passionate about what you do.
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hbeonline Magazine by Https://www.instagram.com/iamtimaku.. - 1w ago
My name is Cynthia Tima Yeboah. I am a Ghanaian actress, mompreneuer, media practitioner, radio presenter at Hitz Fm and a TV presenter @ Adom TV. I found mainstream success following my performance in the Twi - language movie Asem Asa. Asem Asa was cited as the movie that most Ghanaians bought in 2007, attributed to my lead role performance in the film. My journey has been a tough one, but worth all the pain. I was married for 5 years and got divorced with two adorable kids, they are my world. During my most trying times, and no matter how difficult this was. I felt like this was an opportunity inviting me to reinvent myself. I almost gave up along the way. Trust me it wasn't a smooth ride but God made it possible. Therefore, today I stand tall inspiring my fellow friends and dreamers who are at the verge of giving up not to do so. When I first decided to start my own foundation. I only had one backer who has been an integral part in my life and journey including my Dad - by name Mr. Yaw Sarfo (an old high school colleague). We somehow crossed path at Multimedia (Ghana), who later reached out to me. During our private conversation he had that strong conviction – encouraging me to come up with my own foundation to inspired others and make a difference in my community.
Fast forward, I listened to him and started a foundation that is rooted out of my personal health experience: diagnosed with G6PD defect. I almost lost my life - (wrong meds was administrated to me) when I was going into labor, due to few malpractices in our health care system. Doctors, midwives and nurses etc - administrating meds in third world countries like Ghana is a huge problem or a common thing. After my successful delivery, I engaged my doctor and midwives to enlighten me on the causes of G6PD. Asking questions like what and how. I also took precaution to read more about G6PD and realized I was also part of my own misfortune because if I had read more about it, all that could have been avoided. When I came to the limelight I decided to raise awareness by using my celebrity status and reaching out to my fellow showbiz friends. One of the most talked about initiative the foundation embarked was a pop - up G6PD community awareness, which took place at the Ga South Municipal Hospital, where I gave a talk on the defect with the help of another Doctor who also enlighten expectant and new born mothers on the defect and it effects. That same day, I had the opportunity to pay off a 13 years old hospital bills who was raped by her father and had to do surgery. At the community awareness event, we donated free or had an open door G6PD screening to 300 orphans from Royal Seed Home who were conveyed from their home to Tinathes playing ground around Kasoa during the Christmas holidays. Through this awareness event one individual was diagnosed who was living with this defect but had no clue or education regarding this defect. We also collaborated with few donors or sponsors creating job opportunities in my community. An example is by the help of few sponsors we were able to acquire 24 pair of shoes for 2 young ladies who were willing to be entrepreneurs selling and starting their own merchandising business. Momentarily, we are proud and honoured to say they are now dominating the marketplace as merchants.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Honestly, I hardly read books. However, I love podcast and I often listen to Joel Osteen and TD Jakes. Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight? My mum was my devil’s advocate (we all often need that) – probing me: “are you sure you can make it with this line of business”. I was like mama, just watch your little girl do her thing and enjoy that proud moment when it comes. What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success? I felt, as a single mum I couldn't depend on one income so I had to pushed myself out of my comfort zone.What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? I wish I knew how to negotiate better when I started lol especially when I took on I took on the trade of selling and buying!!What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally? Determination, hard work and humility are my 3 most powerful tools.
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I founded CURLS back in 2002. I was a newly natural mother that was searching for a natural option for my curly hair. Back then, the options for textured hair was extremely limited - it was either chemical relaxers and perms or jherri curl and hair grease products…I didn’t want any of that. I worked closely with leading Cosmetic Chemists to develop my award-winning brand that helps to empower women to embrace their natural hair textures.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Getting funding to launch my business, and a lack of access to the information and resources needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Now it is my life’s purpose to give back and help those that are also trying to achieve entrepreneurial success.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am currently reading “Finding My Virginity” by Richard Branson. I recommend “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family has always been super supportive of all of my endeavors. They have a sense of pride that I am the first to graduate from college, the first entrepreneur, and the first multi-millionaire in the family.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Grit…my sheer will to succeed, by any means necessary, is 100% the reason why I have.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Nothing…everything that I learned along the way helped to prepare and shape me. I do not have any regrets.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Create a path to success...this must include a robust marketing plan and business plan. I always say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t go it alone. Get a mentor in your industry ASAP - you’ll be surprised how much easier decision making is when you have a soundboard to bounce ideas off and an experienced guide.
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hbeonline Magazine by Https://manoticknaturalmarket.ca - 2w ago
My name is Darpan, I am originally from India. I came to Canada as a foreign student at the age of 15, I worked at a Natural Emporium - my grandfather's store. I began working with him while pursing my high school diploma and fell in love with herbs and spices all 102 of them on his back wall, in his store. No one was looking at the root issues, which is how I discovered my path and calling during my co-op term in Pharmacology. I became a full time entrepreneur at the age of 19 managing and owning few businesses here and there. An example was a mobile supplement shop which transformed into a brick and mortar natural health marketplace in Manotick, Ottawa as we speak today. My key niche in the beginning is my connection with the elderly in the community re: meeting their needs by delivering the right products to their doorstep when they need it. Currently, I have collaborative agreement with local business who deliver that instead of me when I first started. But still maintaining the quality and standard of service. My vision has always been to support local vendors by showcasing and selling their products and also implementing an in house counselling program and blood analysis. That way my team and I can find the root cause of their problem. I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Live blood analyst, herbalist and a product knowledge expert and a formulator. I had few business catastrophe along the way – the burning of my marketplace but I overcame this obstacle.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
One of my biggest challenges was competing with big franchises and time management. As a mom and a business owner my mental health is key. Balancing both was hard to deal with.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Luckily, for me everyone around me have been very supportive. Especially, my parents told me to go and chase that dream. However, once a while I do cross paths with a devil advocate. I believe, you do need that one person who would challenge your decision making and your vision. As you can tell, I don't let anyone bring me down even when my business burnt down.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Word of mouth - has been my key breakthrough. I hardly advertise because of quality of service we render. That has been rewarding for me. So far the old method works for me - "personal touch".
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Don't spread yourself thin! Focus on one thing if you can and do your possible best!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally? My advise is, don't let your passion go to waste. Delegate and partner up with a team out there! Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes. Learn from them and grow - example is my store burning down.
Get help, ask for help and receive the help! I have a big ego ( working on that daily) - Pls put that aside! Find your Tribe! Don’t let anyone dictate your life.
Photo Credit: Tiffany Irene
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hbeonline Magazine by Https://madamelstyle.com - 2w ago
When I turned about 26 years old, I started to have a mid life crisis. I know you're probably thinking wow, that's a bit young, but I was completely lost when it came to pursuing a career that gave me any kind of fulfillment. I have had a lot of different opportunities in various fields but none of them felt right. They all had aspects I liked but I always knew I was meant to do something more, the problem was I didn't know what, I just knew the woman I wanted to be. I took a few years to explore different options, finding out what my passions were. I craved freedom, creativity, and artistic ventures. Going back to my core, I have always been creative, artistic, and a bit of a rebel....I like to do things my own way. In the fall of 2017 my little sister, Autumn, started her first semester of college and earlier that year we spent a really lovely day together talking about our futures and the careers we both planned to pursue. Little did I know that just a few months later I wouldn't have the opportunity to see my sister again. I found myself completely heartbroken and devastated by the loss of my sister and through that sadness I found the strength and inspiration I needed to finally pursue my dreams. My dream to become a designer was one of the last things I ever got to talk about with my sister and I know she was/is right here cheering me on. In the fall of 2018 I went for it, I launched my design business, a few Autumn pieces (in honor of my sister), and the rest is history. I am still learning, growing, doing my best. I think you should always explore as many different careers as you need too, never settle for less than whatever sets your soul on fire. You are never too young, too old, or too inexperienced to do anything. You can do it! Don't wait, life is short and there are people who need your unique gifts and talents out there. Creativity and inspiration can come in any form and from anywhere (even a small town in Oklahoma). Go for your dreams, always.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
I think the spark to begin designing was always there, I just needed feel it. Everything comes down to "feeling it" for me. How does something feel to me... what is my intuition telling me. I have this saying, "You just gotta feel it" it has to feel right inside or it's not happening. I have always wanted the freedom to create, but the creations needed to have substance, I wanted them to have a positive impact on the people who would own them. With designing, I can honestly say my designs empower other women. They help women feel confident, strong, beautiful, and that is an amazing feeling.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest hurdle for me is trying to do it all. When you are a one woman show it can be overwhelming. There is always so much to do. I have thought about outsourcing tasks and it's an option I may explore later but I honestly feel like it's better to focus on areas you need to focus on. You gotta feel it out, see where the pressing issues are and start there. Stop listening to all the other voices and hear your own. No-one knows your business better than you and no-one will know where and what needs to happen like you. I find blocking off specific days for specific tasks works really well for me. Wednesday's are my pattern and cutting day, Thursday's are my sewing day, etc. Explore and try new methods until you find what works for you.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I read a lot of fashion and design books and those won't apply to everyone but my current indulgence is The Fashion Encyclopedia-A visual resource for terms, techniques, and styles. It's a great read for those who are interested in the history of fashion and how everything has came to be from silhouettes to techniques. As for entrepreneurial recommendations I highly recommend The Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg and Contagious-Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. These two books contain invaluable information for entrepreneurs in all stages of business and can really help you take your business and your self to the next level.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
For the most part, my family and friends have been really supportive. My advice for dealing with people who are not so supportive would be to let them have their feelings, accept that that is how they feel and those feelings aren't a reflection of who you are, it's a reflection of who they are and their life experiences and it's ok if they don't support you. You support you, you believe in you, and there are others who believe in you too!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
My will to never give up, to always move forward, and always, always, always believe in myself. Bad days will come, but if you stay dedicated and focused on your mission, you will find success.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The world of fashion can be expensive and wasteful. All of my pieces are made in the US, which is really important to me and in order to launch my Autumn line I hired a consultant to help me but everything ending up being over budget and too much of everything was ordered, which tied up cash and wasted fabric. It is what it is, unforeseen things happen and you can only plan as best as you can. Looking back I think I would do my due diligence in finding the right team and overshoot my budget. But you live and learn and that's how you grow. I think starting small and taking it step by step will lead to greater success.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Go for it! Follow your passion, live life to the fullest. You have something special that someone else needs. Be fearless in your pursuit to create a life you love.
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My passion for food began at a young age baking along side my aunt in her country kitchen. But my journey really began when I was out of high school for 2 years, feeling lost and indecisive about my future. I didn’t want to go to college but I knew I had a passion for cooking and enjoyed feeding people. I worked at Vinni’s Pizza since I was 15. After 24 years in business my wonderful boss was ready to retire. I couldn’t fathom leaving the job I loved or working for someone else. After working there for many years I had plenty of ideas on how I could improve the business. I decided in November 2015 I was going to take this opportunity and 3 months later I was officially the new owner. My first day of ownership was February 1st 2016, I was 20 years old. I celebrate every year by handing out free cupcakes to my customers as a gratitude of my appreciation. Especially because a local independent business serving Stratford for over 27 years is something to celebrate! Since then my entire life changed drastically and I’ve never looked back. Taking on this business venture and being my own boss has a given me the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Once I decided I was going to acquire ownership of the business, my biggest hurdle was initial capital. At the time of inquiring for my business loan, every bank I went to denied me since I didn’t make enough money on my minimum wage job to pay back the loan. After explaining to my Aunt and Grandpa my business venture they eventually agreed to be my co-signers. Approximately a week later I got a phone call that I had finally been approved. Tears of happiness ran down my cheeks, a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Everything was coming together and suddenly my pursuit wasn’t so distant. I’m very thankful for my family in helping me get approved for my loan.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Currently I’m reading Farm To Table by Andrew Coppolino. It’s filled with inspiring stories and delicious recipes from local Stratford chefs. It’s very encouraging reading about people I recognize around my community. I also read the Food Service & Hospitality and Canadian Pizza magazine every month to keep up with the latest trends in the food industry. But for any new entrepreneur I recommend reading Avoid Small Business Hell by Jack Borden. It guides you through challenges you may encounter and helps you properly start and operate a small business. It actually includes a helpful download kit with cash flow statements, balance sheets, job cost estimates and statement of earnings.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I didn’t have contention from family and friends concerning buying the business because I didn’t tell many people. I kept it very quiet for months before I had officially taken over. The only people that knew were my immediate family and one of my friends. I didn’t want people to know until everything was officially signed. But I wasn’t concerned about their opinions, I knew I would prove anyone wrong if they doubted me. I knew the business was what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anymore tell me differently. When I want something I go for it. I can be very stubborn at times, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The most influential factor in my business success I believe is having the ability to over come barriers and having courage to keep evolving and growing as an entrepreneur. Determination and passion are huge factors as well. I was 20 when I bought the business and I’m sure a lot of people underestimated me because of my age. But I’ve always been determined to prove people wrong while doing what I’m passionate about. You have to have passion for what you do, without it you will never be successful. Without being passionate you will never have the fuel to succeed within your business.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I would’ve known when I first got started that being too patient is not always a good thing. People will start to take advantage of you when you become too patient. Don’t waste your time waiting for people to change. You can train someone to be a good employee but if they weren’t raised to be a good person then all the training in the world won’t help them. Also, the beginning is always the hardest but trust the process, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice to an upcoming entrepreneur is never underestimate yourself. Believe in yourself first and everyone else will follow. Always be prepared for sacrifice, the hardest part is the beginning. If you dive in expecting to make lots of money right away you’re going to get a rude awakening. Be ready to sacrifice not having a pay check in the beginning, as when you risk everything sometimes you are the last one to get paid. There will always be hiccups along the way. Sometimes things will happen that we won’t understand at the time, but everything happens for a reason. Often times we have problems that arise and we look at them in a negative way, but most times it’s a blessing in disguise leading us to better things. Also, there is never a perfect time for anything. If you keep waiting for the perfect time to take the leap, or follow your dreams you’ll be waiting forever and all of a sudden it will be too late. You will always stay in the same place if you don’t take chances leading you to new opportunities.
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hbeonline Magazine by Https://www.instagram.com/aewura_ar.. - 3w ago
https://www.instagram.com/aewura_art/
I am Mrs Ewuadjoa Torto Allotey, a wife, a mother, a pencil portrait artist and a proud Ghanaian.
I have always loved drawing and knew I would be an artist when I first took a pencil to draw. It hasn’t always been easy since art isn’t one of the well sort after or lucrative jobs here in Ghana. After studying Graphic design at Accra school of Advertising and Design I became a graphic designer for sometime but I realized that wasn’t the field of art I wanted to keep pursuing so I put a stop to it and joined the Accra teachers training college and became a professional teacher. I taught for a year whiles doing the art I’ve always wanted to do (pencil portraits) on the side but the entrepreneur in me just wanted to burst out, so I stopped my teaching job in the year 2015 to start my art business full time.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
Being my own boss is what ignited the spark to starting my art business, I just didn’t like the idea of working for someone or a company and my passion for art just pushed me to start my art business her in Ghana but besides that honouring people and making them happy with my talent also motivated me into starting my art business.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Leaving a well paid job with consistent income for art which isn’t well known here in Ghana was my initial hurdle but I took to social media to publicize and advertise my art business which gave me and impressive audience and boosted the business to its current state and also acquiring good art tools her in Ghana is that easy so I sorted to importing my art tools from overseas in order to aid in my production of high quality art pieces.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
The only books I read are my bible and devotional “I declare”by Joel Osteen. I am yet to read certain entrepreneurial guides which I would share soon.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I have always had the support from family and friends but growing up the support was geared to having art secondary to another more lucrative job, which was a little dimming to my light but being a strong willed person I pushed the vision I had and I would say I am on the right path
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Integrity is and always would be my single most Influential path to my successful business..being a woman of my words, I make sure I deliver exactly what I promised clients and that has sustained the business till date.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
What I wish I had known was my success solely was dependent on God and myself. Because coming up I met quite a number of people who made it seem my success was only possible using their shoulders as ladders to the top,which only ended up in disappointments and heartbreaks.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice to every upcoming entrepreneur is believe in God and your dreams. And stay focused at all times no matter where the winds of entrepreneurial ups and downs blow you to never take your eyes off your goal
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Location: 55 George Street West, Stratford, Ontario, Canada
We are a family run (my husband and I) small operation where we make over 170 chocolates and candies on site and sell in a store out of the same building we own. We have been in business for 16 years now! My husband, Derek Barr, when we first met, was a candy maker and chocolatier. His bosses wanted to retire, and new folks bought the business he was working at. He loved doing what he was trained to do, and wanted to do it for himself, and for us, for our future. My background was in restaurants, hotels, and general customer service. I thought it was a great idea, and he put a business plan together. Initial hurdles were finding the right location to open the chocolate shop and initial funding. The biggest thing was having enough space for machines to allow us to make everything from scratch, and to cook and dip all the candies and chocolates on site. People like that our chocolates and candies are all made on site. Help for funds came in the form of family and a small bank loan.
What books are you currently reading? What books do you recommend other entrepreneurs read?
Books I like to read are generally autobiographies. I am currently reading Tom Petty's and the Beastie Boys autobiographies. I love art books and fashion entrepreneurs showcase books (i.e., Alexander McQueen). I love knowing where someone I enjoy, admire, and are inspired by comes from and how they made it to a place of (hopefully) fulfillment.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it?What would you do differently in hindsight?
No one in either of our families expressed concerns. I think they probably thought we were dreamers, or crazy, but it did work out for us, 16 years in business later. They knew we were/are hard workers. I would do a few things differently though. I would start smaller regarding staffing initially. We hired too many people in the beginning and could have done more ourselves which would have allowed us to save money and some initial headaches.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The most influential factor in our business's success is actually caring about what we are making and selling, and ensuring when people come into our store they have a pleasant experience. So often in theses times customer service is overlooked, and when I go out into the world to shop it is a gamble if the person ringing me through with my purchases is even present or in a good mood. We are constantly complimented on how good our staff is and how informative and how pleasant they are.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work, long hours, and sacrifice. Looking back you can't change anything that happened, or didn't happen; you can just work hard, be humble, and sell a great product that you believe in. Don't let anybody tell you how to run your business or take control of your image or narrative.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Advice I give to anyone who is thinking of opening or running their own business or that I give to one of our student workers going away to college is to work hard, and do what you love. It's simple, don't make it harder than it is.
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I was a captain in the Danish army, which brought me on NATO missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. After leaving the army, I studied law and worked in the UN mission in Kosovo - arranging special needs voting, and monitoring election fraud. I had seen the stark inequalities of the world during those missions and felt committed to do my part to change what I could. When I started designing jewellery it was always with a focus on storytelling and conveying important messages. This led me to design the Global Goals collection - which is basically 17 bids for a better world.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
I love the concept of communicating through other means than words. I think a piece of jewellery can speak a thousand words, and love the idea of creating a symbolic piece that means something very personal to the person who wears it. For me its not about actual monetary value, but the emotional currency we use when we give a gift. This led to getting involved with the UN Global Goals, and tap into a community who wishes to contribute on a larger scale and be part of something bigger. In a way, jewellery is my platform to have a voice.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Apart from cashflow (which is every new business’s Achilles heal), there hasn’t really been any huge hurdles - or perhaps I’m just more inclined to view them as inevitable learning curves. I learn new things and test new ideas everyday, and I love it. I really subscribe to the idea that “Necessity is the mother of invention”, so I think hurdles are necessary to spark productivity and creativity.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I really am more of a podcast person, as I can listen to them on the go. My favourites are “Masters of Scale” with Reid Hoffman, “How I built this” with Guy Raz and “Desert Island discs” on BBC. If I read, its always in the form of an audio book. Lately, I’ve listened to Reid Hoffmans “Blitzscaling” and Rajeev Balasubramanyam’s “Professor Chandra follows his bliss”, the first being almost a road map for entrepreneurs and the second a funny and endearing portrait of a man who changes his ways late in life. I also always have all seven Harry Potter books downloaded, and listen to them if I feel worried or down. They are my on the go ‘Highway to Bliss”. (-:
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Whenever you start something new, you’ll meet all sorts of reactions, ranging from support to questioning, to judgment. I have noticed that the more negative reactions seem to come from people who haven’t ‘taken the jump’ themselves, and I’ve reasoned that their comments are perhaps more related to their own fear of taking a risk. That said, I feel its important to hear all sorts of opinions - be they negative or positive. I’d worry more people were lukewarm or disinterested. I think the important thing is to focus on the passion that led you to be entrepreneurial in the first place, as its ultimately this which will continue to spur you on.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Most certainly the experts and advisors I have come to surround myself with. The list is incredibly long, but to name a few, this counts Jivan, the extremely talented to jeweller who brings my designs to life, - Caroline, our fabulous graphic designer, - Ariane, who’s a wizard with creating and printing the cads, - Amalia who has introduced me to the press world in NYC and my husband Michael who understands business better than any one else I know. Apart from my husband, I knew none of these talented people before I started my business, and it's an enormous joy to work with them and learn from them. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to create anything. Its really been a team effort.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I’ve learned that you more or less get ten ’no’s' for every ‘yes'. In the beginning I found it very daunting and immediately started questioning myself, the idea, and so on. Now I just know that these are the odds. I jokingly compare it to dating: You pitch with your whole heart, and they still may not call you back. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be dating, it just means you haven’t found your best match yet.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Find a problem you feel you need to solve, or an issue or concept you want to improve. And be passionate about it! If you truly believe in your idea, it feels much more like an exciting journey than a quest for success.
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