How i turned my hobby into a biz - Ep 2 by Sarah Lowry I Totally.
WRITTEN BY SARAH LOWRY, OWNER AND DESIGNER, TOTALLY.
VISIT HER BLOG AT THE ACCIDENTAL START UP
WELCOME BACK, FRIENDS!
So... how's your week been? Kids being little angels? Playing well together? Not being too demanding, giving you loads of time to relax and plan for the joyous day ahead filled with fun and learning?
... I think not!
I had hoped to pen an informative and engaging Ep 2 of 'the accidental start-up'. I don't know about you, but does everything seem so much harder these days? Takes more effort, more time, more energy?
LET'S CHAT ABOUT THAT A BIT MORE
Our day jobs...
I have a very rewarding and challenging day job in HR. I work part-time with an uber-talented bunch of people for which I am amazingly grateful, and like many of us Nonnies (nonessential workers), I'm currently working from home, and have been for around 6 weeks.
I would normally be in introverted heaven, working in my own quiet sanctuary, mere metres from the coffee machine and snacks. But for now, my office, which is basically a corner, a nook if you will, in our open plan dining area, is like working at a complaints desk to which my 8 and 13-year-old's have constant access to voice their distaste about their assigned schoolwork, lack of food in the fridge or each other.
Facilitating a little collaboration session.. (may have used snacks as a bribe)
Social distancing is our only hope against COVID-19. I know this, you know this and I know we can still phone, message and webcam but it is Not. The. Same. We need to see our special people. We need road trips and tears at the arrivals gates, coffee dates that turn into lunch, and afternoon drinks that turn into crazy late nights with way, way too much prosecco. Most of us aren't strangers to living away from our loved ones, but when we're told we're not allowed to see them that just makes it heaps worse, don't you think? Especially those that are far away from us. My mum and I gave a little too much thought to an interstate child-smuggling operation in the Easter school hols. And I've wondered how long it would take for me to self-charter a boat and sail across the ditch to visit my faves.
Me and my faves ❤
Our projects, start-ups, biz's and plans...
Where to start really... while we're home-schooling, working remotely, disinfecting and sanitising ourselves and our children within an inch of our lives, we have OUR STUFF. Our businesses, our biz ideas, our pop-ups, our kiosks and callings. How are we supposed to manage all the stuff??
We have to KEEP SHOWING UP!
Where our every day is full of uncertainty, downturns and decline, we have to show up. For our people, our partners, kids, families, friends and followers. For our customers and our future customers, our business partners, employees and those up and down the supply chain. We pull all of our shit together, set the alarm to repeat every day, whack our hair up in a mum-bun and keep doing all the things.
We're used to doing all the things already, aren't we?!
We plan (not to be confused with procrastinating...) and learn. And I'm not talking about taking up tai chi, learning a new language (although Year 8 algebra would be helpful), but something, just a little thing that will help your business and plans for the future. Maybe we can even experiment! Dare I say pivot... you know, when life gives you lemons, you add vodka and ice, right?
ENTER: COMMUNITY CUBED'S BUSINESS ACCELERATOR!
We look for opportunities. Opportunities to reflect and connect, even if that means loosening 'weekend-only' drinking mandate to join an unexpected video call or sneaking out for a solo evening walk.
A year on from starting this little venture, and I want to take Totally. to the next step. What does the next step look like for my business? Well, that's a good question.
I've joined 11 other talented and driven locals in Community3's Business Accelerator program. Funded through the federal govt's Regional Employment Trials Program, we've been given an amazing opportunity to develop our existing businesses or come up with the NEXT BIG THING! COVID is having a devastating effect on many of our beloved Fraser Coast businesses and this program will give us access to the most amazing mentors like Luke Humble, Liesl Phillipi from HerHub, Scott Millar and LeeLee West to not only develop our skills but also make us more savvy business owners and learn to operate in the most difficult of times.
What does this mean for totally?
I know I'm passionate about a few things: ethical fashion and the reduction of textile waste (which is out of control), and mental health. I want to offer a mindful shopping experience and alternative to fast fashion, the trap of buying mass-produced (often chemically-laden) goods/gifts that are destined for landfill. You all know I currently use sustainably sourced linen, but I want to do more. I've got a few ideas, but I need a wee bit of guidance to help me on my way.
Join me again next week to hear more about what we've been up to!
I'd really love to hear from you!! If you have any thoughts or feedback as I head into the next phase of my business, please comment below or flick me an email.