Tell us about the first steps you took in starting your business?
I started TopKnot Girl mid 2014, after I felt there was a need for good quality headwear, that wasn't necessarily for children. I had been a doll maker for three years, so had some experience running a small business from home. It took me less than a week to start, with a basic online shop, a logo (thanks to my sister!) and some business cards I had rush ordered.
What is a personal habit that you believe contributes to your success?
One of my habits, or traits, is to “get things done”. As mentioned above, I had TopKnots for sale within a week of really pondering the idea. I don't like to wait around or think about things for long periods of time. If I have an idea, I generally try it – I mean – what have I got to lose?
I think being a “doer” as such, allows me to successfully continue the runnings of a small business, getting the tasks done, whilst also executing new ideas, and releasing new styles of product, without too much thought or hesitation. Just go with it – and do it – yea?
Give us 3 tips on how to use Instagram to boost business
Social media is an amazing avenue for your business. I have tried most things that are out there to try, in terms of boosting following and sales, some ideas work, some have had minimal impact. Everything is worth trying.
My top three tips would have to be;
- Build relationships with other business owners. Reality is, that your “real life” friends won't know what you do in your spare time. They won't understand what it takes, what you're doing behind a sewing machine at midnight, or why you do it. A fellow “handmaiden” will. It's great to have someone to chat to, run ideas by and ask them their thoughts when you need someone like minded.
- Look after your followers. If someone comments “is this available” reply to them, as best you can. Make a good effort to be around your social media, and interact with your customers.
- Make your pictures nice to look at. I looked back a few months ago at some of my first posts. My photos were dark, hard to see and just made me cringe. I mean, we have to start somewhere, and I didn't know any better then, right? So I deleted the most tragic. I didn't want to eliminate all of the posts from the early days, because I think it's nice to look back on them and see the visual journey. One does need to think though, do my followers really like neon pink collages with a border, three different fonts and four shades of peach text? If you're unsure, ask your friend from tip 1!
How do you balance #mumlife and business life?
I often get asked about the “balance” of work/mum life. I find this an interesting topic. I don't really think I believe in a “balance”. I think we all want this “balance” yet can never achieve it. Its far from the reality in my home. When my kids need me – I can't answer your email. When I am working, I am not really 100% focused on my kids. You can never have a perfect balance of both. I do know we need balance, but, to me, I prefer to think of it as a juggle. Not the juggle you see at a circus, because that depicts that its not taken seriously, but more of the juggle of trying to balance those imaginary scales. When one is up (mum life) the other is down (work life) and so forth. They can work well hand in hand, but the pressure needs to be taken off – so you don't have to feel like you are always failing. Yes we want
balance in our lives, but babe, it's not going to be perfect! I make sure my kids needs are met first. I have a boy, 4.5 and a girl 1.5. I make sure if I am working with them at my feet, that they have snacks, toys, etc to amuse them. I get what I can get done, then when I feel we all need a break – I take it. We will do a puzzle or make pizzas or go for a walk. I really try to be there for everything, after all, that is why I chose be a working mum, isn't it?
What one piece of actionable advice would you give someone just starting out?
If you're new, or have an idea – my advice to you is – Just Do It! I know it's cliche and all the rest, but its so true. Don't wait around for someone else to come up with your idea, time is best not wasted, live your life and taste your dreams BOLDLY!
A Mum with Hustle you admire and why
There are many, many mums with hustle that admire me, for all sorts of reasons, and its difficult to choose one. I really love Susan Petersen. She is the mastermind and hustler behind the baby moccasin brand “Freshly Picked” – her story is inspiring. From the humble bag of leather scraps she got from a garage sale, she made some moccs for her son. A friend wanted some, and so forth. From a one woman run etsy shop – she's now the owner of a global brand, and has changed the way many people think about small businesses. Check her out on you tube for some great inspiration!
A PROMO for all you hustlers!
For 48 hours ONLY, enter the code ‘HUSTLE' at the checkout of my online store http://www.topknotgirl.com.au and get 15% store wide! xx Holly
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As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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