Here’s the thing. Starting a business is like… having a baby. You have to give it attention. A lot of it. You have to nurture it. Be prepared to have it become part of your life 24/7.
Jenn and I may have 7 babies among us (including our actual children...), but through it all? We’ve come a long way since we first started.
From throwing Palmaira’s parties; to setting up a Palmaira’s stall at our local markets (ahem, while heavily pregnant); to an impromptu redecoration of our apartment into a warehouse; to ACTUALLY having a warehouse - we’ve learnt a lot.
And we’re still learning.
But if we were to put forward our three biggest lessons so far, it would have to be this:
Let the difficult times fuel you
Life is not all smooth sailing … and there has definitely been a few times (a lot of times) when we have needed a buoy to rescue us.
BUT, that’s what makes it such a journey.
There was actually a moment four years ago where we thought -
“Yeah psfftt. Ok. Sandals for a living. Get a life Jenn and Gems. Abort mission.
Get a real job. Terrible idea.”
We were gearing to return to the #9to5life because we were only selling 5 - 10 Palmaira’s a week.
We were barely staying afloat (sailing pun not intended, but we are kind of on a roll here, so a round of applause please).
Fast forward to today - where we’ve sold 57,000 sandals (and counting).
We didn’t get there without literally going through a rollercoaster of emotions and tried and tested selling tactics!!
At one point, we were literally throwing Palmaira versions of Tupperware parties - yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like - but better, because shoes) we were still working our corporate jobs and b) we were both pregnant.
Sooo what did we learn?
There will be doubts. It will be hard. You will cry. But it will be WORTH it.
Caption: “Cheers Carli Lloyd. You know what’s up.” #BossWomen
2. You really don’t need to have it all figured out
A few years ago, when we first started, we had zero…. I repeat… zero business processes set up. Everything was done manually. Because what do you expect? We were a new business starting from the ground up on a bootstrapped budget.
We would find ourselves breastfeeding on one hand, while hand-writing thank you cards, to pushing deliveries to the Post Office in prams.
Of course, it is from all of this experience that we then learnt what systems we actually needed. What Jen enjoyed, what I enjoyed, what we were both great at doing, and what we may need to get some help on.
So breathe. There will always, always, always be time to refine and there will always room for improvement.
3. You gotta truly love what you do
This is probably one of the big things we learnt during our Palmaira’s journey.
If we didn’t LOVE Palmaira’s, hold the love, the passion, and held belief that we did in the product themselves, the brand and the ideas, we probably wouldn’t have made it (alive) to where we are today. Through all the 3am starts, the nerves, the pregnancy juggle, the doubts, the challenges.
But we pushed through. The two of us. And we have come out stronger, happier, equipped with more zest to dominate than ever before. With the help of each other, our family, our other halves, our amazing team and you - our #AussiePalmairaGirls.
The thing is, having your own business isn’t meant to be easy. Things will go well, but things will also very likely hit the fan. But if you have the grit, the perseverance and 150% belief that you’ve got a great product (or service) and you truly love what you do - you’re going to get there.
So there you have it. The three things we’ve learned so far in our journey, and hopefully three things that you our #AussiePalmairaGirls in turn, can learn from us.
Until next time.
J & G x