We did it El's!
Who would have thought after a very one sided conversation we had 6yrs ago, that we'd be where we are today.
I remember you lying on the rug and me pining for the cutest little shoes that were simple, cute and convenient without being to over the top. I was 10mths into maternity leave and started sketching shoes that I imagined pairing with any of your adorable little outfits. It became my little project. Before I knew it, I was researching manufacturers and beginning the process of getting samples manufactured.
At this point my mind needed stimulation, but I never actually thought it was something I would follow through with. Then - the day our first samples came and I remember unwrapping them and placing them on your delicate little feet. Suddenly it was so much more.
Could I actually build a sustainable business? I’d come from a corporate background which I'd always imagined returning to 12mths after becoming a mum … could this possibly be the start of something new? Ok, yes - we have savings. But am I game enough to throw it at a venture I wasn't sure I could pull off? Characteristically I would normally urge on the side of caution.
But if not now, when? What was it all for?
Finally, comes the day we take a punt. Throw caution to the wind, invest our savings in the hope I'd be able to make my money back if nothing else.
Fear immediately set in when days later, the funds still hadn’t landed in my manufacturer’s hands. Little did I know this fear in uncertainty, failure, making ‘the right’ decision would be a feeling I would become all too familiar with in the years to come!
I think as a mum you constantly want is best for your family. You want to be a role model for your children whilst also instilling them with the belief they can do anything. So, my moment had come, take the leap of faith OR do as I’d always done and veer to the side of caution.
To this very day I can say I am proud of myself for taking the plunge—for having the strength to try; knowing that failure was one of many possible outcomes, and in my current state of mind the most likely.
However, the willingness to try far outweighed the fear of failure and whilst on a date night with hubby our baby was branded Tikitot and business registrations were submitted.
The shoes arrived months later. The fear set in. What have I done? I managed to construct a website, that despite being basic, performed the functionality that was required to showcase my products to what was then a very minimal audience.
I set the time, and when the moment came I made my website go live….and waited. Moments passed and then suddenly……a sale……and another. It was happening and I felt adrenaline coursing through my veins. I remember being in a group message with my family and sharing the excitement with them whilst I danced around my loungeroom with Elsie in my arms.
One shipment turned into several, one range turned into multiple and Elsie you continued to grow until your toes were squished at the end of the largest shoes in our collection. Now what? Not being able to bear the thought of you outgrowing our shoes, you unknowingly encouraged me to think big again. Soon our hard sole collection was born and our brand continues to grow as you do.
Of course, there are things I have learnt along the way, triumphs and failures and sure aspects I would tackle differently if I was to start over—but what a learning experience it has become.
Do I always know where the business is going or how we plan to get there???
Hell no! but sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.
To be continued……