When it comes to creating the perfect party – whether it’s a first birthday, an 81st birthday, a christening or an engagement party – we always think of Ruby Rabbit. Alex, Ruby Rabbit owner and chief party maker, offers the most gorgeous collection of party goods, that guarantee to take any event to the next level. We chatted with Alex about the highs and lows of owning her own business, her road to success, and the tips and tricks she has for other mums hoping to follow in her footsteps.
What was your inspiration to start your own business?
I always wanted to have my own business, to watch it grow and see what I could achieve. So, after many years as a professional event manager working on high profile events in Sydney, I took the leap in 2013 and opened my very own party and event supplies business – Ruby Rabbit.
When did you know the timing was ‘right’?
I was juggling my demanding events career and motherhood for a few years before I knew the timing was right. I felt torn trying to be at the top of my game both at work and at home as I truly loved my job but I was also missing out on those special moments with my two toddlers who needed their mama. When I felt I had achieved what I wanted to at work I took some well deserved time away from my career to spend with family and get planning my next thing, this time around on my terms! The downtime allowed me to refresh, spend quality time with important ones and make a decision on what business would be right for me….opening a party and event supplies store was a natural progression from my background.
How did you make your big break?
Ruby Rabbit like any successful small business, has taken endless hours of persistence and making (mostly) good decisions! Consistency and focus is key. I’ve stayed true to my brand from the start with the products I choose to stock and the overall look and feel of everything related to Ruby Rabbit. In the early years, I reinvested any profits back into the business to get my brand known through advertising, plus expanding stock to be one of Australia’s leading party stores.
What was your training prior to starting your own business?
I have a Business Degree plus event management and customer service background. Before Ruby Rabbit I spent many years working with some of Australia’s top event and entertainment people and had my events featured & reviewed in newspapers (experiences I truly cherish).
What are the biggest challenges of being a mum and a businesswoman?
Sharing my time between work and home can be super challenging at times. Having my own business I find I never turn off and it’s common for me to be still working at midnight on the couch catching up on things as I had taken the afternoon off to take my children to swimming lessons or other activities. I am thankful that I can take afternoons off to do these important things!
What is your top tip for maintaining a work/life balance?
Put your phone down! As hard as it is, your family really need you to be present when it’s family time.
What is your biggest learning since starting your own business?
To trust that others can help and you don’t need to do everything yourself. My biggest step (which petrified me at the time) was moving my business out of my home and hiring staff. Now I look back and it really was the best thing I ever did! I’ve learnt to look forward not back, and trust in my own style.
What do you do in your spare time to keep yourself sane?
I travel a lot and love planning holidays! Our next family holiday is a ski trip to Japan (can’t wait!). I totally love the sea and snow!
What’s one thing other mums should do who are looking to start their own business?
Do plenty of research before taking the leap. Put your own style into it and be prepared for some good old-fashioned hard work!
Visit @rubyrabbitparty on Instagram for image credits.