It’s the hot button that gets everyone interested – entrepreneurship. From serial start-ups to mums contemplating working from home to avoid the daily office grind, entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. And the making of entrepreneurs is big business – with everything from online courses to educational institutions, to social media gurus and a whirlwind of workshops, conferences and seminars to fill even the busiest calendar, working for yourself instead of working for ‘the man’ has become the ideal.
But is it all seed funding and IPOs? Or is it really just a shedload of hard work with little reward and the very real risk of going bust? And is that Richard-Branson-wannabe trait born or made? We caught up with two mumpreneurs who are kicking butt and turning their passion project into profit – and they are sisters to boot. Is entrepreneurship in the genes? Stacey Woodcroft of Archer Naturals and Kelly-Rae Anderson of Krew Active dish the dirt.
What makes your business unique?
Stacey: As a naturopath it’s my passion to help people, so I’ve taken my experience from clinic into product development and formulated products that make a difference for particular health concerns. Instead of creating everyday products like moisturisers, Archer Naturals is all about products with a purpose.
Kelly: Krew Active is Australia’s first luxury activewear brand for pregnant and breastfeeding mums, something that was missing in the Australian market. As a mum of three and after ten years as a bra fitting specialist, I quickly realised there was nothing else in the market that gave active mums the freedom to workout and breastfeed on the go.
Did your upbringing shape your entrepreneurial spirit?
Stacey: My dad always worked hard and taught us kids if we are to do something, do it 110% and you will get back what you put in. That goes a long way in business and I still remind myself of this.
Kelly: Yes, definitely. I think being the eldest daughter, I had to help mum out around the house with chores a lot more, and learnt very quickly the value of money. I had to work hard to get it so there wasn’t much spending – just saving!
As sisters in business, does it get competitive and how?
Stacey: I would have to honestly say no, I don’t think it’s ever been competitive between us. It’s like an unspoken business partner agreement. We help each other out and drive each other’s business where possible. There are always down days and when one is down the other one picks up the pieces.
Kelly: No! Not at all. It’s quite the opposite, actually. We are both very supportive of each other and always help one another.
What are the benefits of having a mumpreneur sister when you’re developing your own business?
Stacey: We are always talking about business ideas and opportunities. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to all the time about the ups and downs of business, especially when it’s your sister.
Kelly: We both know how much time and effort it takes to build a brand, we are always on the phone to each other daily, sharing ideas and sometimes just for support on those days when it all seems a little too hard.
How long did it take to get from idea to market-ready for your business?
Stacey: Honestly, a long time. I think about two years before my ideas hit the market.
Kelly: I first came up with the idea when I was pregnant with my third baby who is now six years old. From the moment I started my first sketch to when I launched, it would have been almost four years. That includes the time spent procrastinating.
What were the biggest hurdles?
Stacey: Apart from the normal financial hurdles that most new businesses face, I would say decision making on product style, packaging and design – creativity isn’t my strong point, that’s what Kelly is good at.
Kelly: Money! Taking that big step to outlay the costs to start up the business and get stock – it took to me a while to get my head around it.
How did you conquer the fear of taking a gamble on yourself – or was this never a concern?
Stacey: Never! I think of an idea and never look back. I’m the optimist in business, there is no such word as fail.
Kelly: Well this is kinda funny, Stacey actually booked me into a pregnancy expo well in advance and said “Now you have to do it, and you’ve got three months”. So I have her to thank for that.
Are entrepreneurs born or made?
Stacey: I would say made! Thanks to my parents, I learnt the value of money very early and we worked hard for our pocket money, but I do have a need to succeed, much like my dad!
Kelly: I think it might be a bit of both. My dad was a hard worker and owned a successful business. So I’ve always had him as a great role model and the heart and determination to succeed.
What is the one thing you wish you knew before embarking on your business journey?
Stacey: It’s much like renovating – when you think you will spend $10,000, double it!
Kelly: Ha! It’s like having a fourth child, it’s a lot of work and constant, I don’t ever stop thinking about what’s next for Krew Active.
Thinking about starting your own business, or ready to take your brand to the next level? Connect with haven creative, and let us help get you there.