The Accidental Entrepreneur

The Accidental Entrepreneur

This is the second article in our Side Hide Series. Get simple tips from real people, to inspire you and help you write your own success story. The very awesome Olga Imbriano, a Telstra Businesswoman of the Year nominee, and creator of Snap & Extend, shares with us her 5 insights into business success.

As a mother-of-two, I faced lots of challenges. In addition to having moved to Australia and still adjusting to a different culture, having a toddler and a primary-school-aged daughter meant they kept me on my toes from early to late, plus unfortunately much of the night too.

Not only was this challenging, but I also wanted to talk with other mum’s to build a support network.

However, as babies outgrow up to 40 bodysuits in the first year alone, another issue was that I couldn’t find baby bodysuit extenders I knew from back home in Czech Republic. I thought these would be great to use – only – I could not find them anywhere.

This was when the cogs in my mind started working.

Baby-extenders are an economic and environmentally friendly solution, and I was sure I could find what I needed to make these here in Australia. Well, this proved a little more difficult than I thought, but once I found the right size domes or press buttons, I fashioned a few for my own use.

Problem was, the buttons came in bulk and I had hundreds of them now.

This was when the idea popped into my head to make more extenders, thinking that it would help other parents as well.

So, I created Snap & Extend, a baby-suit extender brand that helps hold onto your favourite baby-suits for longer, by snapping a stretchable piece of fabric at the crotch of the baby-suit.

Bellelis Snap and Extend - Kiwi Families

Ever since its release our store has sold thousands of these hand-made baby bodysuit extenders and demand keeps on growing.

It wasn’t long until my unique baby business started to take-off, and I needed to buy more buttons, hire help for sewing, packaging and even outsource some of my marketing.

And, now, I was even nominated for a variety of awards including the 40under40 Young Entrepreneurs Award, the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Award, as well as being just announced as a finalist in the national AusMumpreneur Awards.

If there is one thing I enjoy most in doing this business, it is the idea that what I’m doing is helping other mothers to save money on their clothing too.

Running a business is empowering and rewarding, but it was difficult initially. However, what I have learned is that with persistence and effort, it is possible to overcome all obstacles. Here are my top tips for Mums to succeed in business while being a mum too.

My key learnings or insights that led me to my growing business success are:

The Accidental Entrepreneur-pin

1. Follow Your instinct

Trusting the flow of things and my instincts led me in the right direction.

I knew that the concept brought value to other mums and was kind to the environment, and as such, I innately knew that turning it into a business would be successful. It was just like a mother’s intuition.

2. Plan and Proceed

Organic progression is good but planning and putting your thoughts into action is essential to reaching your goals.

Being a busy mum meant I actually had to make time to focus on the business while being a devoted mum and wife too. They say, “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.” So, plan your business tasks and carve out time for your business as well as your family.

3. Ask for Help

No matter what your expertise is, you cannot know and do everything in your business—especially if you are a busy mum like me.

So, ask for advice, help, hire support and delegate. Whether that means giving repetitive tasks to a VA or hiring a PR agency—simply concentrate on what you are good at.

4. Share the Love

My product came from a place of need and passion, so sharing it with others came naturally to me.

Sharing my vision, my hopes, successes and challenges helped other mums connect with me and the product, and it was that relatability that helped spread the word, brought in followers, likes and sales.

5. Celebrate Your Wins

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pat yourself on the shoulder and recognise how far you have come in your business.

This also means acknowledging the support from your family, helpers and everyone. It’s not just about popping a bottle of champagne (it helps though) but about giving recognition to others and yourself. Celebrating little wins will help fuel the bigger ones.

Best of luck with your business venture and to balancing life, being a mum, and entrepreneurship well! Olga

Olga

Mum of two brilliant girls and founder of Bellelis (read Bell-elis). Bell (me) + elis is a combination of my daughters’ names. Don’t ask me what will happen if I ever have a third child.

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