The month of March marks a milestone for me, I am celebrating 13 years of being an entrepreneur! What a wild ride it has been, with plenty of ups and downs along the way! In my 13 years I have started up and run two separate businesses.
It all started with Kula Klips, a kids accessory brand I owned for 8.5 years. I loved that business so much, it grew alongside my growing family. The accessories I created were for my own 2 children but they were also sold to 100+ retailers in North America and online. I worked so hard at growing this business, and it all started out with me making the hair clips myself. Every single night after coming home from a full time job that also required lots of travel I would: order supplies, cut ribbon, glue hair clips, send countless emails and posted to social media. I also did my own book keeping for a while to save on expenses. As the demand grew, my company grew. I was able to add more product lines and more employees. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this business. I am proud that I was able to make it a mainstream brand and a must have in the children accessory world. I am so very grateful to every customer, every retailer, every friend and family member that helped support my dream and purchased my products. I would always get so excited when I would spot a child wearing one of my creations; such a sense of pride! I learned A LOT of lessons along the way; mistakes were made, but I also had so many amazing things happen. I got those hair clips into the hands of Jennifer Garner and Matt Damon! One of my favourite moments was spotting a pic of their children in US magazine wearing MY hair clips! I was approached by people along the way, they liked what I had done with my social media and asked if I could help them. At first I worked on the side with this, but after time I realized I couldn’t run two businesses on my own. So I sold Kula Klips to an employee, in order to start up Chatty Girl Media in 2014!
I always get asked why the business is named Chatty Girl Media! I was the chatty girl, my teachers always addressed it on my report cards and I was always getting in trouble for talking to much in class. The named seemed fitting for my personality! Since starting the company in 2014, I have worked with so many amazing people and businesses. I naturally stepped into this role having been a small business owner myself (most clients I work with are small business owners). Back when I started there was no real teachings of the trade. It was still new to many people so the timing was perfect to get out there and start helping people connect with their customers online. I am self taught and have put hundreds of hours into learning and perfecting my skills. Social Media is an ever changing industry that keeps me on my toes! I swear Facebook changes things daily, and they love to move the location of things! Over the years I have grown my business to offer social media management, consulting, photography and influencer marketing . Since the majority of my business is referral based I am so grateful to everyone who has sent business my way.
Being an entrepreneur has allowed me the freedom I wanted in life so I can be at events with my kids, travel when I want to and put in the hours I want to work. Over the years I have learned some great lessons that I wanted to share with you:
- Be prepared to put in the work – I cannot emphasize this enough, if you want to have success you have to put in the work. When I started as an entrepreneur I also had a full time job for a couple years. I would work all day then work all night with my business; I was exhausted. But my hard worked paid off in terms of brand growth and relationship building. To this day when I work with people at CGM and I ask them why they called me many still say it’s because I bought your Kula Klips for my kids!
- Don’t let your job kill you – I know I stated above that you need to work hard, BUT you also need to know when to turn it off. In the beginning I didn’t; I worked through vacation, I answered emails day and night, I never really gave myself a break. I learned that you have to carve out time for yourself or you will burn yourself out! Now I don’t answer texts and emails from clients after a certain time at night and I take the time to enjoy my vacations with my kids. Because I am “on” so much I need to find the time to turn myself “off”.
- Don’t take rejection personally – This one is so important. I can’t tell you how many times I have been upset by the way someone has spoken to me or rejected me in the past. Once I learned to not take it personally it was a huge weight off my shoulders! I’ve had so much rejection, but I don’t focus on that, instead I choose to focus on the wins! Maybe I didn’t get that influencer job because I wasn’t ready yet (this has happened and the brand has come back later to work with me). Maybe that business didn’t choose to work with me because it wasn’t a right fit for them, but it left me room to welcome someone who was a better fit. I believe everything happens for a reason!
- Collaboration over competition – there will be the catty crew of people in any job you do, stay away from them. People for some reason like to see you fail, they get upset when you do well. I have lost friends over the years but that is ok! It has opened doors to let new and amazing people into my life. I appreciate the ones that choose to be kind in my industry, the ones we can bounce ideas off each other, the ones that decide its dumb to be cut throat. I am all about collaboration, lets help each other out!
- Hit the unfollow button – this applies to social media AND real life. If someone isn’t cheering you on, pushing you to grow, you can let them go. If you follow an account online that upsets you every time they post then give them an unfollow. If you are spending time with a constant complainer stop hanging out with them. Life is too short to be unhappy, align yourself with the right people.