Yesterday I was at the SEBI Summit here in Kingston, Jamaica and had the pleasure of listening to Derreck Kayongo share his story – about his roots, about his inspiration for starting the Global Soap Project and about his top tips for entrepreneurs.
One thing stood out, and it’s something that I hear time and time again…
The stories of entrepreneurs are a critical factor towards their success. You need to be able to share your story in a way that appeals to the people who are listening.
It’s a timely reminder. A couple weeks back I reached out to my community to ask who would like to share their stories with the world and today I bring you the first installment of the series.
what daisy did
Today I’d like you to meet Daisy of What Daisy Did, a small ethical and sustainable fashion accessories label. They have been running for nearly 4 years during which they have worked on various projects in both the UK and India upcycling waste materials into beautiful bags. Their customers are people who care about people and the planet but still want to be fashionable.
how did you go from what you were doing before to what you are doing now?
Having previously worked in event sustainability, me and my partner in both business and life had our eyes opened to the disposable mentality of modern life. This led us to travel to India where we designed our first collection from factory waste leather.
what are your business goals?
Our current goals include working on several new collections including Northampton boot factory waste leather and waste rip stop nylon used to make boat sails. In terms of general business goals it is to provide a fashionable alternative to fast fashion and educate people about the impact of the fashion industry on the planet.
how has starting and running a business impacted your personal relationships?
Me and my partner feel very lucky that we get to run a business together, it means we get to spend time at home together and with our daughter rather than running 9-5 jobs so I would say it has a positive impact on my personal relationships.
what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received so far?
To believe in what you are doing even when it seems like everything is going wrong!
what mistakes have you made along the way and what have you learned from them?
Making the mistake of being too trusting, there were a couple of instances where we rented spaces in emporium shops only for that shop to close down without paying us for our sales. The owners of the shops were people we trusted and liked and so it was very devastating for us in the early stages. Not that I am now untrusting but I definitely am a better judge of character.
tell me about something unexpected that has happened during your startup journey.
We never envisaged that we would get such immense support at the startup stage or that we would be able to grow to to the size we are now with continuing support from our awesome customers and other businesses!
what’s your biggest fear?
I think that my biggest fear is that our efforts are being wasted and we are not making a difference at all.
we all experience self-doubt at times. How do you deal with yours?
By getting reassurance from my partner, friends, family and fellow business owners who understand where it is coming from or have been through the same thing.
what’s something that you’ve wasted money on?
Marketing in the wrong places.
knowing what you know now about your business, what do you wish you had known from the beginning?
Starting a business has been a steep learning curve, having left school after GCSEs I have no formal design, business or marketing qualifications and sometimes I wish I had known a bit more about business before rushing into it! But it seems to have worked out anyway!
wanna connect with Daisy?
If you want to connect with Daisy and other hear more stories of entrepreneurs like her, why not join our private Facebook community? Ask us anything, share your highs and lows, and get the support you need.
over to you
What would you most like to hear about from other entrepreneurs? Leave your questions and comments below and I’ll ask them during our next stories of entrepreneurs series.