Hi Darlings happy Monday! I can’t wait to share the interview I did with PressCookie. Read the interview below 🙂
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
We are a brand new online platform called PressCookie. Our online platform connects handmade and artisan brands to the media (magazines, blogs, stylists, photographers). The products that are showcased on our platform are a variety of unique, artisan, and handmade lifestyle products. Think of home accessories, self-care products, bags, jewellery, and bridal and wedding accessories. With our platform, we provide inspiration and content for the media whilst creating more awareness and visibility for artisan & handmade products.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
We are both fuelled by creativity, and we have been featured with our handmade products. But we noticed that this doesn’t happen very often for handmade & artisan brands. We believe in the power of the media, and even though public relations/press is a very important key to growing your business, we’ve seen that handmade brands aren’t always focused on that kind of exposure. Either because they lack the knowledge, or simply don’t have enough time. PressCookie allows us to share our knowledge, and to simplify the process for both media and maker.”
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
We both started as creative entrepreneurs with our own handmade brands. So this is not our first business. It is, however, our first joint business, and we are very excited about this new adventure!
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
If you are planning to start a business the most important thing is to create a product or service that people actually want. No amount of marketing or press features will help a business selling something that people don’t want. Listen to your customers! If one customer is asking for something specific or a variation of your products we can guarantee you that there are other people out there that are looking for the same thing. We have created many bestsellers by taking note of what our customers want. Dream big and plan accordingly. If you look forward to growing your business substantially, there will come a time when you won’t be able to do everything yourself. How can you then still expand? Hire an employee, outsourcing? If you start building a business that is scalable from the start, the next steps will be much easier.
YOUR GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH IT:
Learning to network has definitely been one of our improvement points. At the start of our handmade businesses, we were solo entrepreneurs and very caught up in our tasks to keep our business running. So it’s not always been our number one priority to establish connections, but creating a network around you is so important, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur! Not only might other entrepreneurs help grow your business through collaborations or other support, but it is also so nice to find someone (or several ones) who knows what you’re going through, who understands your struggles and can lift you up when you need it. We are getting better at it, but it’s a work in progress – networking and connecting with others is an ongoing process.
OUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Our proudest (and most scary!) accomplishment during our start-up has definitely been the moment when our website eventually went live after many, many months of brainstorming, planning, and building. We initially planned to go live in March of this year around the time the whole world suddenly stood still in disbelief of what was going on. It took us a week or two to get our heads around all the uncertainty, to pick up our dreams with the decision that now, more than ever before, is a time to create a community that supports, cherishes, and empowers creative businesses.
HOW WE BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT:
Your own business can completely take over your life and you can work days and weeks on end without giving yourself a break. Now that we are two working together and know the dangers of not resting and how important doing other things in life are we remind and encourage each other to, go for a walk, stop for the day to do some yoga, or sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. We both love to thrift, and we often spend a few hours just having fun together, a great reminder that we are not only business partners but also friends! We are still learning to let go, however, it is awesome to know that the person to whom you are giving over the reins whilst you take a break loves the business just as much as you do … it’s a bit like parenting.
WE ARE INSPIRED BY:
Liezel: The best ideas always come to me when I tear myself away from my computer and spend time in nature. Fresh air combined with the natural gifts from Mother Nature is such a blessing and I always return revitalized and full of creative energy.
Zerlina: Anything and everything. Sometimes it’s people who inspire me; having conversations with my husband, brainstorming with Liezel, or listening to a speaker at an event. Other times it’s a visit to a museum and it’s a piece of art that fuels my inspiration. And other times it is exercise or meditation that helps me create space for new inspiration.
WHY WE CHOSE THIS CAREER:
Since we met and started spending time together we both talked about how we could bring our strengths together to share our knowledge and help other creative & artisan brands do even better and to make their creative lives easier. Along our creative business paths, we have seen so many businesses fail and that is heartbreaking because every failed business is a dream that was destroyed.
HOW WE PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
Every six weeks we dedicate one of our meetings to set goals of what we would like to achieve in the short term over the next six weeks. We also look back at the past six weeks to see how far we have come. With strong perfectionist tenancies from both sides, it is easy to overlook all the good we have achieved, thinking that you can always do better.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU? ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
As creatives at heart, we knew that we would enjoy all the fun and creative things like our business name, branding, and website design. However, with PressCookie we started with getting clear about the solution we’re offering and working out the financials to make sure that this would be worth it for us. As far as being women, we are grateful that we do not feel any different from any other entrepreneur in our branch. We come from very different backgrounds, we are proud to be women, we are equal, and we celebrate diversity.
OUR FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Trello is our trusted ‘third party’ we look to for our organization. It’s easy to take notes, create checklists and keep track of your progress.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Zerlina: I’d rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than ‘what ifs’. If you have a dream, a wish, a want – even if you are uncertain you’ll succeed – try it. You might fail, but you might fly!
Liezel: You don’t have to see the whole road, just take the first step (and then the next… and so on)