Name: Jill Hamilton
Location: Sydney, NSW
We provide unique gift options for parents and babies who have their roots and heritage in other countries.
What products/services do you offer?
At Proud Baby our muslin swaddles are designed to celebrate the roots, heritage and travels of babies and their families.
We have 12 designs for our muslin swaddles.
Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?
We officially began in November 2018 after over a decade of discussion and planning!
What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?
The competition is strong however the secret is creating a product that appeals to individuality and provide a personal touch. As part of our business website, I write a blog about embarking on a start-up and the learning curve. I have written honestly about problems we encountered and advice to overcome them.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Moving from online sales to wholesale was a large achievement which was solidified when one of the largest airport retail owner awpl picked up our product to sell in multiple airport stores across Australia.
What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?
So many mistakes and learning curve moments, some of which I address in the online blog. A huge challenge was sourcing our products overseas hich comes with a myriad of issues and frustrations!
What do you love most about your business?
The ultimate moment for us is when we see a parent with their baby using a Proud Baby muslin. We have had such wonderful feedback from customers who were looking for a unique gift and the photos we get sent of new babies celebrating their roots is amazing.
What do you find most challenging?
A start-up is a challenge enough for 2 ladies with limited business acumen. Learning as we go has been eye-opening, but rewarding. Key challenges are mostly around our digital presence and driving online sales.
How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?
Instagram, pinterest, Facebook page, website. Facebook and Instagram promoted posts.
Ensuring the retail stores we are stocked in are trained and have enough marketing collateral.
Attending local markets.
What business skills do you have (eg. graphic design, customer service)?
As Co-founders, Leslie and myself have complimentary business skills. Leslie is successful at the sales side, talking to retailers, increasing our visibility in stores. I am a graphic designer who has built the website and designed all of the products.
We both take responsibility for the financials.
What business skills would you like to improve on?
I would like to improve on my knowledge of SEO and digital business promotion.
What software did you/your designer use to create your website (eg. WordPress, Wix)?
What do you like about your website?
It is not the best website in the world, but we have kept it simple and does what it says on the tin.
I have rebuilt and will be launching a new version this week.
What would you like to improve on your website?
I have rebuilt and will be launching a new version this week. SEO and google ranking is an ongoing issue.
What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?
From supply issues to variations in money exchange rates has taught us frustrating and valuable lessons!
What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?
Even if we can help or advice one budding entrepreneur through our honest blog, it is worth writing it!
What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?
Entrepreneur’ is an intimidating word. I suspect that most of us who have started a small business, or are planning to do so, don’t consider ourselves as such. If you believe you have a valid business idea that addresses a need or gap in the market; talk to friends and colleagues and iron out potential challenges or concerns before you embark.
But don’t let anyone put you off! If you never try, this you’ll never know!