Meet Emma from Atwholesale2u
After completing my accounting degree and with my father’s glowing approval, with his dreams of me following in his footsteps, I decided to travel and work in the UK. I explored Europe for a whole year before becoming homesick. Once back, things happened rather fast. I met my hubby, got married, became pregnant (on my honeymoon), got a bulldog and built a house.
We built in Point Cook 11 years ago, the first house in the street. We have since had two 2 children and many of the 4 legged variety. My first child (Winnie the Bulldog) is our guard dog, all bark and no bite given her age, think cranky old grandmother but we forgive her given she is 14 this year.
After starting a family I decided that climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t for me as I so wanted to be home with my kids. I needed to find an income to allow this, hence atwholesale2u was born. It started off as an ebay business; I became a power seller within 3 months and loved it. I definitely fell into printing and discovered I had a creative gene that I certainly wanted to tap into. We have been growing and evolving since 2010. Upon research, we discovered sublimation printing. We loved the end result. Printing on products that gave such a bright vibrant result was exciting.
I originally started the business as a hobby; my love for bulldogs was where it started. My husband and I breed British Bulldogs I just love them. We volunteer our time to the Western Bulldogs, our boy ‘Sid’ is their mascot and a celebrity in his own right. Why do we do it? To promote the breed as an amazing dog. Some people are scared of dogs in general and not sure, but Sid is a big marshmallow of a dog. He has been a great ambassador for the breed and the club and has certainly shown that they are very gentle, placid dogs.
So I decided that my love for these short, stocky, so ugly they are cute dogs could translate into a range of products which could include funny captions and cute Bullie faces. I think everyone has seen the Zelda calendars with Bulldogs dressed up in everything from bumble bee costumes to tuto’s. So I invested and hoped to turn a profit on my creative dream.
Timing is everything it is said and at the time mine was abysmal.
We invested in stock, paid a large sum of money for a sight at an animal expo and crossed our fingers. The black Saturday came, the week before our Expo launch, both the bush fires and my product launch were disastrous. The reason put quite simply, no one wanted to spend money the same week so many properties and people were destroyed.
The project was put on hold in order to concentrate on building a business for income. The experience taught us one thing, in the printing world it is hard to have an idea and test it without spending a lot of money. It can break you if something happens that is out of your control. So this is where atwholesale2u started to develop into a business to help other small businesses get off the ground. Not only with branding but it allows people who have new ideas to come to full reality. We also like to support local projects.
We are home based. My husband reluctantly gave up his precious garage and it was converted into our workshop and when I say workshop I mean a climate controlled, insulated working environment with its own dedicated internet lines and power supply, all set up in what was originally a garage. Having said that, being home based can carry a stigma as opposed to working in a large commercial premises, but it keeps our overheads to a minimum and results in us being able to pass savings on to our customers. It also allows us to keep flexible hours to meet urgent jobs and short turn around deadlines. We pride ourselves in being able to work with local businesses and startup companies to fulfil their dreams and get their brand out into the marketplace.
Yes, I have dreams of moving to a large commercial facility one day, but for now, I happy commuting the 20 feet to work every day (see it does have its advantages).
So to my business, my little empire…
Atwholesale2u covers a wide range of products and printing. We can do personalised one off products or can do a run of 100+. The options are endless. We print in-house using sublimation printing as well as traditional vinyl cad cut and heat transfer printing.
Our gift range is where I get to be more creative and come up with products for all occasions and when it comes to promotional products with branding the options are growing by the day.
What does being a business owner mean to you?
It’s Freedom, no travelling in peak hour traffic, always being available for family and friends. I can work the hours that I want to work and when I want to work.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart. When feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Stop and always remember that a good night’s sleep can help you find answers and see things in a different light. This is usually a positive light.
What is one thing you have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Learn from mistakes, see them as a way to grow and develop. Never give up and always give a challenge ago.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Tools I can’t live without… Recently discovered google drive… allows you to have a drive which can be accessed from your iPad, iPhone and laptop. Handy for quotes and templates.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
Currently, we’re expanding our promotional range, we recently flew up to Sydney to attend the APPA Trade show (industry supplier showcase) this has allowed us to make ideal connections and start new trade accounts. This will enable us to have more than 1000 items available to choose from on our website within the next few weeks.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
We breed British Bulldogs, I am currently the treasurer for the British Bulldog club of Victoria and I am also an active member of the Lions Club of Point cook.
We also volunteer our time to the Western Bulldogs AFL with our bulldog ‘Sid’ He is the clubs official live mascot. We really enjoy seeing the smiles on the kids and adult faces when they visit and spend time with Sid the Bulldog.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2016?
I have numerous goals to achieve which are slowly being ticked off and reassessed. We have lots of product ideas to create and promote over the next few months which we’re very excited about coming into Christmas.
What makes you happy?
I love seeing the faces of customers when they pick up their products and they love what we have produced. It gives me the thrill to see that excitement and joy.
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business?
Biggest sacrifice is not having holidays, this is about to change. We have finally gotten organised and booked a cruise to Vanuatu. I can’t wait to have some R&R, plus plenty of family time with hubby and kids.
Do you have kiddies if so how many? And what is their favourite activity to do with you?
I have 2 two legged kids, a boy and a girl. Both still in primary school. We enjoy the AFL football and going to the drive in as a family.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Connect with Atwholesale2u
Womens Business Society Team
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