Meet Kara from My Mindful Year
Why and when did you start your own business?
My business partner and I launched Keopha in January 2016 after struggling to find a diary that suited what we wanted. I was struggling with a 2yo and behavioural issues and seeking motivation, mindfulness tactics to help my frustration and started colouring in and drawing to relax and meditate. I was sick of carrying around multiple books with all of my things so
I created one with everything.
I also have a business (Kara Vaina) where I work with Women in small Business to help find their “why” and create “authentic brands”. I found that most home based business women were feeling isolated and needed motivation whilst planning out their weekly tasks so these two things combined were a big factor in our creation.
What does being a business owner mean to you?
I don’t see myself any bigger or better for being a business owner it’s more that I’m inspired to make a change and disrupt the mentality and stigma of home based or small business women. Being a Business Woman means I am passionate about making a difference and can do it on my own terms and follow my purpose….and that’s to help others make a change as well as give back to those in need. (We donate a portion of every sale of our pliaries to charity)
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
There are a few contributing influences in our business. One is our kids as they have taught us patience. The other for me is Lisa Messenger as I’m totally inspired by her, her books, her message and what she has managed to achieve. Her book Daring and Disruptive played a major role in the belief I had in our product and how we wanted to launch and disrupt.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Our pre-launch had great success reaching our goal within 5 days and going on to make $13k in sales in only 4 weeks for a product nobody knew anything about. We also ordered additional stock which went on to sell out within 3 weeks.
I would also say getting our product into 2 local retailers within startup mode is also a big accomplishment.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Believe in your vision even when others don’t
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
I’m a big believer in Collaboration, something I learnt early from Lisa Messengers book Daring & Disruptive which I now teach in my workshops. I’m very active in 3 business Facebook groups which have seen me build great relationships with other business women. We had an extremely low marketing budget when launching but we managed to maintain great momentum through collaboration. I planned out who would post on social media on various days (even friends who would share our posts) so it kept good momentum. This was our main source of marketing. I’ve also created inspiring/powerful collaboration videos whereby the people who are in them share our message because they are included in the video which I turn markets our business for free.
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
There are a few things but the main one is “believe” – believe in your vision, believe in your product/service even when others aren’t believing in you. We had people laugh at us, question us about another diary on the market, not take us seriously but we believed it had a place in the market and our sales results proved correct. Take in all the positives and negatives and use them as your driving force because “Everything that’s happening to you is happening for you” (my fav Oprah quote that I live by).
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
Research is everything – online, competitors, Facebook groups……I spent so much time till early hours of the morning researching and reading to learn, even comments on Facebook threads that I absorbed as much as I could. Use these as your resources. There’s so much available.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
We are launching (have launched depending on date of release of this article) a Junior Mindfulness Journal which is targeted at 8-13 yo girls to help with self-confidence, self love, friendship circles, emotions, bullying (asking for help) etc which we are very excited about. We workshopped with a psychologist and a school assistant principal on this and have great feedback so far so we are very excited.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
We have a cabin in Echuca so we like to spend time in the country when we can. This is my instant calming/relaxation where I find peace as well as creativity. Most of my inspiration and artwork is done up there.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t say these are skills, more character traits BELIEF, PASSION & RESILIENCE
the journey of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster ride and I believe it comes down to these 3 things because skill can be learnt or taught.
What fears have you faced in business? Have you overcome it/them? How do you manage fear?
Fear pops up in everybody whether you are a business woman or not. My vision and passion are stronger than my fear so I take risks. My business partner is more the conservative one so we are well balanced. Fear is self-talk and self-doubt and yes I have it too but if you can take small steps outside your comfort zone the fear becomes an achievement.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2017?
– double our print run
– have 5000 followers on Instagram
What makes you happy?
Business wise – What makes me happy is knowing we’ve had a positive impact on people.
Personal – My kids make me happy (most of the time lol), my husband these all combined.
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
I’ve made plenty of sacrifices which mainly include sleep lol
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
There is no ONE company or business I admire the most because I admire different companies for diff things. I admire my husband and his business for how it’s grown and the life it allows us to live, I admire Cotton On group for what they have been able to do and disrupt the low/mid range retail, I admire so many different companies and business people because I like to learn from a variety of industries so I’m don’t become complacent with my own industry.
Where you see yourself and your business in 2-5 years?
I would like to see our company distributing globally within 3 years so scaling the business is a big focus for us in coming years.
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
I like to read a lot of real stories so I draw inspiration from real people.
How do you measure your success in business?
I don’t see myself as successful I see myself growing, learning, challenging myself and taking small steps in the right direction. As long as that’s happening that’s all that matters.
Where is your dream destination to go for a holiday and why?
My bucket list consists of Dubai to experience the opulence, Croatia for the scenery, Monte Carlo for the classiness and a Fijian Island for the peace and serenity.
What is your favourite inspirational quote you would like to share with other WBS members?
Everything that’s happening TO you is happening FOR you.
What are your top 5 business tips?
– research and learn as much as possible
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