What Idea's have you had for starting a new business?
My business could have been oh so different if I’d settled on pursuing one of my first ideas.
For me, I first fell in love with making beach windbreaks (I kid you not!). My idea was born out of my experience on the windy beaches of Melbourne. I decided that I wanted to make beautiful handmade beach windbreaks. I researched the sh*t out of the idea. I did the lot, registered my business name (Willmott’s Windbreaks), I decided to use Big Cartel as the store front, I set up Facebook and Instagram pages and I was almost ready. I found the most gorgeous deck chair fabric from an equally lovely gentlemen. I sourced the wooden poles and the nails you use on deck chairs. And then came my prototype…
I lovingly sewed my precious first ‘proper’ windbreak (there were plenty of calico attempts beforehand). I packed up my tiny children and took them to a local beach. I rolled out my beach towel, popped my kids on it and went about bang, bang, banging my windbreak poles into the sand. It was an impressively awful experience. My daughter, who was two, ran off, and my son crawled up into the sea. I managed to grab both children and bring them back to my windbreak – by this point, the fabric was sagging between the poles and one pole was bending in.
And that was the last time I ever used my Willmott’s Windbreak. I knew then that if I didn’t love using it, I could never sell them. And I know now that I should have made the windbreak first, before doing anything else. At the time, after spending years dreaming of starting my own business – it was an altogether sad day. But I realise that these things happen for a reason and I look at this experience as my ‘practise’ for starting Feel Better Box.
And, just for a laugh, I think I should mention the original name of my business – this was before I read the excellent advice that, if the name of a business might embarrass or offend, you need to change it, – I give you, ‘Sarah Breaks Wind’…!