Our 3 core principles for starting a business
One warm afternoon, sitting in a bar across the bustling roads of Poggioreale- one of the many districts of Naples - I decided to brainstorm some ideas I had for a Jewellery brand. As mentioned in the About us page, I was inspired by my grandmother's love for her collection of unique vintage habesha jewellery. So, sipping on my Crema di Caffe, I sat for about an hour or two in the bar and just put my ideas down on paper.
I remember just bullet-pointing and brainstorming until I had filled two pages with my buzzing thoughts. From creating logos, to marketing a brand to packaging the jewellery, I realised that I had bounced right out of my comfort zone into the scary realm of business. Although I felt pleased that I had everything down on paper, I remember thinking what now? Everything seemed quite strange and difficult at the start, especially as I had absolutely no experience. Not only that, but I felt scared that my idea wouldn't be taken seriously, and that it would just fizzle out once I hit the first obstacle. But now, almost ten months after I picked up my pen and paper, I'm browsing through my finally developed website and active social media pages, so... something must have worked right ? This is still an ongoing process of course and there's still a lot of work to do - but if you have a vision and want to turn it into something slightly more real, then allow me to share three principles which I believe made it happen for me and may help you too...
1) Practice Patience: As mentioned earlier, that brainstorm combined with a strong desire to share my culture, was the first building block of AdornAbyssinia. Not only was this process about combining creativity with logic, trialling and learning from mistakes, but it was also about patiently using each day as a contribution towards small set goals.Your vision will involve forming relationship with people, networking and outsourcing; these things will sometimes take longer than expected, but when the results arrive you'll understand why the wait was worth it. Believe me when I say that patience is something I have always struggled with, but taking on a big project has taught me that one small step at a time can actually create pretty solid foundations in the long run - all I had to do was wait a little longer for the seeds to flourish.
2) Knowledge is invaluable: Be a sponge. We are literally surrounded by banks and pools of knowledge that can help and plant useful ideas for building a business. Although I could feel some ideas manifesting, I sometimes struggled with correctly applying other ideas. So my advice is to be a sponge and absorb as much relevant information as possible. There's always a theory behind a practice - think of this as the glue that holds your building blocks together. I come from a literature background, so when the struggle was real I did what I do best. I read. I downloaded a few e-books, went to my local Starbucks and read. On certain days I would watch TED videos related to my ideas, take some notes and practice. Some things didn't work, others did but I had to be patient because I knew that there was a way to make my vision less blurry.
3) Surround yourself with positive vibes: I can't stress the importance of surrounding yourself with positive individuals as sometimes the process can feel lonely. Along with my full time job, tuition and various daily errands, it was quite difficult to stay focused on the business. Not only that, but midway I was blessed with my pregnancy. So now I had an extra bundle of joy, added anticipation, excitement, sickness and heartburn on top of everything else. The workload was sometimes too much and naturally this lead to some days being slightly tainted by self-doubt, and indecisiveness. Times like these were when friends and family would shower me with their positive vibes. Whether it was asking for jewellery, showing support on the social media pages or even just sharing it amongst their friends they truly believed in my vision and support it how they could.
Patience, knowledge and positivity have been and will continue to be my base principles. So I'd like to encourage you to also take the first small step towards something you've always wanted to try. On this note, welcome to AdornAbyssinia, a space where you can purchase both ready made and handmade jewellery, and eventually become part of an online community supporting ventures back home. Currently we're focusing on making a small contribution to the growth of the Joy Centre for Autism in Ethiopia- have a look at the page when you've done shopping and thanks for reading my first post!