Hey, I'm Zoe, owner and sole operator over at Mannix and Co!
I'm a 28 year old married mumma of two from Central Victoria.
Before all this, I was a hobby photographer and worked part time in a supermarket. I have since hung up the lens, but still rocking the gig at the local supi!
Almost 4 years ago when my eldest was born I was oblivious to the amazing world of small business, once she was born I was always looking for something different, I didn't want to shop where everyone else did, a little did I know the world I was about to find!
By baby number 2, I was insta-savvy, had locked down some favourite brands and constantly finding more.
My favourite part of it all, was knowing that behind that small website, or DM purchase I was supporting someone with a little biz, and a dream!
The more and more I became involved, the more my interest sparked, it wasn't a case of thinking 'oh yeah I can do that', it was wanting to show the world the things I had been bursting to have my kids in head to toe!
I was fortunate enough to encounter a lady local to me, who had her own little business creating children's wear, I purchased from her a few times, and she actually did some custom work for me too! We gradually became friends, she has been one of my biggest supporters on this journey.
I had always dabbled here and there creating things for my own kids, and one day I made a gift for a friend and posted in on Instagram, instantly it gained attention. I had a couple of other biz mums say to me straight away to roll with the idea and make it something! I tossed up for ages whether I could really make this leap! Many a chats with my husband and friend, learning more and more about different products, methods, all of it!
It took me so long to work up the courage, to find the spare funds to make it all happen, but I did. In June of 2016 I opened a small amount of spots for this one product I had created, I purely wanted to gauge some interest to see if making a real go of this was something I could make work, and they were gobbled up so fast!
I officially opened a website in July of 2016, and the rest they say is history. But it's sooooo not.
I have never worked harder in my life.
The opening of my business was consistent, within a short period of months it became busy, busy to me anyway, busy as someone with two children and another job I suppose! My husband is incredibly supportive, but he too works, he works full time running a business.
So his hours are crazy, and he does all he can to be home with us. Finding balance has been my greatest hurdle. I am constantly 'working', my brain now never shuts off! I have to tell myself to take breaks, it's the constant challenge of battling life and work. I never want to disappoint anyone buy an extended turn around or delay.
This entire journey has been life changing. I now so appreciate every item that I buy from a small business just like mine.
I have created friendships that will last a lifetime, I have people surrounding me who get it, who understand this world. I have customers, who become friends. Who I am so appreciative of! Who will never understand the impact they have had.
The tool we have in the palm of our hands in social media is profound. The way it instantly connects us to everything! Instagram has been game changing for small businesses, whether it be to connect to my website, or for customers to see how a product looks in everyday wear, to the reps and people I have on my team who are constantly helping promote. Without social media, how would we now advertise? I honestly don't know! I don't know my little business would have had the small success it has had without it.
If I was to give any advice to anyone thinking or about to open a small business it would be to never stop learning, never stop asking questions, questions whether it be your suppliers, your accountant, your team, your family. Get feedback and take it on board. I know I am forever growing.
But the most important thing is to keep dreaming, don't give it up. If you truly want it, you will make it work.
Check out Mannix and Co's website HERE.
Follow them on Instagram HERE.