The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
There are plenty of challenges to overcome when you start a business from scratch. One of the biggest challenges has been believing in myself and my abilities. I am a very driven person and failure has never really been an option for me. However, when it is all on your shoulders and it is something you have never done before, that niggling doubt can sometimes creep in. Add in the demands of three children, sleep deprivation (thanks kids!), housework and the mountain you are trying to climb seems that little bit higher!
A supportive family and wanting them to be proud of me has helped me to keep going and get on with the tasks at hand. Some weeks I feel like I am winning and on top of things, then the next week I am completely snowed under. It is understanding that this is how it is and working through it that helps me stay on top of things.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
Pros – I love having flexibility to work my own hours and do things in my time. It is exciting seeing people using your products and giving you positive feedback, knowing that you have designed them from scratch. Running my own business means that I can be there for my kids’ after school and can attend preschool and school events without having to ask for time off from my boss. Working from home also means that I don’t have to contend with Auckland rush hour traffic!
One of the main cons of running my own business is finding enough hours in a day or week to tick things off the to do list. My children are still very young, so know that over time I will gain more hours to complete work in. Another con is prioritizing work over doing something for myself when I get a bit of free time. Overall though, I love what I do and am so grateful that I had the guts to take the first steps to getting Kai Carrier off the ground six years ago.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
My focus this year is to help grow Kai Carrier in the adult market, as I believe our range of pouches and packaging are perfect for trampers, campers and anybody who is wanting to cut down the amount of single-use plastic they use.
Running a sustainable business operation is very important to me. I have achieved carbon neutral status for business operations and freight the past two financial years. This means that we have offset the carbon emissions of our products from the time they leave our manufacturer until they get to our customers or retailers doorstep. We are hoping to take this one step further this year and map out the life cycle of our products so we can be a carbon neutral business.
There are a few other exciting things in the pipeline…… watch this space 🙂