A lifelong lover of fashion, shopping and beautiful things, Alesha Woods took a leap of faith from the security of her 16-year career to start her own business, allowing her to spend more time at home with her daughters while following her passion. Inspired by her husband Joe’s belief in her, she launched Sunday Sparrow, a beautiful online fashion boutique selling gorgeous pieces from some of New Zealand’s best designers. A small, family-run business, they provide the personal touch, as well as keeping their carbon footprint as small as possible, using recyclable packaging and aligning themselves with designers who share their same values to make a positive impact on the planet. Here, she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about launching her business, the challenges she has overcome and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Ever since I was a young girl, I have always loved fashion and shopping. Shopping is my happy place, and I am guilty of buying things just so I can have that pretty piece hanging in my wardrobe, tags still attached.
But it was actually my husband Joe who planted the seed one day when he asked me why don’t I start up my own shop. After thinking about it for probably less than a day, I ran with it, just as he knew I would.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We started pre Covid. I had a newborn baby and to be honest, I was very much a fish out of water. I come from a dental background, and I did not know where to start or who to turn to for advice or guidance. Starting my own business was never a dream I had. As much as I loved clothes, it never actually occurred to me that I could make a career out of what I loved, and there is something about that, that as I write it, actually makes me a little bit sad, which makes me even more proud to show my daughters that they too can do what they love.
Lockdown 1.0 hit and I put everything on hold. Then, during lockdown, the seeds of doubt crept in, and I decided I was fooling myself and put my plans to rest.
It wasn’t too long after our “new normal” began that I started longing to start it up again and decided to start planning, but this time to fully back myself, again with the support of Joe. This time, I engaged the help and expertise from Dan, a friend and also the brilliant mind behind Slaughterhaus. He helped me create my brand, identity and the marketing. He is a very, very patient person, and every beginner needs a Dan on their team!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I have so many! Just starting our own business, learning how to set up and fill my website, and my first order from someone who did not know me!
I always do a wee happy dance when I secure a new label. Knowing that someone trusts me and my brand enough to represent their brand is a really, really big deal to me. I want to do them justice and I don’t want to let them down.