After suffering through the tragic loss of her baby daughter at full-term, Stefanie Schollum began to believe in herself again, and put her heart and soul into her business, Social Paihia, with her supportive partner, Marcus. Understanding how costly online set-up can be, they set out to offer affordable, creative online solutions to businesses with big dreams and starter budgets.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
In 2018, I moved to Paihia with my partner Marcus and became integrated in the social scene. I found many local businesses in need of affordable website design, social media building and online expansion. Starting out as a small business owner myself, I was horrified at how much I would need to fork out to pay for my online set-up. I decided to learn and become involved with the social trade so I could provide affordable solutions to others like myself – individuals with big dreams and starter budgets.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Social Paihia was initially a professional commercial and event photography business. I am a fully qualified and experienced photographer, and invested a lot of time and finances into expanding my business and gear.
I fell pregnant (unexpectedly) in June 2018, and Social Paihia slid into the background as Marcus and I prepared for our new arrival. I knew once our baby was born, I would eventually be able to work from home with Social Paihia – a dream come true.
Our plans and dreams ceased in a life-shattering event in February 2019 when our daughter was born sleeping full-term due to a neural tube defect. To escape our tragedy and find a way out of the deep hole of grief, I refocused on Social Paihia, putting my heart and soul into growing this business.
We decided to move away from commercial photography and now offer website design and development, social media content, graphic design and branding.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Hands-down? It was when I started believing in myself again and viewing my skills as deserving and worthy of investment. My major investments were transformational life coaching, nutritional supplementation and counselling to prevent past events from interfering with future opportunities. I can’t stress enough that to be successful in what you do, uninhibited self-belief and self-love will overcome any potential obstacles.
No matter how much money or time I’d previously invested in my business, I didn’t have any major breakthroughs until I started manifesting within myself the success I now have.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Even though I don’t have a little one with me, I still have my amazing partner, a dog, two cats and a bunny (as well as six younger siblings). I find it very hard having enough time for everyone – I am a workaholic; there is absolutely nothing more interesting to me than my business and its prospects and I find it very hard to switch off.
However, as long as I have enough alone time to focus on my business, a big squeeze from Marcus at the end of the day is enough for me to switch off the business focus and spend quality time with him and the family. Wind down consists of Netflix and animal cuddles.