The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Rachel: We are still quite new so our breakthrough from my perspective is more around learning this last year. Learning that markets are hard, but they’re worth it because not only do you get your brand out there, but you also create a network of other stallholders who are really encouraging. They help you feel better when you feel down about not making many sales, they share their years and years of experience and connect you with people to help build your business more. And we get the chance to return the encouragement, connect them with people too and even help them feel better when they haven’t made any sales.
Jeremy: Another big breakthrough for us was investing a lot of time (continual) into product research and trialling and finding what actually works in terms of suppliers or necklaces, what are the right kinds of resins to use for which piece of the work we are doing, and what is ultimately going to produce the best results with longevity because we want to make a product that’s good quality. We want to make sure that whoever receives our pendants, that they are still able to be worn, and remind them of happiness for years and years to come – that’s what really matters.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Rachel: At the beginning, I was stay-at-home mum to our newborn son Asher and Jeremy was working full time. Now, a year later, I’m working full time, and Jeremy is stay-at-home dad, which means we have very limited time. So, as Asher is the most important thing to us, we really only have time in the evenings or weekends when there are two of us and Asher is asleep to work on our business. This allows us the balance we need, but also restricts us from growing too fast – which isn’t really a bad thing as we want to make sure each customer is getting exactly what they’re hoping for and we are constantly adapting and learning as we grow.
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
Rachel: When we first started, we made the call that we wanted our own website so we could promote the brand ourselves. What we didn’t anticipate, was how difficult it was to create a simple website that was easy to manoeuvre around, as well as providing all the functionality our customers need.
Between Jeremy and I (mostly Jeremy), we are now a lot closer to the website we’d like to have.
Another one of the personal challenges we overcame was how we approached each key task within the business, like marketing, finances etc. We realised after working together for a year (yes it took that long!), that we both tend to like leading each other. This created many challenges, as you could imagine, but we have since been able to determine who has strengths in which area and try to keep ourselves within those areas…sometimes… haha!
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
Jeremy: What I love about owning my own business is that we can choose the direction we’d like to lead the business in. We can set something up that maybe in the future we could pass on to Asher.
The cons are wanting to do a lot more than we can currently, but because we have just started out, we are very limited. I imagine this will continue as the business grows, so it’s good to learn.
Rachel: What I love about owning our own business is that we can make decisions and implement them immediately. We can decide to do something to hopefully help other people and not need to get sign-off to do so (other than each other).
Hopes and dreams: What next?
Jeremy and Rachel: We’d love to see Head 2 Heart really take off and bring everybody joy. We absolutely love seeing a customer happy with what they get and get something really significant out of it.
What’s next… we’d like to expand the business in a way that adds in Home Décor and other creations, so we can bring people joy who can’t or don’t necessarily wear jewellery, so that they can have something to remind them of joy too.
Our biggest dream for the business is for it to be the building block for us to really give back to the community by employing staff, having a workshop to train and give young and unemployed people real life skills in the workforce that they can take and apply in their life.
As part of this, we’d also like to be able to provide happiness reminders to those who perhaps can’t afford jewellery, maybe with something more practical. There are some people who can’t even afford to print pictures of loved ones they’ve lost. So, we’d love to be able to support these amazing people also, as everyone deserves a little reminder of joy, or something that makes them smile.
A special thank you to the beautiful people of @ravenphoto.nz for all the beautiful photos for this article and our business. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without you!