In the first month after the launch of her business in 2015, Taleah de Fontenelle only sold one of her Memory Drops. However, this didn’t deter her from following her dreams and achieving her goals.
Her business, called T-Leaf Collections, now sells up to as many as 1,000 units per month, which has increased from 300 in 12 months’ time.
“Our Memory Drops are the perfect way to hang your special photos,” she enthuses.
“They’re so unique, beautiful and such a thoughtful gift. They really speak to the heart. What’s better than giving the gift of memories? Our range is so popular because it’s not like anything else on the market. We always strive to bring fresh, new designs to our audience.”
At the end of last year, de Fontenelle and her husband decided to make a big investment in the business and purchase two pieces of machinery (over $100k) after suppliers were no longer able to keep up with demand. This has helped the business to be more flexible, maintain quicker turnaround times and reduce costs.
“I have also successfully become a preferred supplier for Nextra Newsagents which is huge for me. I’m so proud of this achievement and there’s so much more in the pipeline. I have had recent meetings with a large company who are pitching my range for 2020.”
As a mum, running your own business is definitely a juggling act she adds, making sure she spends quality time with her son as well as getting all her work finished for that day.
“Most days I’m working away at the computer, playing with Leo and then getting as much done as possible while he’s asleep. Some days you just have to accept that you aren’t going to get everything done and that’s ok, you might just have to drop everything you’re working on and be a mum. I feel so grateful that I can just stop what I’m doing and go over and give him a hug.”
So does de Fontenelle have any tips for small business owners and mums looking to start their own business?
● Go for it! Don’t over think things or complicate things too much or you just won’t get started. Just make a start―start small, dream big.
● Know that you’re not alone―there is such a beautiful community of business women to connect with on Instagram, I have made so many wonderful friendships over the years.
● Try and find something that makes you stand out from the crowd, what is your point of difference?
● Keep pushing, keep working hard, stay true to yourself, be you, don’t try and be anybody else.
De Fontenelle is a finalist in this year’s 10th Annual AusMumpreneur Awards in the handmade category, which will take place in September in Melbourne.