Welcome to XnO THE LABEL. I am super happy that you have stopped by my site and made it this far to my blog. First of all, I am not a blogger. I am not a writer. I am however a new business owner and I thought it might be nice to start documenting my journey.
I won't go into all the boring details about my previous life before starting this business (click on the about tab if you like) but I will tell you how I started. Starting is the hardest part and I procrastinated for a long time.
Last year (2016) I was working in a job that had come to a point where it was making me miserable. And when I say miserable I mean I would have anxiety about going into work. I felt quite bullied in my workplace and rather than say something I decided to leave. I am one of those people who makes rash decisions, I don't always think things through, I go with my gut and hope it all works out. So far it has (most of the time).
The decision to quit my job was fairly easy due to the idea of leaving Melbourne for a while and moving over to England to be with my boyfriend at the time. I'd been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for 3 years!! Yep that's right, 3 years! He lived in England and I lived in Australia. We met when I lived in London, which feels like a lifetime ago. Having the idea of quitting my job and moving to England to spend time with him and just have a break from my everyday life seemed like a step in the right direction. How right I was.
The excitement of having extended leave from work (aka being unemployed) soon wore off quite quickly. Don't get me wrong, I could netflix and chill all day but when you get to do that from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep the pure joy of being lazy starts to wear thin. I needed a job. A distraction. Having a lot of experience in production and design I started doing freelance design work which kept me creatively challenged.
Through conversation with one of my clients who had a successful fashion business I found out that she had no rag trade experience and was once a former accountant. She had seen a gap in the market when she had children and had decided to fill the void. I was surprised. Here was this woman who had no former fashion design or production experience and was doing it all on her own anyway. Kudos. I was a little bit envious to be honest and that's when I thought "well if she can do it, then I can do it".
The rest as they say is history. I started creating designs (possibly with nextflix playing in the background) and after a short while I had my first collection. A range of product for women and the mini in their life.
I should probably tell you now that I am not a mother. I wonder if I am the only person to have started a baby/kids brand that isn't a mum? For some reason I was drawn to children's wear. I think it's because my designs translate easily into kids clothing and let's be honest they are super cute (yes I am getting broody). I can't actually remember when I thought to add the matching women's tees into the range but it felt like a good idea and so I just went with it. No ugly 1980's matchy matchy here, never.
Today I am back in Melbourne and working hard on making this mini brand something big. I am a realist. I don't expect fireworks or to be a millionaire overnight (it'd be nice though). I expect this journey of having my own business is going to be hard but it's something I am happy to work hard for. I know I have some great product and some great ideas and I am so excited to share them with you all as I grow.
My leap of faith and quitting my job turned out to be the best decision I ever made. Remember that boyfriend I mentioned before? Well he's now my very loving husband! If you'd told me a year ago I'd be married and would be running my own business I'd never have believed it. That's the thing about life, it's always full of surprises.
Love Caroline xo