Women Supporting Women
I want to tell you my biggest secret and something I have been carrying around for years with a huge amount of shame and embarrassment.
When I started Oh Flossy I was legally bankrupt.
I genuinely believe in the Women Supporting Women ethos but unfortunately in my experience, women are the ones who will be the first to slit your throat in business. So this is my attempt to truly change that. If it wasn't for women I have met that offered me guidance and help with no expectation of anything in return, I wouldn't be where I am. So this is me paying it forward in a time when the world is on its head by literally giving you my list of people & businesses I trust and value.
At the end of the day, we are in the midst of what will probably be the craziest and most traumatic time we will ever experience. We are going to see a lot more mental health crises evolve from this as well as extreme poverty. As someone who has experienced both, I see that there is a reason to my story and it serves no purpose anymore hiding in shame.
I know there will be tonnes of questions regarding my story and I'm going to keep this short and sweet so you can get to the good stuff.
This feels uncomfortable to do because it goes against everything you learn in business but I believe that discomfort is there to point out something and for me, it's the change that needs to happen in the world around us.
Why was I Bankrupt?
I made some choices that at the time I thought were the right ones but ultimately (thanks hindsight) turned out to be bad ones. These decisions were made in a very fragile time for my family (after we had miscarried multiple times, I had severe PostNatal Depression and our son was in and out of hospital for months on end) and I honestly thought I was leading my family well and helping us mature and move forward. At the end of the day it left us destitute and unable to feed my kids anything other than buttered rice and pasta. I still remember, for months on end, scrounging for change in the cushions to buy loaves of bread. I had no choice at that point but to file for bankruptcy.
How did you start Oh Flossy if you were bankrupt?
I genuinely just needed to find a way to help support my family financially. Even if it was only $50 extra a fortnight. The creativity of Oh Flossy ultimately came from my children - as they say, 'Necessity is the mother of all inventions.' So I combined the three - a creative idea, a burning passion to change the world my kids are growing up in, with a desperate need to help my family.
We bootstrapped the entire thing. It was literally every cent we could spare from groceries each fortnight and then we reinvested every single cent from sales until we were making a profit.
Lots of people helped us along the way from packing orders to admin. We have been offered investments from the very beginning but to date I am still the only Share Holder in Oh Flossy.
Aren't you afraid of legal ramifications?
Not any more. Since starting Oh Flossy I have been threatened legally and this is always the first thing the lawyers threaten to “expose to the public” but the truth is that I made sure I did everything right and by the law so those threats have never held ground. They’re simply a way for people to run up your expenses in legal fees as a tactic to panic you and shut you down.
There will always be people (often women) who try to chop you down while you try to climb. They’re often the ones screaming the ‘Women Supporting Women’ banner the loudest as well.
I'm not ashamed of my past anymore and I'm certainly not going to let insecure people attempt to dim my light.
Aren't you afraid of raising competitors?
No way. Oh Flossy’s mission will not falter because more people come into the market. I have always maintained that if we had no products to sell I would still push our message out into the world because childhood deserves to be protected and we owe it to the next generation to create safer environments for children to play, create and grow.
If we are all aiming for the same thing then realistically there is no “competition” there is just a collective group of people willing to take a risk and create safer products, environments and communities for children and their families.
At the end of the day, most of us are trying to provide for our own families and that is something worth celebrating, uniting over and supporting each other in, in the most authentic and genuine way possible. Forget traditional business methods - we’re part of a new generation.
Is this sponsored or are you getting anything out of this?
Heck no! There are no discount codes or 'Mention-My-Name' involved in this.
I have worked tirelessly finding reliable people to work with. I have missed more things with my children over the last few years than I care to count. I have also spent thousands in bad manufacturing or been screwed over by people who promise the world and deliver nothing. I genuinely want to help just one person jump that queue, start something to feed their family and help them spend more time with their kids. I want that person to skip the turbulence of a startup and missing family moments you can't get back.
For the people who will troll this and try to make this a dirty message whether by lawyers, emails, messages or comments - I know this upsets you and makes you uncomfortable. I see you. I respect you. I value you. I’m hurting and frustrated too.
Remember, your flame does not dim if more candles are lit - we shine brighter together.
So here goes…
Branding & Creative
Luke Beeton at Sailor Studio in Sydney, Australia.
Kasey Rainbow in Brisbane, Australia
Photography & Videography
Stef Thoms in Sydney, Australia
Hugh Humphries at Hustle Media in Sydney, Australia
Ben Dwyer at Inke Packaging in Melbourne, Australia
Alice Guan at CrownWin Packaging in Dongguan, China
Whatsapp: +86 138 2573 8519
*Rainforest certified and ISO certified*
Synergy Pack in Victoria, Australia
CosPak in Sydney, Australia
Big Red Packaging in Sydney, Australia
Signet Packaging in Sydney, Australia
Qosmedix in Rokonkoma, USA
TKB Trading in Oakland, USA
Ads, Social Media & Marketing
Louise at Pineapple Marketing and Promotions in Sydney, Australia
Catherine Langman at Catherine Langman in Australia
*Online Freebies Available*
Tracy Harris at Mums With Hustle
*Online Freebies Available*
Socially Em in Perth, Australia
*Online Freebies available*
Coaches, Mentors, Groups & Valuable People (who can help you avoid hard-learned lessons)
Laura Furiosi - Bossy Mummy
Ausmumpreneur - Womens Business Collective
Vincent Man - Private Accountant & Bookkeeper
Resources & Helpful Podcasts
Lady Startup Podcast by Mia Freedman
Scale Up Your Business Podcast by Nick Bradley
The Productpreneur Success Podcast by Catherine Langman
The Business Mastermind by Gavin Preston
The Marketing Your Business podcast by Stu Mclaren
I hope this helps.
Do you know anyone else or another business that can help someone trying to start something up? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and together we can help during this wild time.
Raya du Plooy