Lou Moreland is the clever lass behind Honey & Co Club, a kids’ gift subscription service. Every month she carefully curates kits for preschool-aged tykes around Australia – a fun job, but a big one. We had a wee chat with Lou to find out how she makes it all happen.
What was the process for getting your business off the ground? I did about six months of research. I learned that there wasn’t anything like this on the market in Australia. Subscriptions are big business in the US and are certainly taking off here, but there wasn’t anything that catered specifically to children. Then, there was a lot of product testing, trial and error with the direction of the business, and finding the right illustrator to capture the friendly face of Honey.
Describe your workspace for us, please. I have a home office where I spend most of my days researching new products, scheduling social media, coming up with new designs for canvas bags and chatting with our illustrator. I’m a big list writer; I love to tick off my lists and always end my day with writing my ‘to-do’ list for the following day. It’s a small space, very white and minimal. Too much mess creates distraction for me (I’m pretty sure it’s a Virgo trait). I’m very much looking forward to moving into a new space this year, where my lists can be on whiteboards all over the wall!
Do you have any helpers? Mostly it’s just me, but that’s going to have to change very soon as the growth of the business has resulted in me working some pretty crazy hours. I recently enlisted an IT guru to help with the website and general IT stuff, as that’s definitely not my strong point. My energy goes into the product and marketing side of things. At that ‘once a month’ time when our subscriptions are being packed I have the hubby and good friends on hand to help, but I’m really looking forward to employing parents or carers who require flexible working hours. It’s a really important part of the whole business journey for me, providing a flexible working environment.
What’s your favourite thing about running a small business? The absolute satisfaction I get when I see all our Honey & Co Club kits packaged, lined up and taken off to the postman. It sometimes feels like a mammoth task to get there, but the sense of achievement is wonderful. I also love imagining littlies from all over Australia checking their letterboxes to find a surprise from us.
Have there been any unexpected challenges along the way? Finding fantastic suppliers make all the difference, and that was a major challenge at the beginning. I ordered 500 of our canvas printed bags in the early days, only to find the print quality wasn’t great and the sizing was completely wrong. There was a silver lining, though: I was able to donate these to a friend’s charity that create toiletry bags for the homeless, Little Care Packs.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself when you were starting your business? I would say, “Did you not know how much work would be involved?” I guess I did know, but you never really understand until you’re in the thick of it. Starting out, you are every part of your business: marketer, researcher, social media manager, finance guru, website guru, buyer, administration assistant, copywriter, negotiator, photographer...
Do you take time out to celebrate your victories? I should, but I guess I don’t. Maybe a little happy dance in the studio to celebrate, but time is of the essence, so mostly I move onto the next task at hand.
I couldn’t be where I am today without… my husband. Honestly, he has been my number one supporter. Every time I think it isn’t going to work or I feel like giving up, he reminds me what I have created thus far and that the potential is great. We all need somebody like that in our corner.
To find out more about Honey & Co Club, pop over this way.
Brought to you in partnership with our mates at Australia Post.