What is “Everyday Inspirers”?
Let’s meet the Hello Pretty Team…
I was super excited when Hello Pretty agreed to have my art in their online store… I loved the idea of going with a South African based online retailer, it kinda feels like local supporting local.
I always get inspired when I hear about how local entrepreneurs are killing it out there… but this team inspired me because it’s incredible what happens when inspirers come together and collaborate… big dreams come to fruition!
So this is our first group “interview”… Let’s get to know the team better!
Q. How are you serving the world?
A. We have built a platform for small creative businesses to create their own online stores – we help them grow their businesses by extending their reach, offering mentorship.
We’re really passionate about helping entrepreneurs turn their passions into careers..
Q. A quick recap of life before you found your calling
A. Here’s the team
Sam is a website designer and has been designing and building beautiful sites for almost ten years – she’s the one that makes Hello Pretty the hot young thing that it is.
I was studying architecture in Pretoria for what seemed like forever (it’s not a short degree!) before moving home to Durban to start my first office job. Hello Pretty advertised for a digital intern, and I threw my name into the ring – and never left!
Adeline is a copywriter by trade, and had been working in radio before joining Sam and Scott full time.
Scott is our developer – he’s Canadian and has helped build, manage and launch various start ups and marketplaces over there before meeting Sam and moving here.
Q. What was that Tipping point for you – that led you to make the change?
A. Sam and Scott noticed a gap in the market about three years ago, noting that it was really difficult to get great designer goods countrywide besides visiting your local weekend market.
They enlisted Adeline who left her job in radio, and then I joined on Valentine’s Day 2013. I’m not sure if I refused to leave or if they refused to let me go, but I moved to Cape Town in January 2014 to join them full time.
We were all really passionate about the business, and the more we saw that it wasn’t just about online shopping but also making an impact in our creative communities, the more we felt compelled to pursue it.
Q. What did that moment [or moments] feel like?
A. We have those moments every day. It’s incredibly rewarding and satisfying knowing that you’re helping others build and grow their businesses. Each time someone emails us asking for advice or to say thank you makes us feel warm and fuzzy down to our toes. It reminds us why we’re doing this, and why we love it.
Q. Can you tell us about the little things you do, to keep inspired/creative?
A. Coffee. Scott makes a great cup of coffee!
We’re a really small team so rely quite heavily on each other to push us when we need it, for support, for laughs – we work hard but we have a ton of fun.
Each time we go onto the site is an inspiration in itself, being exposed to what other creatives are doing and selling. It’s a real privilege to work with such talented people every day – we’re surrounded by creativity all the time.
Q. Who are your favourite everyday inspirers?
A. There are so many! All of our sellers obviously – two stand out examples of entrepreneurship, amazing work ethic, and creating opportunities for other small businesses and social upliftment are Leila from Bow Peep and Fabricate, as well as Amy from Bamboo Revolution.
I am personally inspired by my close friends Simon and Lize Hartley every single day – founders of Wumdrop and Plasta respectively, I really admire their tenacity and determination. I try surround myself with people I admire in the hopes that makes me better at what I do.
Internationally we’re avid followers of startup guru’s Paul Graham and Brad Feld. Other people that inspire us day-to-day are people in the startup and tech community. We always feel inspired after talking to people running other local startups. Anyone who starts or tries to start their own business is inspiring. Anyone who does something different, even if it’s not a business – just art, writing, whatever.
Q. What is the single biggest life hack [that has saved your butt/given you your life back – over and over again !]?
A. The Gmail app called Boomerang is my most used tool – we receive a massive number of emails every day, and that has saved me from having things slip through the cracks. It’s also a favourite of Scott’s.
Also the “undo send” feature on email has saved my butt on many occasions!
Q. When times get tough, how do you overcome fear and self doubt?
A. Our team mates. I think if we didn’t have each other to lean on we would have jumped ship ages ago!
Also a sense of responsibility. Our teammates rely on us, our sellers rely on us – it gives us a sense of accountability. It’s not just about us, and definitely not just for us – we can’t give up.
Fear and self doubt don’t ever really go away, because we’re creating something that’s being sent out into the universe to be criticised – Hello Pretty is our baby. But unless it’s crippling, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. It allows us to keep trying harder, researching, and striving for better.
Q. If you met yourself in 5 [or even 10] years from now… what would your life look like? what would you be doing?
A. Hopefully this exact thing. We didn’t start this business to sell it – this is what we want to do with our lives.
Q. What would you tell the “YOU” 5 years ago… about creating a biz [and life] you love?
A. Don’t wait until it’s perfect – if you do you’ll never finish anything.
Just start – the rest will come.
Q. What was your biggest struggle when you first started out? What kept you up at night?
A. It depends on the night!
Good nights we’re kept up by new ideas.
Bad ones are the seemingly unsolvable problems.
Ecommerce is still pretty new in South Africa, and is still met with some suspicion – so at the start that was definitely nerve wrecking!
Right now what keeps us up at night is growth – ideas to take us from where we are today to where we need to be a year from now.
Q. The quote I live by:
A. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started”
“Stop wishing. Start doing.”
“Small efforts add up to huge results.”
Want to connect with them?
Did you have any aha moments whilst reading this interview?
I loved the reminder to continually take small steps towards my goal, and how when I work with others towards a bigger goal… magical things can happen!
What stood out for you?
Ps… Want to get to know some of our other everyday inspirers?