A Chat with Nat – Ange from Hamper Life

Recently, I caught up with Ange from Hamper Life.

Ange is a Business Jump client and though we posted a case study with her not too long ago, she is one of those people that makes you smile the minute you hear her voice so we decided to do a video together to chat about her experience with Business Jump and how she is going five months into her new adventure of running an online business. I wanted to find out whether it matched her expectations and what her wins and fails have been.

Nat:  “Hi everyone! I’m Nat from Business Jump and I wanted to introduce you to one of my clients, Ange from  Hamper Life. Every time I chat to Ange she is so lovely and full of life and I’d really like to give you a behind the scenes, sneak peek into Ange’s business and also how she found dealing with Business Jump and going through the motions of everything that’s involved with setting up an online business.

So, Ange, I’m going to jump straight into the questions because I want to get to the good stuff! Anyone who has worked with Business Jump will know that I always ask them their ‘Why’. Why do they want to start an online business? Obviously, I know your “why” but I would love it if you could share with everyone else what it was that made you want to start an online business. What’s your why?”

Ange:  “My why. Okay, I have a few but we don’t have time for all of those so I’ll narrow it down to a couple. My main one, and I’m sure many people will resonate with this, is just wanting that flexibility to be able to be at home around the kids. I’ve got a 13-year-old and a 2-year-old so there are varying daily activities that go with having kids of those ages. Also my hubby runs a business from home and he’s always on the road, so I wanted to have time where I could assist him as well. But at the at the same time I wanted to make sure that I was doing something for myself and to feel that I was making an impact and bringing in some money but also having that flexibility to do other things besides driving into the city every day, working 9 to 5, coming home and logging back on the PC… it just felt like it was never ending. So that’s probably my main “why”. What else can I be doing that will hit all those key things that make me hungry for work? I’ve always had a passion to work but also allow me that flexibility.”

Nat:   “Sounds like you’re really looking for that freedom too.”

Ange:  “Absolutely.”

Nat:   “To not be stuck in that mundane life of having to go to a corporate job which of course some people love, but some people also feel like there’s something more and they want to take control of their own life and not have to be conforming. So yeah, I picked up that freedom was a big one for you, and fulfilment as well.”

Ange:  “Definitely fulfilment. I mean I’ve been in the corporate world for 21 years, I have had varying jobs and I’ve loved it. I’ve had great friends, great skills that I’ve learned that I will take me with me forever.  But I think the turning point for me was being on maternity leave with my now 2-year-old and I left the business on mat leave not actually thinking that I wanted to start my own business. But then something between being on mat leave and turning 39, almost 40, just got me thinking – is this what my life’s going to be, just going back to that mundane corporate world or do I actually want to do something different? So that was a big turning point for me.”

Nat: “That’s what I was going to ask you next actually. Was there one thing or was there maybe a sequence of things that made you realise? Or was there a defining moment?”

Ange:  “I think it was just a sequence of things. Being home on maternity leave with a little one I just kept researching different things, and then for some reason six months into the mat leave, I just thought I can’t go back to that world. It’s just not me. It doesn’t suit my current lifestyle. I knew that he would be our last child so I wanted to savour that moment. So what else can I do besides going back to work? I knew I’d have to go back because of the role that I had, being quite managerial, that I would need to either start off part time but I would eventually have to go back to full time and the thought of doing that was just heart wrenching! So I thought there’s got to be something else that I can do that allows me that flexibility to work from home or work from wherever really with literally just a laptop and a phone, and that’s what made me decide I need to do an online business.”

Nat: “I think the evolution of the online world, especially when we have children is really very confronting. The thought of having to go back to a full-time job and leave them, and I feel like that is why so many people are realizing that an online business that is set up correctly and in the right way can actually provide the solution to not having to go back, so we can spend more time with our kids so we still can have fulfilment and we still can have freedom and all of the amazing things that an online business can provide. Would you say that you had any experience in the online world? Did you know much about it?”

Ange: “No, (laughing), as techy as I got was probably having Facebook! I had no idea about web design. I had no idea about SEO. I mean, these were all new terms – I didn’t even have an Instagram account! I honestly had nothing, so I actually had no online experience at all, or what it would involve to even go down that path. It’s just something that I knew I needed to do because that was the way that would allow me that freedom. I just don’t know where to start.”

Nat: “How did you feel about that? Did you feel freaked out about it or feel nervous or did you feel like maybe you wouldn’t be able to pull it off?”

Ange: “Not really. I know that if I find something that I’m passionate about, I will throw my everything into it and I will learn as much as I can about it, so I wasn’t worried about part, it was more about where to start. How to switch the button on to get the ball rolling.  And that’s when thankfully I found you!”

Nat: “So Hamper Life was one of our pre-made concepts that we came up with that obviously landed in front of you, probably via Facebook. What did you think when you saw it?”

Ange:  “So, I had been following your Facebook account for maybe for two or three months, and I’m guessing I came across you from a Facebook ad, so well done you, they’re working! I think I just saw that and it seemed to tick all the boxes because it came in this beautiful bundled little package, where you got a project co-ordinator to help you create the website, add your look and feel into it. It was directory based and I thought that works well because I don’t have to hold product. And it comes with the e-Course so I thought that was great because it also ticks my other box – I love learning as I go as well, so it didn’t feel like feel I was just giving it to someone to do and I just get handed something back. I was also learning and acquiring new skills in the background so that I can then do things on my own. I had come across a few of your pre-made sort of ones and thought, I can do that… oh that’s nice I could do that… and that was fine, but I thought no I’m just waiting for that one to grab me, and that’s when I saw the Hamper gifting business and I’m like yep, that just resonated with me and then I probably stalked you for like two or three days after that!”

Nat:  “There are lot of people that say that they’ve been stalking me. I love it! I always get emails saying I’ve stalking you for a little a while!”

Ange: “Nat, I need some information, Nat (laughing) so, and then we connected so…”

Nat: “Why do you think it resonated with you? Had you had any experience with hampers before?”

Ange: “No it’s just something that I’ve always had a passion in, like if I do gifts for my family I love bundling things up together. And I love things like presentation and all that. It’s just something that I’m really passionate about, not that I have ever done any Hamper business or anything like that. I always take pride in the way I wrap things in general.”

Nat: “What you’re saying right now makes my heart so warm because not that anyone else would know this but I’m going to fill you in right now. Just before we actually jumped onto this, you were packaging up stuff.”

Ange: “I was! Have a look!”

Nat: “So you’re doing it!”

Ange: “It’s still there, it’s still a passion and I think that’s why it resonated with me, the gift hamper business. That’s something that won’t feel like work to me because I love seeing that stuff. I would love to help businesses get some more brand exposure and promote them, so I thought yep. And that’s why I thought that one resonated with me and that was the one that I went with.”

Nat:  “Perfect. So once we actually got started and we created everything for you, I want to skip now to the handover part. Looking back, if you had done it yourself, do you think you would have done it differently?  Like, how would things have turned out if you hadn’t come across Business Jump?”

Ange: “I think it would have taken me a lot longer. First and foremost I think the time to either research what you want it to look or feel like and all that stuff or pay someone to basically start from scratch without a template or anything like that. I think that would have taken forever and I don’t know whether I would be where I am today, five months in, if I didn’t have something that was packaged. Not to say that you can’t tweak it as we did, like you put your own feel and touch and you help create all the logos and all that sort of stuff, so it’s still you. But I just think the time that you and the team were able to pull it all together, basically from the time we started chatting to handover for example, we are talking like eight weeks or seven weeks or something like that. I think that’s really really quick from business starting from scratch as a start up with nothing, I thought it was fabulous. I honestly don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t done that, and the time it would have taken. And I just didn’t have the time. I was being made redundant in November and I think I reached out to you in September, and we started in October. I knew that I wanted to be able to leave my  current corporate role and basically grab that, ready to go. Which I did. I think I launched two days after I got made redundant, so yeah.”

Nat: “So when we handed over, what was the first thing that you did? How did you start to build it?”

Ange: I think I froze! I went into coma mode for a couple of days! I was thinking, ‘Is this really mine?!’ And I’m looking at all the handover stuff and the logos and all the images and I’m like, ‘Is that really my baby?!’ You have that initial overload feeling of ‘What do I do now?’  I’ve got it but now what do I do? And then I had to say ok, stop with the overload, nut things out, plan things out. Everything was set up so I think the first thing I started doing was a social media plan, coz I thought I need to start getting my name out there, getting some clients, and I think that was the first thing I did. Familiarise myself with Instagram, my Facebook page and start the promotion.

The first few months were full on! I think within the first month of the handover, I looked and found a business coach/mentor which some of you may know is Sarah Cross. And the reason why I did that is in my own head, I was thinking I can totally do this. I’ve come from a corporate world, I know what to do, I’ve worked in business, it’s all good. But when you get your own business it’s almost like a different skill set and mind set to apply to your own business. So for me, I know I’m an actioner, I’m a doer, but I didn’t know where to start. I had all these things that I wanted to do and I just felt inundated with my fabulous ideas where I didn’t know where to start. So it really helped me to get a business coach to then plan it out, really simplify it as to actionable things that I can do daily or whenever I have the time, and set myself some realistic goals but also some stretchy ones to push me to go that little extra mile.”

Nat: ‘Yeah, and I think a business coach is a perfect complement to what we offer because we will set it all up for you, we’ll give you a guide in the Facebook group to help you get started but if you want someone to hold you accountable in that one on one basis where you can continue chatting weekly or something, it’s a great complement to ensure that you have every chance to get out there.”

Nat: “So how did you feel when you started to get vendors on board?”

Ange: “Yeah really good. So when I got handed over I had three on there who were part of a 6-month free trial and they seemed to ramp up slowly leading into Christmas. Obviously, because they were busy because that’s their peak period, so they’re not going to pay attention to someone who is trying to get their attention. There were a handful who jumped on before Christmas, but really probably in the new year, literally the first week of January, is where I saw a massive influx. I would reach out to them with email. If I saw something on Instagram or Facebook I’d put them on my list, and I still have a list of like a hundred vendors that I tick off as I go for those that I’ve approached, for those who are on board, for those who are not ready yet or whatever it might be. But I didn’t find it too scary. There was a time I got this great run of vendors jumping on board and then it went through like a two or three week period where it went through a lull.”

Nat: “Yep.”

Ange:  “And it’s amazing in that two or three week period how much of a… you get a bit down, like thinking  okay so it was all buzzing and now it’s just stopped, what’s happened? And then you start self-doubting. Did I not send it or maybe I need to reword, or do I need to do that, or have I not done enough yet and all those things and that’s all just part of the process.”

Nat: “Oh a hundred percent and I think you find that in any business as well. And anyone who follows me will know that I am a massive mindset advocate and I really believe that you need the power of your mindset to be able to push you through those phases because the fear creeps in and it’s exactly as you said, am I doing the right thing, did I do something wrong? But actually, it is just the ebb and flow of business.”

Ange: “Exactly.”

Nat:  “And some months are quieter than others and that’s another reason why I have the Facebook group so that anyone who is going through that mind thing of worrying about having a quiet month, can reach out in the Facebook group and I will literally say, ‘It’s business, it’s okay, keep going’. Whereas if they don’t have that, they might continue to spiral downhill and I feel that’s why a lot of people give up, because they think there’s something wrong with them. It’s just business. Business is never a hundred percent perfect amazing the whole time. It challenges us in every different way.”

Ange: “And I think that’s why again I put it to the whole Business Jump Co as well, it wasn’t just the website, it wasn’t just all the social media, it wasn’t just the e-Course. You have a great support network so it wasn’t like you just got left on your own hanging and if you see the comments and the people that are on those support Facebook pages, they are so supportive. Such a wealth of knowledge that you can put something out there that you may think is a silly question but then you’ll find out ten other ladies are going through exactly the same thing. And it’s just very rare to have that support network where are you can just quite easily reach out, ask a question or offer someone else some support with something you’ve experienced and you can say well it happened to me too and this is how I dealt with it. And it’s just like you feel, ok I’m all right now, I’m good.”

Nat:  “You get back on track and then before you know it, you’re celebrating the amazing things that have happened.”

Ange: “That’s right.”

Nat:  “But that’s just business. It’s a constant cycle and I just feel like if we can continue to push ourselves through those cycles, it’s just keeps on up levelling and up levelling. And I also think that you could look at that situation and think to yourself it’s great to then reassess as well. Sometimes that’s what that fear and anxiety can be really good for. You’ll be thinking have I done the right thing, have I said the right thing, and it’s great to go back and refine because you might find that you can actually tweak something and that might be the key thing that pushes you to the next level.

Okay, so what are your goals for Hamper Life moving forward into the future?”

Ange:  “Okay so currently just over five months in, I don’t have any more free offerings. I probably stopped my free offerings in February maybe four and a half or three months in and I currently have 17 and believe it or not I got another one just before this call! All paying clients.”

Nat:  “And the thing that I’m most excited about for you in that is that it’s not like you’ve had just 17 sales and then you need to go find someone else. That is continuing recurring income so that’s like 17 sales times however how many months that they stay with you, which hopefully is forever.”

Ange: “That’s right, well the thing is of the 17, 16 actually have signed up for 12 months packages so I’ve got them for 12 months and obviously I hope to have them for a lot longer but it’s just nice to know that they’re going to be around for a 12 month period, and I look forward to growing their business. So the great thing is, the last four clients or vendors who have jumped on board, they’ve actually found me. They’ve approached me and said can we jump on board, so that just makes me so happy!”

Nat:  “That is 100% the turning point as well, having people that come to you, that’s exactly the way we want it to start with.  Yes you need to be proactive because you’re new and you’re getting out there and everything  but the key flip is having them come to you. Because that saves you having find them and in turn that opens up more freedom for you to reinvest that time into your family or your business. So, I’m thrilled to hear that!”

Ange: “Yes it’s really good, I’m really happy. I’ll definitely be keeping that bubbling along and I have got some strategies in place over the next couple of months to keep increasing the listings obviously.”

Nat:  “I will leave it there but just before we do, I want to know what would you say to someone that was thinking…  not necessarily with Business Jump because I believe in supporting anyone that wants an online business. But what would you say to someone who’s thinking about doing it, based on your experience?”

Ange: “Don’t be scared to give it a go and there’s always a lot of support out there whether it is through Business Jump Co or whatever. There’s so many forums, there’s so many expertise in the area but also again go back to your why. And if your why is really, really powerful in the sense of the reasoning of the thought process of starting an online business then follow it because you won’t ever fail if you are achieving your why. Stop the fear… everyone’s got it. Don’t think of it as a sense of failure if it doesn’t work because you can try another one. There’s always opportunities and there are so many areas to grow, but if you stick to your core of ‘why’, it will work.”

Nat:  “A hundred percent, alright thank you so much for coming on. I’m so excited that you were able to share your story with us because I just love it so much! I’m just so thrilled to see you going from strength to strength and I’ll see you online I guess.”

Ange:  “You will.”

Nat:  “Bye!”

Ange: “Bye!”