by Amber Isles –
Last March, surrounded by a room full of amazing women in business I was named Seaside Magazine’s 2016 Woman To Watch. What an honour!
As any entrepreneur knows, starting a business from the ground up comes with its fair share of ups and downs. Awards such as these and support from the community is what drives us business owners to keep going through the hard times.
When I started my confectionary company five years ago, I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted the future to look like. Of course I do tend to look at things through rose-coloured glasses, but I was not blind to the fact that there would be a lot of smog to get through in the process.
When talking to someone interested in starting a business venture, I first stress that you need to have clear goals in mind: year one, year five, year 10 etc. Most importantly, the goals need to be based on what you are looking to achieve. Are you doing this to support your family, create something innovative, filling an untouched area of the market … ? For me, my vision was a little unusual: combine my love of cooking and my animal welfare work. How could I create a business that offered a comfort product to the public but also allowed me to eventually continue my work with animals? Well, one thing at a time: I would put all my time and effort into creating and building my brand until the time came that I could take a bit of a step back and continue my animal welfare projects. This is a number of years away and I am not exactly sure what form it will take – perhaps opening a rescue ranch for stray animals to be rehabilitated and rehomed.
For now I will continue to pour my passion into my business, creating new products for retail and working towards perhaps opening a storefront. The best part about owning my company is I can dream up all sorts of crazy things and, if I want it bad enough and work hard enough at it, chances are I just might get there!
So, congratulations to this year’s winner of the Woman to Watch award. It is thanks to women like you that have been in my life that I even thought my dreams could be made into reality.