The focus of the Starting Small series is to introduce you to some amazing individuals who have built their own businesses from scratch. They are full of passion, life, and love. Once a month, we feature a new business owner, and pick their brain regarding how they started their business, advice for those who have/wish to have a business themselves, how they making time for themselves, and most importantly, which they love most about being a small business owner. I hope these individuals will inspire you, motivate you, and fill your heart with as much love as they’ve filled mine.
- When did you first decide you wanted to start this business? Tell us the story!
It all began when I was a stay at home mum with my 2 gorgeous boys Halen and Duke (3 & 1) while my husband was working full time as a school teacher. I was always someone who has loved styling, fashion and accessorizing- so I soon realized putting outfits together for my boys was more of a creative outlet for me than just a hobby. That’s when I knew I had to do something with my passion! At the time I never felt like I could find exactly what I was looking for in accessories for the boys, so I started to create things that I loved and wanted for them. And that is how Beau Hudson began…from my dining table! And now 3 years on we have another little man added to our family (Knox Lion who is almost 2), an amazing warehouse, a team of 10+ incredible staff, Full clothing ranges (not just accessories) and we are feeling so incredible blessed in how far we’ve come- and excited about the things still to come!
- You’re a mama and a business owner, which means you’re quite the busy lady! How do you incorporate your family + business + personal time into your day?
It’s safe to say, it’s a never ending juggling act! Ha! I’m still yet to find anyone who is balancing them all perfectly, and I’m learning that all you can do is your best- and that IS good enough (even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.) Some weeks that means my kids consume 5 different types of vegetables on their plate at night for dinner (this past week- YEAH!) and the washing is done and put away and I feel like super mum! And other weeks, its McDonalds takeout more than once, washing piled so high I don’t know where to begin and I feel like I’m losing my mind! Ha! I’m learning to not be hard on myself- it’s all part of it! One thing we’ve always done is include our kids in what we do. We have a very “open door” policy with our boys and Beau Hudson- they’re along for the journey, they know it’s their name and if it wasn’t for them- it wouldn’t exist! We don’t ever want it to be something they don’t like, or they feel like it takes mummy and daddy away from them when they see us working- they can walk into our office whenever they like and are as comfortable at our office/warehouse with all of our staff as they are at home. So take your family along for the ride! And on the days that the juggle between mum life/family/and running a business gets tough- always remember, your amazing!
- What are three pieces of advice you would give to a mama who is interested in starting her own business?
My first and biggest piece of advice is to Trust in yourself. If you are passionate about something- you would be surprised at how much (MUCH more than you realise) you can stretch yourself beyond what you thought possible, and achieve more than you ever imagined! Once you believe in yourself, there really isn’t a whole lot you can’t do!
Secondly, work hard and be ok with sleepless nights! This piece of advice isn’t a glamorous one, but it’s definitely a big one. For me specifically, I didn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours a night (if that) for the first 6 months. It’s definitely not maintainable long term (and A LOT of caffeine is required!) But it’s what I had to do to stay on top of being a mum, and running a business that I wanted to be successful. This will look different for everyone one, but the main thing is to basically be willing to work really hard for your dream. If you want it- don’t stop til it’s yours!
And lastly, surround yourself with extremely encouraging and supportive people. This is SO important. It may only be 2 or 3 people- that is totally ok. It can be lonely in the start as not everyone understands the early days of starting a business and how much is required. There will be times when you just need someone to say “your doing great” or “I believe in you” or “here’s a coffee, let me have the kids for an hour” – when your exhausted, your juggling a million things and feeling like you haven’t seen friends and family in what feels like ages, those words are pure gold and give you that boost to keep going!
- Where do you look to for inspiration for new designs?
I get inspiration from everywhere (literally)! We were just in New York and I got a lot of inspiration for our new season collection over there. My husband and I were walking through Soho just chatting, and I was stopped in my tracks seeing a colour on a sign that inspired me. I immediately stopped and all these ideas were dropping into my brain- he kinda knows to just let me have my moment! Ha! That’s why I always have to have my notepad and pencil with me. When I’ve got it all down, then he asks for all the details!! J
I also love scouring magazines. I’m always looking at things with a different eye- things jump out at me in the craziest ways. It might be a texture, a picture, a fabric, a colour, a location or a street wall. I then use what inspires me in those moments mixed with my style to create!
- What was the process for deciding on this name for your business?
This one wasn’t too hard- Beau is my eldest son Halen’s middle name, and Hudson is our middle man Dukes middle name. I loved how their middle names sounded together and it just flowed. Knox wasn’t born when we started the business, but the most asked question we get is “how are you going to incorporate Knox’s middle name (Lion) into the business?” We always have a laugh, because with the personality he has, we always say “We think he’ll be the one running the business one day!” haha
- What has been the most difficult part of creating and managing a small business? What has been the most enjoyable part?
The most difficult part of creating the business was definitely the sleepless nights and being the one doing it all in the beginning. It was exhausting and at times super lonely- for my personality, that was really hard and isolating. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel- just keep looking ahead to you goal and vision.
The most enjoyable and incredible part of doing what I do, has always been (and always will be) seeing kids and now adults too in all different parts of the world from all demographics and ethnicities wearing Beau Hudson. When I look through our Hashtags on social media and I see pictures of kids wearing our gear- my heart still skips a beat! Or when an order comes in from a remote part of the world and I think “I can’t believe they know our brand over there!” It’s the most amazing feeling, and inspires me so much!
- Favorite quote: I have two, actually –
Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing its stupid. –Unknown
And another one I love is –
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. – Dr Seuss
So what I take from these quotes is to find what you love and are passionate about and be a GENIUS in that. And also make the most of every moment- they’re all worth something! Even the hardest times I’ve been through in the business, when I look back now they were all actually defining moments that made me stronger – so appreciate them all!
- Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl before kids, Early bird after kids!
Heels or flats? Heels before kids, Flats after kids! Haha! I do love a good heel though!
Sunshine or Snow? I’m a Gold Coast girl- Sunshine!