I am a businesswoman, and this is my story. My name is June Redford, I am 31 years old, and I have taken plenty of decisions in my life that I am not proud of.
I will provide you with a little backdrop of my tale. I was born in a very humble family in Newbridge. I have spent the entirety of my lifetime here, from the first day of school to the last day of college, I never ventured outside the proverbial walls of my city. Until I moved out a few years ago, I was the epitome of the sheltered child. My parents never let me experience the realities of life, and I think that is why it was challenging for me to manage on my own in this cruel world.
Now, let us delve into the real story.
Reasons for Starting my own Business
Both my parents were school teachers throughout their lifetime. They worked at the same school for over 35 years. After retiring, they did not have much in the form of savings to go on a world tour. They left all that they worked for in the school premises on their last day of work. So even though they had spent almost half their life at their workplace, they couldn’t call it their own.
Isn’t it sad? I know our parents are our role models, but I did not want to be like them. I wanted to work for a company that was my own. A company that would take my name forward for generations to come. Also, the income and profits you can earn in a business do not compare to the measly salary an employee gets.
It could only be possible if I set up my own business in our capital, Dublin. Newbridge was a great city to live in, but on the business front, it did not offer much at all. And so, my journey began.
The Pre-planning Stage
It would be a foolish mistake to go into the business field without any prior experience. There is a lot of information and critical skills that you would need to make your business a success. Therefore, intending to learn from the best, I applied for jobs all over the city. I wanted to start a retail line focused on comfortable shoes for women. For this purpose, I needed a job that could provide me with contacts of suppliers and give me an understanding of dealing with them.
Since the management of resources and money is almost the same in every line of business, I knew I would get the knowledge of the same anywhere. After a month of interviews, I finally got a job that was somewhat similar to what I had desired. It was the job of an assistant to a fashion magazine’s editor. The good thing about working for him was that he also dealt with photographers and designers. So, I got a fair idea of the trade.
Establishment of Redford Feet
My company was my baby, and it took me almost two years to get it standing. I knew that I had to give my 110% into it. There were nearly a thousand things that needed to be dealt with for the establishment.
- The first task that I took on was to get office space. I had saved enough money to rent a showroom in Dublin and pay the rent for a year without an income.
- Next was the renovation, and I wanted the customer to feel as if she had entered a bygone era. I took a bank loan, and this was sorted.
- Then was getting the supplier, I had met a few of the good ones during my tenure at the magazine. I contacted them; however, everyone needed an upfront payment. So, I had to ask my parents for some of their money. I was ashamed to do it, but I had to.
- Then were the craftsmen, I was going to design all the shoes myself, but I needed workers to convert the designs from paper to an actual shoe. A supplier gave me the address of an eminent craftsman who had retired a few years ago. I went to him. He was so grateful for my offer. He further agreed to work with me instead of a share in the sale rather than a fixed salary.
Everything was all set and last year in July we became operational.
I wanted my business to be successful so bad that I could sell both my feet and a kidney to make it work. Despite being as dedicated as I was, things were not turning out to be very bright for me.
The troubles kept on piling up;
- The customer count was depressing at best.
- The suppliers gave me poor quality material.
- The craftsman was a sloth.
As a result, neither did I have a high-quality stock that I could proudly display, nor I had enough merchandise to fill the display racks. I was doomed.
I needed a solution as soon as possible. I was jumping instalments almost every month, and my rent money had almost drained. I could not apply for a new loan because my credit score was as good as a homeless person.
A Ray of Sunshine
My company was unravelling in front of me, and I was helpless. I went to my dad and told him my dream of being an entrepreneur would never come true. I did not have it in me to run a successful business.
I still remember what he told me then, he said ‘failure is nothing but the building block of success.’ This somehow lifted my morale and I was back to work. I scoured my options for funding. I typed ‘Where to get a loan in Ireland with bad credit?” and you won’t believe me but I got thousands of results. I applied for a loan and got one quite quickly.
This time I even got a manager, running a business alone was not working out for me. My manager was so great that he almost took care of everything, and we had started earning a profit just a few months after. I should have hired him from the very beginning.
I finally got a taste of success in the end, even though I had almost given up. I was drowning in debt, still, I recovered, and that is the world of business for you. You would get to experience a lot of ups and even more downs.