The Hustle

Many of you are aware that I’m the face behind the brand The Timba Trend. I’m the owner, creator, designer, social media manager, head painter, quality control officer, packaging assistant, admin manager and marketing manager. When I close my workshop doors, I’m a mum to my two boys, a wife to my husband, the cook, the cleaner, the shopper, the ironing lady, the gardener, the taxi driver to school and football training, the doctor taking care of her men when they’re sick, and after all that’s done, I finally take care of me. Just like most of you Mums out there, I put everything else first. Then I throw in writing a blog and running a styling service just to test how much I can really handle. Ha! So how do I do it all? Good question.

Running your own business means you wear a hat of many trades as you can see. Plus you have to add in all the usual “Mum” stuff. Some days it feels as though I’ve got the whole thing worked out, other days I feel like I’m drowning in mountain high seas. I crave organization and routine. Without it I’m a headless chicken. There is no functioning until I have it. It took a good twelves months of being in business to finally work out which routine was best suited for my family and our new venture. I’m now eighteen months in and can say I have found the perfect routine for the hustle I’ve created.

I receive many emails and messages on Instagram asking how do I do it all. So this post is for you guys. Want to know how I do “it all”? Then read on.

The Timba Trend came about in November 2014. After renovating our home and creating our own handmade pieces to put in it, hubby kept at me, telling me for months that I could sell them. Eventually I gave in and created an instagram account. I never took it seriously. I made a logo that didn’t appeal to me at all, I was happy to get one order a week, it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be today. Once I got the feel of the business and could see where it was heading was when I started to take it seriously. It was just shy of twelve months in business that it felt as though I’d woken up one morning and something had just clicked. Business was booming, it didn’t slow down, it hasn’t slowed down and there’s no signs of it slowing down. Perfect right? That’s what every business owner dreams of. I say it like I really did just woke up and it was booming. Really, when I look back at it all, I can see I’ve earnt this. This dream was not handed to me. I’ve worked hard. I’ve worked real damn hard. I use to outsource my cutting up and sanding from a local tradie to help with the workload. Then hubby was made redundant from his FIFO job. So giving the business all I had was made even easier. Together with my husbands helping hands, we’ve been able to drive the business in the direction I wanted. Create a brand that is trusted and known. Create a brand that will support my family. Create a brand that hopefully one day I can pass down to my sons.

My Hustle

I call it a hustle because that’s exactly what it is. It’s go go go. Busy doing one thing then a quick change of pace and onto the next thing. It literally is like that. I have a strict routine and roster that keeps me in check ( and sane ha! ). Workshop doors are only opened between the hours of 9am and 4pm. Between those times, I still have baby Kyle here at home with me (currently looking into daycare one day a week though to give me a full day in the workshop). Hubby will do any tool work I need done to prep me for my day and I will be inside with Kyle. Before he naps, I’ll do any styling photos I need done for The Connie Diaires. So its literally drop Kurt at school, come home and do any photos I need to do. Kyle has two naps through out the day. So once he goes down for his morning nap, around 10am, I’ll go into the workshop, put my apron on for roughly 2-3 hours and get AS MUCH done as I possibly can. It’s like instinct kicks in. You know you’re on a limited time frame so mind power takes over and its insane how much can be achieved when you know you have to do it. Customers have put in their orders for your own handmade pieces. You have no choice but to get your work on. When the pressure is on, the pressure is sure on. I have a video monitor in the workshop with me so I can see baby Kyle’s every move and know when he wakes. As soon as he wakes, its time to put my mum hat back on and tend to baby. I’ll come in and make lunch and shakes then have time with Kyle playing. If the workload is at a high or I didn’t quite get all my work finished for the day, I’ll take Kyle out into the workshop with us for as long as he can stand. I’ll finish off any work I can while he plays on the floor. Otherwise it’s out for a walk or a run by the lake getting our exercise done before school pick up.

Then comes time to pick Kurt up from school, get any groceries I need, post any international orders out, get home and help Kurt with homework, home readers, put Kyle down for an afternoon nap, Kurt will play with the neighbours, I’ll do any house work that needs to be done, then before I know it, Kyle’s awake and it’s time for witching hour. Dinner and bath time. Once the boys go to bed, it’s 2-3 hours again in the workshop. I only do this three nights a week. The other four nights are spent catching up on tv shows, doing blog work, designing new pieces, having family roast night on a Sunday. I also do not work weekends. Weekends are purely time for family. Kurt plays football so we are off attending games. Later we’re home doing house work – lawns, washing etc. Lately we’ve been caravan mad though! Every second weekend we are a blended family with my husbands eldest two children. Emails are on a 24-48 hour response time because some days, I just can’t do it all. Giving a response time takes the pressure off me so I can prioritize what needs to be done. One day a week when there is a spare 1-2 hours while paint dries we head out to restock supplies. Seems as though I’ve got it all sussed out right? I kind of do now. I never use to ha!

I use to miss out on so much. Weekends were spent working or attending markets. I had no rostered hours for working, it was just whenever I had a spare minute, pick up a paint brush! Got a moment, reply to emails! There were so many late nights in the cold workshop busting my butt to meet order time deadlines. The Christmas rush of 2015 showed me a side of myself I’d never seen before. Completely overwhelmed with orders and I knew I had no choice but to get it done. That was hard with having no babysitters for the boys but I made it through with no late orders. I showed myself that I am capable when I don’t have a choice haha! Once momentum with the business got up and running, markets were cancelled as there is no time for market prep when the orders are rolling in. I’ve always put online orders as a priority, not the markets where you hope for a sale and might make an extra dollar or two. Markets can be very hit and miss. Then when you factor your time and efforts into it, is it really worth it. For me, no it’s not. I’d sit at markets and make more in online sales for the day then I would at the markets, so it was really a no brainer for me. That gave back a lot of time at home and with my family.

One area I do need to work on is making time for my friends. My weeks are so busy doing everything that weekends are dedicated to my family. I do miss coffee dates with my friends and mummy catch ups with our babes. That would be the one area that needs TLC.

My top tips for managing your hustle

  • Find a routine
  • Create a roster
  • Write up two business plans. Have a short term plan and long term plan
  • Be patient. You won’t have success and all the answers to running a business over night. I’m still learning too
  • Know your limits
  • Outsource help ie. machinists, packaging suppliers, timber mills, couriers. Even deliveries for your groceries- saves time at the grocer.
  • Join networking groups for support and encouragement
  • Don’t forget to have “you” time. Whether it be at the day spa or just an hour to yourself sitting at the beach. We all need time out.

Please remember, this is my story and what has worked best for me. It doesn’t make this the “right” way or the “wrong” way. If there’s anything I’ve missed that you’d like to know, hit me up on instagram! I’m always happy to give my two cents.

Big Love,

Connie x

2 thoughts on “The Hustle

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