#SelfStarterStories: From International Coordinator to becoming a Style Strategist
This week's #selfstarterstory features Chelle Shohet, Founder of www.chelleshohet.com.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Chelle to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: My last job was as an international customer and supplier coordinator for a watch and jewellery company.
In this role, I looked after both customers and suppliers based outside of the UK. A job that demanded long hours, extensive travelling. The ability to negotiate was essential as was the need to carefully observe and navigate many different personalities, cultures and expectations.
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: After the company, I had been working for and invested my heart and soul into faced unforeseen difficulties on many fronts the decision was made to close the company down, and I like all staff were made redundant.
At the same time, I was also 7 and a half months pregnant.
A baby I had longed for, and with the sudden unforeseen shock of redundancy, I briefly went into premature labour.
Luckily my little boy decided he wasn't ready to make an appearance at such an early stage and everything calmed down. But I decided then that The corporate lifestyle, the extream hours, the extensive travel was no longer important to me. What I needed to do was stop feathering others caps, working my hardest for someone else to reap the rewards. It was time I started putting my new family and me first.
It didn't happen straight away; I took some time to look after my baby and he was about ten months old. I was finally feeling more like my self after struggling with postnatal depression.
My bank balance was dwindling, and when I applied for jobs, they were crazy hours, terrible pay or did not excite me. And I just knew I could no longer work for someone else I had to be in control of my own destiny!
It was at that point, my hobby of sorting peoples wardrobes, styling people for special events and shopping for people became my business, my second baby!
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: The most challenging part of starting a business is the sheer number of hats you have to master! from social media and marketing, accounts and networking, and that's not to mention the ever-changing technology and tax or business legislation that has the ability to scare the pants off you out of nowhere!
What is your favourite business book and why?: my favourite business book has to be The Big Leap By Gay Hendricks. The first time I read this ( I have now read this many times over ) I helped my to visualise the blocks and the fact I was holding myself back. I was standing in my own way and I needed to ask for help, think outside the box and find others who could help and support me to stay in my zone of Genus as much as possible.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I currently do most things myself but I have trusted freelancers that work with me on a project by project bases. So PR, accounting and website are when needed outsourced. This is slowly becoming more regular as the business grows.
What is your favourite marketing tool ?: I love video. I love how you can interact, deliver content and read the response very quickly with live video especially.
How do you market your business?: I have been blessed to build my business on the word of mouth and direct referrals. But now as my business evolves and expands my marketing is also changing. I am a fan of content marketing and delivering this via video, both live and pre-recorded. I am starting to take advantage of many new opportunities to provide video content. I also do talks and workshops where I can market and promote other offerings at the same time.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: My first paying clients came from referrals from friends and associates in the corporate world.
My first sale from someone I did not know beforehand came from a workshop that I held in aid of a local charity. It was a great way to demonstrate my skill and connect with new people.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: I launched my website while taking part in an online summit. This allowed me to drive traffic to my site as part of introducing myself and advising where people could find out more and connect with me as well as take up a special offer.
Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?: Jane Baker - Thank you Jane for always having my back! For always believing in me even when I did not believe in my self!
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Starting a business is life changing! I will never be straightforward, always full of up's and downs but if you take care of you, your needs - physically, mentally and emotionally then you can do anything! Face anything and achieve anything!
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: The first entrepreneur I ever learned about was Richard Branson. I would love to have dinner and learn what he would say are his biggest lessons and how he came to those lessons and how those lessons have impacted him throughout his life. As well as any mistakes me has made and what effect that had.
To stay up to date with Chelle's entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:
Chelle Shohet has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.