Have you ever had a dream to start your own business? This is how Beth created Charlie Mae Swimwear.
Why did you start designing?
I began designing bikinis because I love to draw and create. I have always felt very comfortable and happy while I'm in my creation zone. It takes me to a place where I can do anything I want with no limitations. I had lived away from Sydney and its beautiful beaches for a year until found myself back at home on the NSW central coast with no job, no house, no money and living back with my parents. Being in this undesirable situation oddly gave me the motivation I needed make a change in my life and chase my dream!
How did you begin the company?
I never specifically set out to start my own company! I had originally bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew on Youtube as a hobby. I then began to make bikinis and then a friend asked me, "why don't I sell them?". I hadn't even thought of that before and had no idea where to begin.
I spent a lot of time researching and started to build the company step by step. It was overwhelming at first, I had too much to think about in one go, so I decided that each day I would dedicate to learning a something new. For example, I would dedicate one day to marketing, one day for accounting etc.
I was so determined to get it all going, but I also needed the funds to buy my first line of bikinis, so I applied for several jobs and finally began work managing a Veterinary Hospital to start saving. This was a natural step for me, I have always loved animals and have worked as a Veterinary Nurse for 8 years. For the next years, I saved as much as I could, kept working on my designs and began to journey to launching my own label!
What kind of person does your brand represent?
My brand represents basically who I am as a person. I am an extremely loving, caring and kind person. I love nothing more than lying on the beach in the sun with a good book, listening to the waves reach the shore.
I love to be silly, I love to have fun and am also a bit goofy! I love spontaneous trips to Byron bay, Crescent head and all of the small, cute beach towns on the north coast. I love to sit with a juice from the corner store after a swim, and watch the sun set. I love chilled nights outside by a fire listening to friends play their guitars. I'm a lover of the beach life <3
I also volunteer for animal rescue centers on the weekends which really gave me drive to push myself and make it work as I wanted to have the time and money to give to abused animals in need, which is why we donate a proportion of not just our profits, but also our time to genuinely help those in need.
How did you feel when you received your first purchase?
I felt just amazing. I felt like all of the hard work I had put in to the line had paid off. I ended up going for dinner and drinks with my partner that night to celebrate. I really felt like it was the start of a new and exciting chapter in my life!
What tips do you have for other girls wanting to start their own businesses?
I have a lot of people who have influenced me over the years, but my 5 rules that I hold myself to are:
- Never let anyone tell you that you can't do it.
- Surround yourself with like minded people who believe in your goals and want you to achieve them.
- Don't let negative comments get you down.
- Have a real belief in who you are as a person and what you stand for.
- Have your own direction and follow it fearlessly.
There will be one hundred ups and downs and you will definitely make mistakes along the way, but you will learn from them.
My last piece of advice is just to enjoy the ride!