We know that being in business can sometimes seem like you are dealing with dozens of faceless, BIG companies, but the 09 Collective is different - our exhibitors are just like you - they know that the landscape of business ownership is tough, they know that you have to choose incredible products a=that your customers will love & that will sell well, we asked our exhibitors some questions about their businesses - here is the lowdown!
Meet our Christchurch event exhibitors Ashlee - Nextann
What does your job entail?
As one of the founders of NEXTANN, my job encompasses many different roles. From managing social media and marketing to designing all visual marketing and trade show/ expo sets, working with stockists, managing our ecommerce store and chatting with customers every day. You learn so much and get to expand your knowledge across the entirety of your business. It's rewarding and challenging, and that's the beauty of it!
What activities set you up best for creative inspiration?
Networking with other business owners or creative people. Also regularly having catch ups with other women in business that have become friends where we can bounce ideas off each other and share experiences.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given in business ?
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and sometimes you just need to take the risk and back yourself. If it feels right, then go for it, even if it's different to what everyone else is doing.
What is a great lesson from businesses that stock your brand?
We have only started out stockist journey, so we don’t yet have a good answer for this one. But so far, businesses have been saying how they appreciate elegant thoughtful packaging and sustainable options to help customers feel good about their purchases.
How do you switch off from work? Can you?
Going for walks to get some fresh air. I love walking outdoors and being present in that moment. Sometimes we get so busy “doing” and don’t take the time to be present in the moment and take a deep breath. It is hard to find these moments and to fully switch off, and I must admit my mind can start running with work quite easily at the same time.
How do you plan the year ahead for your business?
We start with our 6 monthly and yearly goals then break down what are the smaller steps each month and week needed to reach these goals.
What has been hardest about the last 3 years in business ?
For us, we have been working on bringing our Brand to market over the last 3 years, so this has been an incredibly challenging time. From the beginning of treating, it as only a side hustle, and only being able to commit limited time to NEXTANN, to being able to work on the business full time, dedicating all my time to create the business into what it is. The hardest part has been having the courage to start in the first place, and keep moving forward despite constant challenges. (And also, how much slower things take than you expect.)
What have you been enjoying most about the last 3 years in business?
The growth from where we started and to where we are now, and the people we are meeting along the way! There are incredibly inspirational, talented, and supportive people out there and without meeting these people it can be an isolated journey.
Hardest business lesson you’ve learnt
Double, triple check, and if you don’t feel comfortable with a decision or your gut is telling you something is wrong, listen to it.
What are the 3 favourite things about being in The 09 Collective
Being a part of a group of likeminded people who give advice and support to help each other succeed.
If you could choose 3 products from another 09 collective brand - what would they be?
Board George sunglasses, her NEW style The Rhia coming out soon!