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How did Kind Sir get started?
We started just over 12 months ago now because we saw a niche in the market for customised leather goods. My husband Mark had been tinkering around with leather and was looking for a wallet that he loved so started making his own. We decided to create some personalised luggage tags so we had to learn how to do all of the leather ware ourselves. We wanted to bring about more mindful gift giving in our culture and society so that people can give a personalised gift and the receiver feels important
How did you learn all those skills? Is that just trial and error?
Yeah we just had to learn it all from scratch. We enlisted a couple of good contacts at our leather supplier and then it was a lot of trial and error. We tried lots of different leather, different cotton, different stamping, sealants, antiquing and all that sort of thing. So we really just had to start from scratch but that’s actually the beauty of it. Number one you’re learning a new skill but you’re also getting your hands in there and making the product yourself which is a really beautiful thing in itself.
How did you fund the business?
We just started it up with funds we were generating just from our jobs and we continue to use that now. We don’t have a small business loan, we don’t have investors or anything. Sometimes it’d be nice to have a million dollars but in some ways when you are working to a budget that’s when you can be really creative and just enjoy every step of the journey along the way. We haven’t really spent any money on advertising at all, and a lot of people have contacted us about media coverage which is great.
Are you still working your regular job?
My husband Mark is, and I’m a full time mum so it’s just Kind Sir for me and then looking after our daughter Leni. We feel pretty lucky that we’re in a position where we can live a pretty fluid life style and are able to put some time into this little baby Kind Sir so yea it’s good.
What are some of your biggest challenges right now?
I think finance is a big challenge. And time; it’s definitely a juggle, especially with our daughter and other commitments. I don’t know if I’m a big believer in balance I think you just take a day at a time live in the moment and make sure that you’re moving in the area of your dreams and your passions.
What’s it like working with your husband?
I love it. I mean some people can’t believe that we do everything together but I actually couldn’t think of anything better. We have really different views about things and we’re just two totally different people but actually that can be our strength. It’s amazing to be able to work together and maybe Mark will look after Leni if I’ve got a couple of meetings, or vice versa. I guess I can be pretty bossy sometimes but communication is a big key!
What’s your best advice for other entrepreneurs?
It sounds totally cliche but I think the key to being a great entrepreneur is to do whatever is in your heart that you really want to do and whatever makes you really excited. Follow it and pursue it and believe in it. And take all the advice you can from other people people you love and admire.
What’s your favourite product in your line?
The luggage tags are definitely my favourite because I love the fact that we can personalise them. I also love the passport wallets. It’s a very weighty, beautiful product that ages very well and it’s a classic design and it’s really personalised as well. It just feels great in your hands.
Every day, KBB’s Dannie Doughan chats with an entrepreneur and features their story on our website. If your business wants a ‘Date with Dannie’, email us a quick bit about your biz!
All pics: Supplied.