“For a maker, the love is everything!”
After a 20 year career in advertising, Katie Stafford decided it was time to find a new love and a new way to contribute to the world around her.
In a blind leap of faith, she enrolled in a three-year-long furniture making course.
She had never even picked up a drill before that day, but Katie managed to find her niche as a woman in wood-working and was inspired to begin her new career and business, Girl & Grain.
Based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Katie enjoys a newfound creative liberty through transforming new, used, and reclaimed materials into effortlessly sleek homewares and furniture that bring a playful charm into any room.
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
“I don’t have anyone I look to specifically. Perhaps I’m yet to meet them, but I take different pieces of advice, motivation and inspiration from different people and sources.”
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
“The freedom. The creative autonomy to build something that I love, that I’m proud of and that represents who I am.”
What three pieces of advice do you wish you’d been given when you started?
- Start before you’re ready.
- Just try doing something, anything! Just to see if you like it or not.
- Take more risks.
What advice would YOU give someone thinking about starting a business?
“Do it. Stop sitting on the idea and just try it! Throw yourself in and commit to giving it your best. Find someone who is already doing what you want to do and ask if you can take them out for coffee. That’s what I did! You’ll get an accurate glimpse into what life would be like.
It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Just take the first step, then wake up and take the second step. Don’t be overwhelmed by the bigger picture. It’ll start to take shape, one day at a time. But be consistent and keep chipping away.”
What skills and knowledge areas would you recommend those starting out in business get acquainted with quickly?
- Social Media
- Selling through relationship building.
- Good design – pay someone if you have to, this is important.
What does your IDEAL business look like? Even if you’re not there yet, what would it look like if your business was ideal?
Having a workshop in Brookvale with one employee other than me; ideally female – to fit with my branding. Someone who is equally passionate about designing and building but who can also bring new ideas. Having an online store with a selection of products that sells overnight.
Waking up to an order list of 10 or so sales each day.
Building a brand that celebrates and supports a community of female makers.
Inspiring other women to turn to trades or making or non-traditional fields for work.
Being featured in Inside Out magazine as a design-focused brand.
What problem does being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solve for you and your business? And, how?
I have instant access to a community – a think tank.
I can reach out at any time and get suggestions or feedback on a problem relating to my business.
I have incredible access to resources that can also lead me through a difficult business problem.
I have marketing and advertising opportunities through the network to put my product and brand in front of hundreds of women – my primary target audience.