This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Julia Christie, Nail Snail
2018 AusMumpreneur Product Innovation Award gold winner
Tell us the story behind why you love what you do and why you’re so passionate about sharing your message?
Parenting can be full of challenges. I want more than anything to remove the fear and injuries that often come from cutting nails using scissors and clippers. So often parents will come to me and say that I have changed their lives, especially parents of children with sensory processing disorders such as ADHD and Autism. Also children with Syndactyly and Eczema benefit greatly from the Nail Snail. Maybe parents who were too terrified to cut their children’s nail are now so happy to do so and use the time with their children to bond rather than be afraid. The Nail Snail is a truly global product and will benefit all parents. Working with other women in business, is also an enormous driving force for me. I enjoy supporting and learning from other entrepreneurs with their own business success!
Tell us a story about a challenging time you faced, how you overcame it and what lesson/lessons/wisdom this experience has taught you about life and business.
I seem to be facing new challenges each and every day, but the main recurring hurdle is that of work / life balance. I get so frustrated with all the everyday mundane household tasks that seem to be endless; clothes washing, keeping a tidy house, and constantly picking up after three little children. I work from home, so there is ALWAYS something to be done around the house. And when I am doing housework, I feel like it is so much more important for me to be working! The best way to manage that has been for me to hire cleaners that come once a fortnight. I adore them, they do a wonderful job and free me up to get the business work I need to. I am also supporting a fellow Mumpreneur! As my children get older, things also get easier as they become more self sufficient and independent.
My second greatest challenge is finances. Making sure I don’t spend more than I have. My husband and I work hard and save money to make sure we don’t over extend ourselves. I try and do most things for my business on my own – creating websites – PR – logistics – customer service…you become a wearer of many hats! So may small start up businesses struggle with cash flow. I have always shopped around for good prices. I found that fiverr.com and designcrowd.com are fantastic resources to get people to do things that I didn’t have the experience or talent for. Compare quotes and ask for recommendations. Make sure you invest in the things that will bring you the greatest return. They will all help you to spend less, and in turn save more! Keep in mind that everything will cost you more than you expect and take longer than you think. Be prepared for unexpected costs…even a barcode costs money!
My worst day was receiving my first piece of negative feedback. A mother has cut her child because she was using her Nail Snail incorrectly. I was able to talk to her, I offered a refund, and taught her how to use it properly. She still wanted the refund. I learnt that I can’t please everyone. Think of a product you love. There are people that hate it! This helped me to not take it too personally.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give someone starting out in business?
1. Get your self a GREAT accountant.
They can help with all the beginning stages and are worth every penny. They can give you excellent advice how to best set up your business, apply for grants applications and make tax claims. You will be surprised at the number of things you can claim. They are excellent at keeping track of your often overwhelming and confusing finances.
2. Shout your achievements from the rooftops.
We are taught to be ‘good girls’ and not to brag about our achievements…I say, forget that! Tell everyone you know! Post it on your social media. Take photos of the simple everyday achievements as well as the BIG ones! Share your story at every chance. Post it on your banners, laminate your newspaper articles, and proudly display your awards! TELL THE WORLD!
3. Make sure you do the most important thing first.
As often you will be interrupted or called away. And you will have less time than you think. Face the task that makes you nervous in the pit of your stomach. Deal with it, face it head on and often once you start on it, it won’t seem as daunting or as scary as you thought. Once it is achieved you will have the rest of the day worry free to be super productive!
EXTRA TIP : Network, network NETWORK!
Make connections and keep them.
(Image credit: Alex Anderson, Jam on your Collar)
What is your proudest business achievement? Why does this mean so much to you?
My proudest business achievement is hearing every single piece of amazing feedback from parents. That makes me sparkle!
To hear stories of nail care time changing from crying children, parents pinning them down and tears from everyone, to a fun, bonding time, with singing and a hug! I have 4.9 stars on Facebook and 100% positive reviews on eBay.
The 4 international business and design awards I have won as well as my patent, showcase what a truly innovative product the Nail Snail is. That a work-from-home mum of three, with no design experience, can make a truly, new invention and SELL IT all over the world. I hope to have one in every household with a child under 5, in 5 years.
Finally, what do you believe is the secret to success?
A dogged determination to just keep going. Taking a step forward every single day. Slowly moving is still moving. Picking yourself up when you’re down and finding motivation and inspiration to place one foot in front of the other. Make the time to take stock of what you have achieved so far. Often it will be more amazing than you had ever thought! These moments of reflection and acknowledgement will help to put the wind back in your sails. I would say that 90% of my success is a direct result of perseverance. “Just Keep Swimming” – Dory
About our AusMumpreneur Ambassador
Julia invented the Nail Snail after the terrible experience of injuring her newborn boy after using baby nail clippers. Then her husband (a doctor) used baby nail scissors and then cut the other tip of his finger! We were all in tears! Julia decided that this wasn’t good enough and she designed the Nail Snail. She has spent the last 5 years, raising 3 children, and building her company Christie & Christie. Google has been her best friend. Since her successful Kickstarter campaign, in April 2017, she has sold over 13,000 Nail Snails including to Guam, Borneo and far Northern Canada! She now has Australian distribution in chemist and pharmacy and is in discussion with distributors in the USA, Europe and Asia. Her accolades include; Australian Good Design, Big Innovation Award, Ausmumpreneur Product Innovation Award (Gold winner) and Beauty Shortlist Baby. In her spare time (what spare time?) she is writing a children’s book. She loves Zumba, pottery and the beach.