We are delighted to introduce you to one of our Women’s Business School graduates Samantha Janssen founder of Navi.
When did you start your business?
Navi came to life back in 2014.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
I was cycling with my gal pal and we were complaining about the lack of exciting Triathlon race suits and right there and then on our bikes we decided to make our own! We were inspired by recognising that as triathletes we work really hard to get to the start line of a race, that hard should be rewarded and on race day we should stand out and feel worthy and sexy as we’re racing. Boom. Navi was born.
What are you most excited about in your business?
The community of amazing women that it has connected me with so far, I’m so excited to see that continue to grow and provide women with amazing gear to race and train in but more importantly helping them to feel inspired, accomplished and supported in their triathlon journey.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
Manufacturing. This is a mine field. I really wanted to manufacture our gear in Australia and we have and will continue to do so but it’s been a really tough path to take. At times it’s been a completely deflating experience but we’re hanging in there and I’m confident we’re finally on the right path.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
JFDI – this is my motto, it’s crass and bold but that’s how I roll. Just Fucking Do it. You can bleep that if necessary! Back yourself, launch in and have a crack. You can’t succeed if you don’t try. If you don’t try the only option is fail.
Why did you choose to do the Women’s Business School Programs?
Both times I joined the programs I was feeling stagnant in my business and like I needed direction and motivation. The programs have offered me that and given me the direction I was looking for. I was able to connect with amazing women for guidance, support and inspiration.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the program?
I really enjoyed connecting with likeminded women. Hearing their stories, both the triumphs and the struggles, was really motivating and made me feel less like I was on this journey alone.
What surprised you most about the program?
For me the mentoring sessions were in valuable. I got more out of those sessions than I bargained for and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with someone one on one who took the time to really help me. She listened to where I was at and what I needed and then went above and beyond to support me to the goals we identified I would work towards with her guidance.
Which module was the most helpful and why?
The module ‘Building Your Personal Brand’ was the most helpful to me because it had been 6yrs since we first did our branding and lots had changed within the business. The brand had evolved and the direction changed slightly. This module gave me the opportunity to evaluate the branding and make the necessary changes to ensure everything was fresh and up to date.
How did the program help you in your business?
Accelerate came along at just the right time for me and enabled me to inject some new life into my business plans. The extra inspiration from Peace, Katy, the amazing women they enlisted for the master classes and the cohort of women I was working along side in the program was exactly what I needed to push on through the added challenges 2020 threw in with covid / lockdown etc…
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
I don’t even know where to start! I have learned so much about myself, about business in general, about my business specifically. There’s so much I now know that I didn’t know I needed to know it kinda blows my mind! So there it is, the best thing so far has been the learning!
Would you recommend the Women’s Business School to other women starting a business? Why?
YES!! Because it means you don’t have to go it alone. It means you will have a community of women who will have your back, ladies you can learn from, ladies who understand your struggles and will celebrate your triumphs.
What’s happening next in your business?
I have my second range due this year. I am working with a new (my 3rd manufacturer) based here in Australia. I have expanded the range to include swimmers, running shorts, crops and singlets all designed for the active woman and all made from recycled / sustainable fabrics ethically sourced and produced.
What are your big plans for the future?
Firstly to keep having fun with Navi! Navi is about being bold, fun and daring so all future plans will follow that path! One exciting, ‘big’ plan is that Navi gear will do the full circle. Made from recycled products and then recycled so no Navi gear ends up in landfill. Navi is for the conscious consumer, aspiring athletes and sporty mums who are bold and fierce with their sporting goals and care about how they purchase and where those purchases end up. It’s really important to me that Navi has a positive impact on women and the world.
Applications for the award-winning Women’s Business School Accelerator program are now open!
Follow the link to apply today: https://womensbusinessschool.lpages.co/wbs/