We're not gonna lie - creating a company from scratch and being the CEO is a dream of ours. And these three DOLLY readers have proven that you don't have to wait till your older to make it happen...
Tallulah, 13: Little Miss Craft
The business: crafts
Can you tell us a bit about where the awesome idea for Little Miss Craft came from? “My mum came up with the Little Miss Craft blog idea and I came up with some of the ideas for the crafts.”
How did you start making all your arts and crafts? “After school, I’d occupy myself at Mum’s work with craft. They had a box they put all the samples in and I would make things from them.”
What’s your all-time favourite thing to make? “I like to make stuff out of paper mostly and I also really love to make things with food because I get to eat it afterwards!”
Would you say you’ve always been crafty? “Yes! My mum owns a stationery store, Papier d’Amour, and she has all the stuff I can use.”
Is there anything else you want to do in the future? “I want to do fashion designing. Mum’s a graphic designer, which is really interesting, but you have to do it on a computer and it takes a lot of patience. I don’t have that much patience! With craft, you do it yourself with your hands. It is so much easier.”
What advice would you give DOLLY girls starting a business? “Choose what you can do and like. Don’t do things that are too hard.”
Georgia, 19: Ivory Blue Headpieces
The business: floral headpieces
So, it’s time to spill: where did the idea for Ivory Blue Headpieces first come from? “I was in Year 12. I was doing a photo shoot for an assignment and I styled it and made a few headpieces with some deer antlers. My friends wanted to buy them and so it just kind of came from that. Then more people started asking about it. In the first couple of months, I made 200 of them. It was crazy!”
Were you always crafty and fashionable when you were younger? “Yeah! I used to make denim shorts, cut them off and sell them to my friends. I made necklaces with wooden beads and crosses. I did art classes and stuff like that.”
How did it feel when strangers started contacting you to make floral headpieces for them? “It’s just really interesting to see where they come from. I had an email from a singer called Ming Bridges, she’s really famous in Singapore. She was like, ‘I love your headpieces. Normally my company charges people for me to wear their stuff, but I really want one of your pieces. Can you send me some?’ I sent her, like, 20, and she wore them to the Glastonbury Festival last year!”
What would you say has been the highlight of having your business so far? “Seeing people wearing them and how happy they get when they see it. People have really special moments in their lives like their wedding and they’re wearing your headpiece.”
What did you do with your first-ever pay cheque? “I went shopping! I bought heaps of clothes because I love fashion.”
Do you have a part-time job or is this your main source of income? “I still have a part-time job. I see this as more of a hobby that pays me. I want to be in the fashion industry, so you need to work hard and intern and everything.”
Your amazing headpieces aside, is there anything else you want to do in the future? “Ultimately I want to have my own fashion label.”
Considering you’re absolutely killing it with Ivory Blue Headpieces, do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs? “Just do it! A lot of people say, ‘I want to start making jewellery’ and I say, ‘What’s stopping you?’ It might cost you a little bit at the start or it might not work out but I’ve learnt so much.”
Dominique, 20: Dominique Amor YouTube Channel
The business: fashion/beauty vlog
What first inspired you to kick start your very own vlog? “I saw other people doing it and thought, ‘Why not just make my own?’ I started on YouTube doing comedy and then a lot of people were saying, ‘You have a cool style, you should make a fashion channel.’ So, this is actually my second channel.”
How did you build up your followers and subscribers? “I made friends with other people in the fashion and beauty communities in Australia. We started doing collabs, I uploaded regularly, so people saw me in their subscription boxes, and I’d go to meet-ups and conventions where other YouTubers were.”
How long does it take to create a video? “It can take a few hours to get your camera ready. Editing is the most time-consuming part. If you film for 20 minutes, it can take five hours to edit.”
How long had you been doing the vlog before you decided to focus on it full-time? “It was around a year doing this full-time and not having any breaks when I noticed I was getting more money from my vlog and advertisers than I was getting from my two jobs.”
How did you spend your first hit of cash you made from thevlog? “I upgraded my equipment so I’d have better quality videos.”
Starting a business 101
Create an idea
If you’re handy with a sewing machine or hot glue gun and love making your own jewellery or clothes, you might have already thought about selling them and making some quick cash (hello, 1D tickets). The popularity of your products among your circle of friends can be a good judgement of how well your future business will go.
Pick a name
Your business name has to be easy to remember, easy to pronounce and, most importantly, original. A simple Google search will tell you if there is anyone else out there with the same name or you can search through the Business Names Index. A memorable name is also good for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – that is, when someone looks for you on the internet, your business will be at the top of the list.
Get an ABN
An ABN is an Australian Business Number and you need this to be able to register your new business. They’re easy to get through via the abr.gov.au.
Register the business
Businesses need to be registered for tax purposes. You can do this through the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC). There is a fee so get your parents’ help.
Put it on the market
An easy way to begin selling your items is through Facebook and Instagram. You can create a page with pics and prices. Setting up a stall at a local market is also a fun way to get your name out there. Etsy, eBay and Gumtree are great places for small businesses to sell online but you will need your parents’ permission if you are under 18.
Customers can buy your prodz through bank transfer, where people send money directly to your bank account, or PayPal. PayPal is an internationally-recognised money-transferring software that’s free to join. Go to paypal.com.au to see how!
If you’ve made it to this step, congratulations! You’re the proud owner and the CEO of your very own business. Now, get out there and start selling!