Take us back to where and when it all began. When & how did the concept for SOHL Store come from?
2018 we opened our first SOHL Store in Garfield! I was pregnant with our second child, and our son Floyd was 3 years old. We never planned on owning a clothing store but I was working as a personal trainer at the time and started thinking about what the future might look like after our bubs was born.
Having worked in the retail industry when I was in my teens and early 20’s I have always had a sales background but buying and purchasing was a first for me.
My husband and I were talking one night about the town we lived in and how in the 10 years we’d lived here it had really grown and developed. We talked about what we personally thought was missing from the area. I referred to my own experiences of shopping online and how if there was something locally here, I would love to be able to just pop down to town and shop at my favourite store. That’s how the idea of SOHL was created, it was pretty much the start of our little business and literally a conversation and an overnight decision! We can be crazy like that!
Over the next 2 months I curated all of the brands and clothing styles I loved, we put it all together, and we created SOHL Store! A store with women’s fashion and kids wear in the little town of Garfield.
SOHL was a name I loved for our baby but it soon became the name for our little business instead (our 3rd baby). I was 5 months pregnant with a toddler (what crazy lady) we spent 2 months setting up the business and our online store from scratch, we opened our doors in November 2018 and our baby Lewis was born 2 months later in January!
What do you love most about running your own business?
I get so much motivation and drive from looking at what we have built from the ground up. It blows my mind every day at how far the business has come. Its’ so rewarding and I’m so proud. Nothing beats being my own boss and the lifestyle of working for yourself and the flexibility for family time!
Can you tell us about a challenge you've faced in business?
There are challenges every day in business but you have to take learnings from everything, sometimes you won’t get it right and all you can do is learn and do it different next time. But probably the biggest challenge we’ve faced in business was this year with COVID having to flip our entire business from a bricks and mortar store to only an online store. It was about working out how to stand out in an already competitive market and about offering something different, going above and beyond for all of our customers and showing our support back to people.
With social media comes negative and positive; how do you overcome these obstacles?
Social media is a platform for our business to sell and market on, our business would not be what it is today without our social media. I try to focus on the positives from that. It’s a challenge to sometimes turn off and disconnect from it all, I personally need more practice at that but overall, I see it as a positive for our business.
What is your favourite item from your range that you offer?
Oh, that’s a hard one as we sell so many beautiful items but I’m a shoe lover and I love a good sneaker so I’d have to say KEDS!! You will not wear a more comfortable runner! You should try them!
What is your favourite thing to do for some down-time for yourself?
It’s not really down time for some people but my fave time-out is the gym! I love a good gym session and a good hour to myself with no kids! A time to turn off and just focus on me!
What is your go-to guilty pleasure food and/or meal?
Chocolate and Pasta!! I’m a big sweet tooth and I love a good lasagne!
What does Woman Supporting women in business mean to you? Have you experienced much of this being in business?
As a woman running my own business, I feel it’s important to demonstrate and lead by example, encourage, offer advice, share your experiences and let the values you hold shine through! I have met so many gorgeous women along the way! I’m all for BOSS Babes!
What’s your advice for any Mumma’s out there that are thinking about starting up their own brand?
You’ll never know if you never try! If it’s your passion and you have 100% drive and determination you should go for it!
Lucky last... What is next for you and your brand?
We have a very busy year ahead navigating 2 businesses with the opening of our Traralgon Store and balancing our family life. They’re our focus for now… let’s see what 2021 brings!