8 Questions of a Global Entrepreneur
With Kelly Jamieson, Edible Blooms CEO and Managing Director
Kelly Jamieson is an award-winning global entrepreneur who started making chocolate bouquets with her sister and has since grown the business into a gifting powerhouse that has expanded across Australia, New Zealand and to the UK! As well as being a global entrepreneur, Kelly is Freelancing Gems’ current Entrepreneur in Residence, generously volunteering her time to support the women in our community and answer their burning business questions.
From time management tips, to dealing with copycats and what it takes to go global, here are the top member questions asked of Kelly as our Entrepreneur in Residence.
1. How do you get it all done in a day? Please share your top tips for time management!
Great question! I am currently answering your questions from my laptop while sitting at the hair dressers getting a much needed colour touch up – I am sure many of your community members can relate to maximising time available in the day like this! Ultimately, my best tip is to work with a list and plan your day out in blocks. There are days I fail to do this and those days always feel unproductive when I get to the end of the day, I love structure and I love organisation.
Another tip I love is kindness to your future self – that means doing things today for yourself that will make your future self happy. Small examples are putting out your outfit for the next day as you go to bed at night, it makes the start to the day so much more enjoyable. My husband and I also have a Friday night wine together to plan our next week schedule too which means we’re on the same page and the children know what’s happening for the next week too.
2. First off, huge huge fan and congratulations on your success. I wondered how you went from just you and your sister to a team? How did you recognise you needed help? How did you work out who you needed and how did you find them?
When Edible Blooms started I continued to juggle start up activities with my ‘day job’ consulting to a top legal firm for the first eight months to help fund our early growth. This meant we employed our first full-time florist within two months of opening our doors in Brisbane, Sarah. I’m pleased to report that she is still part of the Edible Blooms story as our business partner in New Zealand and she has run this business since 2008.
When I look back there was a huge amount of naivety starting up in our 20’s and the word ‘entrepreneur’ was only associated with people like Richard Branson, not little start ups like ours at the time. We totally winged it and made decisions on the fly. This meant we made plenty of mistakes building our team but we learnt quickly and tried not to make the same mistake twice. I am truly grateful for all of our early team members who came on the wild ride with us in those first few years!
3. At the moment, the graphic designers I work with, supply to me (as my business). To the client my business is the ‘face’ so they see that I am providing the brand, design etc. All work is presented as though it’s been completed by my business. I am in the process of working out an arrangement with a copywriter and I wondered if I should structure that in the same way or establish a different kind of relationship? And what sort of reciprocal relationship is fair for me and fair for the other business. Do they potentially charge me less and then I add my margin to it or do I connect my client with them and get some kind of referral fee?
This is an interesting decision and I can see pros and cons of either option for you. The first step in making a decision is to check that you are 100% confident with the quality of their work before putting them in front of a client or recommending them to others. If you have a long standing relationship it would be more appropriate to present them as a team member and invoice (note this also means you carry the risk of the client paying for their services after you have likely already paid the contractor). However, if it’s a new working relationship then being transparent and proposing a fee for overseeing their service for your client so their work compliments the engagement already in place is worth considering. Transparency is key with all business relationships so making sure everyone is clear on expectations and outcomes will help smooth the process.
4. Being the Managing Director of a global eCommerce network must be stressful! How do you manage stress and take time for you? I often find I struggle to switch off.
I have great people around me which makes such a difference, especially my family. I live regionally, one hour from our office on the coast, so weekends with my family are the reward at the end of a working week. When the weather is great and we can pitch the tent on the beach and swim I absolutely love it. I also run with a group of amazing Mums along our coastline each Sunday morning at 8am and this is a great way to carve out time for myself and also combine it with exercise and fresh air.
5. You’ve been recognised as a powerhouse entrepreneur, like being the National Telstra Business Award winner, but do you still struggle with imposter syndrome and self-doubt? If so, how do you overcome this?
“My husband has always been my best support and provides great encouragement.” Kelly Jamieson
Yes – but I don’t think any of us would be human if we didn’t! I have learnt that feeling this way is completely ‘normal’ for most of the population. The process of entering awards is a great reflection process regardless of the outcome. Whilst it was incredible to celebrate business achievement through award processes, it’s quite humbling when you are surrounded by other incredible businesses all challenging the status quo. My husband has always been my best support and provides great encouragement. He thrives on meeting the amazing people we get to engage with through the Telstra Awards network and helps me realise that it’s important to enjoy the ride.
6. How do you keep your business growing? From your beginnings making chocolate bouquets to a full suite of gifts, what spurs and inspires your next move and how do you take action to continue expanding and growing the business? What was your best investment in doing this?
Growing a business through the various stages of growth is no easy challenge. I am a massive listener of podcasts (my hour commute to the office three days a week really helps with this!) and also our customers. Making time to meet new people, read or listen to podcasts takes you out of your own zone into someone elses and that’s where I find the inspiration and ideas to continue to grow and develop personally and as a business.
7. How do you deal with competitors or copycats?
At first I found this really challenging but ultimately you have to remember it’s a compliment – it means people love your idea and what you do. We have strategically built unique intellectual property assets around our production processes which make our products higher quality, more consistent and they travel well in transit. This has required significant investment over the past five years in patents, automation and also sustainable processes that we are incredibly proud of but ultimately it does give us some protection from direct copycats.
8. Who is your biggest inspiration in business? What about them inspires you, and/or motivates you to keep going?
“‘You can have it all, just not all at once.” Quentin Bryce AD CVO
I have always been a genuine fan of Quentin Bryce AD CVO, her wise words ‘you can have it all, just not all at once’ have been wise guiding words for me and many other parents. She is a positive role model of a sharp woman who leads with empathy and care and managed a remarkable public career and family life.
The Entrepreneur in Residence program offers Freelancing Gems members access to amazing female entrepreneurs who have paved the way for us all. The lady who holds this short-term seat is a powerful force in her field and available to support, empower and encourage you to reach your business goals.