I am so excited I just wanted to share this with you.
So some of you may already know this but, I started this journey and brand in my dining room at home. I had a little desk in there and that is where I did everything, from ordering, customer support to picking and packing etc. and as some of you already know, I failed to make this work as a business for almost 3 years!
I mean seriously fail. I was broke with a failing business that my husband had invested money into because he believed in me so that I could place my first order of stock. I had no way of paying him back, I couldn't even afford to buy myself lunch sometimes.
I believed in the brushes, I so desperately wanted it to work but I just didn't know how. My incredibly supportive friend Hannah would come over from time to time so I could record her using the brush (I was too terrified to get on camera at the time.) I even paid a couple of people to be in a video for me using the brush.
With each month and eventually, each year that went by without any real success or movement forward and the more and more the money for stock went down I started to give up.
I laid in bed so many nights talking to myself thinking "OK you are going to have to face facts soon that this isn't going to work, You need to be honest with yourself, accept it and let Dean know." But I would always think, OK I will make a decision next week, so I didn't have to fully face it there and then.
Eventually I said it out loud, I went to Dean and I said, "I need to be honest this isn't working and I just don't think I know how to make it work. It's been almost 3 years and I can't get it off the ground. I am sorry I have let you down and I can't pay you back but I am going to give it 1 more month, I am going to put my everything into it and if it doesn't show any promising signs of growing then I have to give it up and find a job."
He agreed and said "yes, I can see it's effecting you and I just want you to do what will make you the happiest."
I told him I wanted to give it one more month and do EVERYTHING I could to make it work because I didn't want any "what if's" if I gave it up. I didn't want to regret not trying something that could of maybe worked.
Dean had asked me hundreds of times over the previous years to just get on camera myself and show people how to use the brush and what it could do and I had always looked at him in almost disgust at the mere suggestion of it. I always said, "no one will be interested, no one wants to see me on camera" The truth was, I was terrified.
So because I wanted no more "what if's", after nearly 3 years I agreed to get on camera as another thing to tick of the "I tried list" in the final month.
Just me, my phone, my makeup and the brush. I was soooooo nervous, I decided the only way to do this was to record it and upload it without watching it back because I knew if I watched it back I would talk myself out of ever posting it.
So I did. I recorded it, I posted it and I didn't watch it.
I was sweating and shaking by the time I finished recording it and everything in me wanted to watch it and talk myself out of posting it but I didn't.
We started to get people commenting on the video and some of the lovely ladies that had already bought their brushes commented to say how good they were, the views kept going up and the sales started to go up! I was SPEECHLESS!
I couldn't believe that with only 2 weeks left of the "final month" we started to see sales going up, FINALLY there was a sign that I shouldn't give up just yet.
Sales went from this little box with a hand full of orders in per week, to Royal Mail bags full multiple times per week.
So we kept going, and I kept getting on camera, and I started to film tutorials to help with commonly asked makeup questions etc. and the little brand started to grow and grow little by little.
I moved my desk to our freezing cold garage so I would have more room for stock and my mum started helping me with the picking and packing because it was too much for just me to handle on my own and eventually we moved it to a fulfilment company that could get the orders out faster and manage the picking and packing better than we could.
I moved my computer into my Husbands office (He has his own company) and his amazing team helped me with projects.
COABE then employed it's first employee and we all continued to work in the open plan office. But we are now looking at taking on another 1-2 positions and we realised that it had come to the point where COABE needed it's own office space.
As some of Deans team are now mainly home working it made sense to divide the office up into two separate offices which also meant I get my own little office.
We had the work done a month or two ago but this week I finally moved into my office! although I am the only one in the "COABE side" right now while we figure out where the other desks are going to go and internet cabling etc. but it's fine because I am only next door.
Here are some pictures of my office and the rest of COABE's space.
This is my office (the green wall will be painted the soft, muted "COABE Pink")
The white wall on the right is the dividing wall between the two companies now.
The glass room to the left is currently a meeting room and the glass wall at the back is the room everyone's desks will go into I think.
We have spoken about creating a space we can have customers come in sometimes and we can play around with makeup etc. So we will figure it all out in time.
I honestly can't believe we are here today and I am sitting writing this blog post from my own office in COABE's own work space.
We are still a tiny, tiny brand but seeing how far this little baby has flown since she finally got off the ground is something I could of only dreamed of.
I just want to say the biggest thank you for all of your support, orders, comments, shares etc. This would be a dream down the drain pipe if it wasn't for each and every one of you.
I also want to say, if you have a dream, any kind of dream, whether it's to learn another language, move to another country, start an entirely new career, become a great artist etc. what ever your dream is, don't ever write it off! Things can seem impossible sometimes but they are only impossible until you do it.
If you would of asked me in that final month whether I thought this would be possible I would of said absolutely not.
So yes, don't write off your dreams, it might take you longer than you wanted or it might not happen in the way you originally envisioned but never write them off.
Anyway I just wanted to share this with you and say the biggest thank you again.
Have an amazing weekend lovely