During this time (and always!) it is so important to support local and the small business in our communities. Plus it’s great for the economy too! We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of small business founders. We feel that the risks that they take lead to innovation and help in moving the world forward.
Inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories, we recently chatted with Alia Noora and Serge – owners of HOTBUNZ, about being entrepreneurs, running a small business while also running a family, and how they’ve adapted to the changes that Covid-19 has brought to their business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
Ever notice how often you buy bottoms for a baby or toddler? And those heartbreaking marks on their tummies from tight elastic waistbands?
I was tired of it!
We dreamed of there being one place to get practical, comfy and yet stylish bottoms for the kids.
So we built it… a pant (aka trousers!) shop for babies and toddlers.
HOTBUNZ are (ethically) made with luscious organic cotton and come in mouthwatering colors. They’re designed with lots of room to grow (so they last up to twice as long as your average pair), and our no-pinch waistband has become a HOTBUNZ signature.
What do you love about your business?
I love the free reign in creativity. It’s been wonderful building something from scratch, and bringing one’s visions to life. I also love that we prioritize sustainability and support GOTS certified cotton suppliers and ethical manufacturing. It’s nice to be part of something bigger; something we’ll be proud to tell our kids about.
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
This is the hardest part. Something really useful someone told me once was to change my timelines when I measure how I’m doing. I don’t ask myself if it’s been a good day, for example. I look at the week as a whole. There are days I work all day and barely see the kids. And there are days I see the kids all day and barely do any work. I have to trust that it adds up to a fairly balanced week (and I schedule the week in a way to make that happen), even if specific days when considered in isolation don’t look so good.
How has Covid-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
Luckily because we’re an e-commerce shop, Covid-19 didn’t affect our business model too much. But it did affect our delivery time for a while (because we sell and ship internationally) and we had to postpone advertising to countries that were taking too long to ship to. The biggest affect was on my time available to work on the business. Anyone with kids at home knows this struggle all too well! I had to just relax about the number of work hours I could squeeze in a day – sometimes all you can do is be easier on yourself.
Any piece of advice to other small businesses owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
In one word: patience. It can be a slow process and that can get frustrating. There will be times you grow in leaps, and other times it feels like you’re stuck in slo-mo. A great book to read is The Practice, by Seth Godin. While it isn’t about building a small business specifically, it does talk about trusting your process, and doing the work consistently without too much attachment to outcome (caution: this really tests whether you love what you do!). Results are a by-product of your work and you can’t become overly dependent on them as a driving force. Building a business is a long term game, so my advice would be not to look to short term results for motivation because there will be days you don’t get any.
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