Success Story – Eva//Wild Willow Creative

Initially Eva was like many Wedding Professionals when they start out, it was a hobby and something she enjoyed doing while juggling a corporate career. She now knows that as much as she loves her business… it is just that, a business! And it needs to be cared for and nurtured so that one day, it will be her full time career.

My Story: My background is non-wedding related. I still have a day job which I do enjoy as it provides different challenges. However, I started my business as a bit of a release from the corporate world. I’ve been lucky enough to continue to do both – even though I would like to give up my day job in the next 5 years to focus on what I LOVE to do.

How would you describe yourself at the start of your journey?
Naïve, overly eager to please. Not 100% committed – just a hobby. Competitive Wasteful (I just kept buying new things for my business because I thought I needed them – over excited perhaps?!)

How would you describe yourself now?
Mature about my approach and more confident in my ability. I have a respect for the profession and treat what I do as a business (mostly … still need to get better at this!).

I now understand my time isn’t free. Whilst this may have started out as a hobby, it isn’t any more and I need to make money. I don’t get upset when people don’t book me because I’m more expensive than those cheaper mass produced options. I want to book Clients who appreciate and respect the time, effort and quality.

How do you feel about your investment of time and money into the Membership?
Affordability is a tricky one. If you’re running a business and you’re unable to INVEST in something like this, then it’s even more apparent that you need something like this to provide the support needed to get things off the ground. Bit of a double edged sword perhaps – can’t afford it, can’t afford not to have it.

Again, same thing with time. We would all like a few more hours in each day but it’s all about how we prioritise where we spend our time. This is about spending time ON your business FOR your business. There’s no set time you need to spend on this – it’s about using the resources you feel you most need at a time that suits you.

What are some of your strongest beliefs and values?
Integrity Understanding Acceptance Respect Accountability. Everyone has a story, we haven’t all had the same journey. We need to be respectful and understanding of one another.

What problem were you looking to solve?
I had moved from a small country town in WA where I had established myself within the town and felt comfortable that people knew who I was and what I did. Moving to Sydney – small fish syndrome kicked in and I was panicking. Who could I ask for support? Who would actually listen to me and be willing to give some advice?

What were you thinking then?
I was questioning whether or not I could do it here. Too much competition? Am I good enough?

How did that make you feel?
I was feeling somewhat deflated because I’d poured my heart and soul in to my business for 3 years. It was also feeling very competitive because there are so many more vendors here to “compete” with. I know it’s not a competition – but how do you get your name out there and be recognised?

How did you come into contact with me?
I can’t recall 100%, however I put my feelers out in another group. Sydney Makers (or something like that) asking for recommendations for some great groups/networking opportunities and your group popped up.

How did you find out about our Membership?
I did the Kick Starter Challenge and was introduced to it during the course of that.

What did you think of it when you first learned about it?
For me it just felt right, felt like something that would really benefit me professionally and personally. It wasn’t so much so about return on investment (a monetary value) at that stage, more so about making connections with like minded people and having EXPERTS to bounce things off (I guess that is ROI in itself).

What thoughts were running through your head?
I was probably a bit too focused on the connections and networking opportunities at that time. However, I really enjoyed the Kick Starter Challenge and what that was all about. It made me think outside the box and I thought that with all the resources available to me via the membership, it would really support me kick-starting my business in NSW.

Did you doubt yourself at all?
About joining? No. About how I would use the membership to really start to grow my business? A little. I’m still not using all the resources available to me. Not because of lack of time, but because my head is still a bit all over the place about where I want to take this and how to progress.

How did the transformation you’ve experienced since learning about our membership begin?
For me the transformation has more so been about the confidence in my ability. But it’s also been about making sure I’m really thinking about my BUSINESS. This is a BUSINESS. It’s still a work in progress for me but I am taking small steps to improve the thought process when it comes to talking business.

Eva Skartados
Wild Willow Creative
https://www.wildwillowcreative.com.au/

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