WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS

As an entrepreneur these times are tough.
I am not even going into the details as everyone has their own story. Some families are solely dependent on this income, others are not. No matter the situation, industry or part of the world you are in at the moment, we can all agree that entrepreneurs have to sit tight, get creative and reinvent themselves in this uncertain and unpredictable situation.

Lock down = Slow down

Even though interior styling is not really a vital industry, we are feeling it big time. No projects, no income. Simple as that.
We are perfectly fine with people seeing this as a ‘glass is half empty’ situation. Yet we feel that we need to find the silver lining. Both for our own businesses (Live Loud Girl and Fronteriors) and for the platform we are.
In good times we love inspiring entrepreneurs by sharing knowledge and our experiences of having an own business. Now that we are in the middle of this heavy weather, we would like to do the same.

With opportunities slowing down or evaporating, we don’t seen to have more time. Home schooling 2 children has proven to be a full time job. To stay sane, we do want to have some dedicated time for ourselves and for our businesses.
Not to work IN the business, but ON the business. Is there a difference then? Yes, absolutely. The thing is that normally, as an entrepreneur, you probably only have time for the first. Now is the time to focus on the latter.

The ‘IN’

Working IN your business means producing revenue. It is being caught up in the operational side of things. As an entrepreneur you are probably the CEO, the finance director, marketing guru, production line vice president, the efficient secretary and the gastronomic canteen owner. For Live Loud Girl, revenue producing business is designing, doing client installations, styling photo shoots for brands or products… We love it and do this 80% of the time (20% being the far less sexy admin of owing an own business).
With Fronteriors we are kept busy with shooting our furniture, factory visits, improvements on the product and always working on the next collection.

The ‘ON’

Working ON your business means refining it, finding ways to grow and to add value in the long run. It is working on a more solid foundation, building an even stronger brand, creating more focus. Especially now, it is looking for ways to make a living with the restrictions we have.
How to do this? Well that is different for every business out there. But we can give you a few ideas.
We fully support small businesses and are giving shout outs to our favorite ones on stories. Feel free to reach out via DM if you have any questions and we hope you and your business will come out of this s*#@ show stronger, better and evolved. Best of luck to you all!

Working ON your business
  • Get organised: This is the time to clean up all those dropbox folders and files on your desktop. You will be surprised on how much you store and don’t need. Or sometimes find something that might be of use again.
  • Update your social platforms: On a day to day basis, many of us don’t have the time to update websites. But keep in mind, your ‘about’ page is one of the most visited pages. So make sure it looks good. The same goes for your Instagram Bio, your Facebook page… This is the time!
  • Create an image bank: Whether you create your own photography or have other people shoot for you, you might have the time for it now. And photographers out there will be happy to have something to work on.
  • Invest in yourself: You are never too old to learn. There are so many courses online in every single subject. Some free, some on a subscription. Our team is working on several subjects right now to be more knowledgable once we are up and running again.
  • Reach out to your client base now and let them know where you stand. Thank them for their support or maybe spoil them with a freebee. Everyone is in this together and people are helping each other like never before.
  • Stay positive: we know this is a hell of a time, yet you have worked very long to get where you are today. Get creative and try to think of other ways to earn a salary.

Photo gallery: Top and first photo: Working from home combined with home schooling | Below the things we miss doing during lock down: Art Direction and styling for Jotun | My other business @fronteriors | Home installations | Collaborative shoots | Photo shoots | Office days

BUSINESS GOALS 2020

So… January just flew by before being able to reflect on the past decade. A decade in which I not only became a mother, I also moved countries twice and started up two businesses that I am very proud of today.
It is always worth reflecting. Looking back gives you the opportunity to see what went well and what goes on the improvement list. Looking forward allows you to set our business goals for 2020. And being focused on those got me from being passionate about styling to running my own business.

Reflect

We did not get here overnight. We suffered from imposter syndrome for years, because being a creative and doing what you love can feel like a hobby. But now, six years after arriving in Dubai with an idea, I can say that my gut feeling has been my biggest driver.
It got me started with Live Loud Girl, a blog where I would share my love for beautiful interiors.
It allowed me to build a team of people I trust and can share ideas with.
It forced me to make bold decisions, bluff where needed and grab opportunities.
It pushed me to start the furniture business Fronteriors with Kath from House of Hawkes – a partner who others will refer to as my competition.
And it challenged me to rent a proper office.
Moving into Studio Fronteriors last year, has been a dream come true. It is the home to the Live Loud Girl, House of Hawkes and the Fronteriors team and the place we use for photo shoots and brand styling.

As interiors is kind of our thing, we have put effort, time and money into making this studio an inspirational place for all of us. Painting the ceilings and walls, putting in a wooden floor and adding furniture and accessories that make us smile when we walk in in the morning all adds up to our output.

Goals

  • Taking ourselves seriously (but not too serious… fine line…) and being professional is important for building our brand. We stay very close to what we believe in. Because if we don’t, who will.
  • Growth is essential. We want to stretch a bit and do things we never would imagine we could pull off. Being scarred and biting some fingernails is part of the fun.
  • It is not only about how much we make. We focus more on how we make it. The creativity prevails the financials. The fun overrules stress. And coffee always, always beats water.

If starting your own business is on your new years resolutions list, go for it. Here are our cliche tips that have worked for us:

  • Stop saying you will start, just start!
  • Speak to people about your ideas. Getting feedback is so valuable
  • Get out there and sell your product. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will
  • Work hard, work a lot. Having your own business means that you are working 24/7. If that does not excite you, make a new plan
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BUILDING A BRAND ONLINE – DUBAI DESIGN WEEK

@fronteriors on building a brand online

We had the chance to be present at the fifth edition of the Dubai Design Week again at the Dubai Design District (D3). This annual event highlights the best of design, architecture, craftsmanship and creativity from the Middle East. And this year was extra special as we – @fronteriors, a furniture company I started together with fellow stylist @houseofhawkes – were asked to speak at the Forum about building a brand online.



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THE HIGHS & LOWS OF HAVING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

The highs and lows of fronteriors

As you might have seen, @fronteriors – the side hussle that I started with fellow stylist @houseofhawkes – opened her virtual doors last month. It was a dream of ours to make furniture. And with a long and colourful history of #ikeahacking, the notion of designing a unique and stylish collection of doors, tops and sides to fit IKEA furniture frames was the ideal business concept for us to pour our passion and creativity into knowing there would be highs and lows.



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