Lindy Lloyd is actually one of my dearest friends. She was a client many moons ago but for over a decade now, our relationship has been just a personal one. We met through another lovely friend, Kate, who kindly shared Lindy’s details when I asked for a massage therapist recommendation.
At the time, Lindy was in the early days of creating her own skincare range alongside her thriving massage business. Eventually she decided that refining the skincare range would be more of a priority than massage (much to her clients’ disappointment – she’s not that easy to replace!).
Late last year, Ena was launched and within a couple of months, Lindy had stockists in Melbourne and Sydney. Have a read of her story and you’ll understand why I love her as much as I do. And jump across to her website and stock up on her beautiful skincare products – of all the gifts I give, these are absolute favourites among my friends and family.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
My business, Ena Products, is a range of body care products hand made from scratch by me. Using all natural ingredients it is made with the love and care that we have come to expect from the food we eat. I have this same philosophy with everything we put on our skin. Named after my beautiful grandmother, Ena, it has been in the pipeline for over 10 years. As a Massage Therapist I had been making creams and oils for myself, family & friends, and clients for the duration of that career. Although it was an unusually long time to get a business off the ground, I knew the timing had to be right in order for me to enjoy it, and therefore be successful. This time period also gave me the chance to test and change the recipes according to feedback from those I trusted.
What do you love about your working for yourself?
I find working for myself completely empowering. I can dictate when and where I work. Every day is exciting as I see my dreams realised. Only yesterday I made a delivery to one of my favourite retail outlets – what a buzz! But above all I have chosen something that I truly believe in – I’m creating a product that is beneficial to our wellbeing. With so many chemicals and toxins in our modern world, every little effort helps to maintain optimum health. It’s also a priority for me to do business with kind, like minded people – of which there are many! I’m finding that there is an amazing support network in small business in Australia.
What does a typical day look like for you?
6.30am. My day begins. Make my daughter’s school lunch and get her ready for school. I try to get the house as tidy as possible so I can come back and start work at 9.15am (after school drop off). I’ve made a rule, not to do ANY housework during my “work” hours. It’s not easy! If it’s a “cooking” day (generally twice weekly), I’ll set myself the goal of having the kitchen spotless and all the ingredients and utensils ready by 10am. I’m not always successful at that one! I can get quite a few batches manufactured in 3 hours.
1-1.30pm. Break for lunch (I never skip a meal – I love my food too much).
2pm Meditate for 20 mins.
2.30pm I head to my office, in the front room, and read/send emails and make phone calls. But let’s be honest, emails and social media (for work!) are pretty much a constant throughout the day no matter what I’m doing. I need to work on that!
3.30pm School pick up
On a non “cooking” day, I might be doing deliveries to stockists, or visiting potential stockists on my dream “hit list”.
4pm After my daughter gets home, we’ll read her daily “reader” (she’s in Prep so it’s all still exciting in our house ) and talk about her day.
5pm Dinner preparation starts, followed by all the usual night time rituals that I won’t bore you with.
8pm If there are any orders that need to be posted the next day, I’ll prepare those.
Wednesday mornings are my exercise group, which I also do on a Saturday morning. It makes me feel so much more energetic and alert, I really can’t do without it.
What’s one thing you would do differently if you had your time over?
I tried to launch the business about eight years ago. I was working full time as a Massage Therapist and trying to conceive. It was unrealistic to think I could give the business the attention it needed to be a success. It was definitely, at that stage of my life, priority number three. I have since learnt that timing is everything.
Who are your role models?
My Mum is hands down my number 1 role model. She raised four children on her own, while building a successful ladies tennis wear business, Salvado Sportswear. She designed every piece herself and oversaw production and sales. In it’s heyday (in the ‘70s), it was the “go to” tennis wear at all the clubs. Her outfits were often seen on Centre Court at the Australian Open. Beth (who’s middle name is Ena), was a kind and gentle, but determined woman. I watched as she stoically juggled home life and work life through difficult times, but always found time for her tennis (her greatest passion), family and friends. She had work/life balance worked out before the phrase was coined!
She’s not with us anymore, but I feel her presence constantly. I know she’d be proud of my efforts so far. In a way, I’m doing it for her. There’s definitely some parallels between her business and mine!
(That was my favourite question to answer )
What’s been the best thing you’ve done to grow your business?
Given I only launched Ena Products in December 2015, it’s still very early days. I’m being very careful not to grow my product range too quickly. I have a number of products to add, but am still getting a feel for the market. There needs to be a happy balance between taking that leap and good planning. I think it’s important to have very clear goals.
How did coaching help you?
Working on my own it helps to be accountable to someone. There’s also a constant supply of knowledge and resources, that a coach can bring through experience in the field. A coach can calm my busy mind, and take the emotion out of the picture. An objective view is, more often than not, a thoughtful and well processed view. A coach can give you a pat on the back. We all need those from time to time.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I love to hear other people’s stories. Two great resources we have here in Melbourne is the Wheeler Centre and the School of Life. Both groups have extensive calendars of speakers and events. I strongly recommend subscribing to their email lists. Oh and I can’t go past a good TED talk!
On a different level, watching the ocean at any time of the year, is definitely my happy place.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading “A Visit To The Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan. It’s this month’s read for my book club. I’ve only just started it, but I think I’m going to really like it!
How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?
I remind myself of what’s most important in my life. My daughter and husband are my priority. If I put their needs first (particularly the small person) there’s a feeling of calm around us. This creates the perfect headspace for when it is time to sit down and work on the business.
And good diet & exercise – this is a non negotiable.
What are you looking forward to?
Everything. There’s so much to write here, I can’t even begin to list them. You name it, I’m looking forward to it. Life is pretty good right now actually.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own startup?
Do what you truly love and success will follow. Don’t do what you think others want you to do – trust your intuition.