Heaven in Earth in Australia is 15 this month!
Fifteen years of a micro business can lead you to reflections that are somewhat clouded. Did the high points outweigh the low; could we have done things better; how much enjoyment and satisfaction was the there; and maybe...why aren't we fabulously wealthy!!
The fact that the majority of small businesses fail within five years indicates our work has been okay. When choosing products from a global supply that people desire requires a bit of luck but definitely experience. We have trolled huge global trade shows for days and found almost nothing but also have been fortunate in more obscure sources and nurtured relationships with makers.
At the other end we have created our own products whilst working in our country garden. Products that have become firm favorites and stood the test of time. In a consumer market that is saturated with choices, a product that is practical, well priced and attractive is usually a good formula for sales.
We have our job satisfaction from the knowledge that Heaven in Earth has both a wide regional and urban scope. We do take pride in our goods being adopted by retailers in country towns throughout Australia and New Zealand. We are by no means an overnight success; balancing the birth of our two boys, Justin's transiting from his own career to being part of Heaven in Earth has meant long hours fitting in jobs and researching when we can.
It isn't just hard work, luck plays an important part too. Moving to a regional area when we began gave us plenty of space to grow as we grew. Having parents who are professional photographers was a enormous benefit. It gave us our look and saved much money in the first decade! Finding companies to work with and representing them before they were known in widely and nurturing relationships with them is part luck and pure joy. In the end, an overriding factor is our relative longevity has been Jocelyn. Micro businesses cannot exist without passion and drive of its founder. Keeping that drive at fifteen years and beyond is its own challenge!
So from Jocelyn and Justin - thank you. Thank you to our direct consumers, some whom have been we have known for over a decade, thank you to our retailers, those who have been buying for years and years. Thank you to magazine who gave us editorial, back when they were read and influential (!); thank you to our parents without whose support and photos this would not have been possible; thank you to our makers and businesses who have entrusted us to look after their brand and wonderful goods and thank you to our boys Scott and Sean.