October 27, 2014
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
I've always been curious about sexuality and all things a little bit risqué and I've always had a desire to help people but I never knew how to combine the two until I came up with the idea for Chantilly Rouge in April of this year.
My "career" history isn't overly exciting – I started working in hospitality straight from school and worked in pubs until I met my now-husband and joined his company in an administration role.
Over the 12 years since then I've become a director of the company and worked full-time as the Business Manager and my husband's PA. I've also spent a lot of time studying and have had two children.
In 2009 when I had my daughter I had a bit of an epiphany; I made some drastic lifestyle changes, learnt to like myself and my body again and decided to study nutrition and become a health coach.
I initially thought this was going to be my "path" and the way I'd be able to help women, however a few months after launching my business in 2012 I realised that while I am passionate about helping women, the fitness/nutrition industry wasn't the way I wanted to go about it.
Skip forward to April 2014 and it was during a conversation with my husband one night that I discovered I actually could combine my curiosity with all things sexual and my desire to help women feel good about themselves into one business.
Six months later Chantilly Rouge was born.
I am determined for Chantilly Rouge to be more than just another "adult shop". Our philosophy at Chantilly Rouge is "Excite, Empower, Embrace" and as a part of that philosophy I am committed to changing the way women think and feel about their bodies.
I want to encourage them to embrace their desires and realise their ability to be in control of their own pleasure. I want to help them rediscover the spark they had before they got lost in their lives as wives and mothers. I want women to learn how to reconnect with their inner woman and embrace her for the goddess that she is.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Launching Chantilly Rouge. When I think about it I'm pretty proud of the fact that I turned a crazy idea into an online store in 6 months.
I have no formal business qualifications, I basically made it all up as I went along - I didn't borrow a single cent and all while running another company and being a Mum.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Time management! Wanting to put my all into starting up my business at the same time as not letting my work performance and dedication to our company slip as well. Then also making time for family life has meant lots of juggling and not much sleep!
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Do your research, hire a mentor/business coach & know your target market well before you start on things like branding & logos.
I spent a fortune on my logo & had business cards & had stationary printed only to discover that while it looked pretty & appealed to me it didn't match my bigger vision.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Google!! It's been my "go-to" for absolutely everything! I also love Google Drive & Evernote - being able to access files/notes/ideas etc across any device regardless of what office I'm in has been a godsend.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I love Lorna Jane - I love how she has used the power of Community and Social Marketing to turn her sportswear brand into an active lifestyle movement.
I also hugely admire Turia Pitt. She played a big part in changing my view on body image - she's one courageous & amazing woman.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Stick by what you believe in!! This industry has a lot of stigma and negative perception surrounding it - you have to be passionate enough about your "why" to not let judgemental people bring you down (it's been hard for me to learn that lesson!) & with anything - do LOTS of research
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I think my mindset shift came when I had my daughter 5 years ago and realised that I didn't want to live the way I was anymore.
Being the mum of a Daughter has had a huge impact on the way I treat myself and the way I think and talk about my body. Her birth was the catalyst for me to make changes in my lifestyle that have lead to me being the person I am now.
In terms of my business, everything changed when I hired my mentor, Anna. She helped me see that my ideas weren't crazy and she gave me clarity and direction that really helped me knuckle down and get the things done that I needed to.
She also helped me have the confidence to push the business down the path that I am, which is where I wanted it to go originally but didn't have the confidence or the knowledge of what steps to take to get here.