This Maker Designs The Sweetest Products From Hive To Home
In our latest “Ask A Founder,” where we tap into the great minds of female entrepreneurs, we chat with Selfmadealum Jennifer Doyle. For the past two years, thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored Office Depot OfficeMax. Doyle shares how Selfmade helped her focus her business, Ireland-based Millbee Studio, which sells reusable beeswax wraps as a more sustainable solution to plastic pollution, and how it helped her let go of self-doubt.
- How would you describe your brand in five words? Wholesome, Natural, Sustainable, Loving, Authentic.
- What was your aha moment before starting Millbee Studio? It happened organically. I made beeswax wraps and set up a stall in my local farmers market and set up an eCommerce website. The sales happened straight away and then it just grew from there.
- What were you doing before you started Millbee Studio? I have a degree in Interior & Furniture design and have worked in different design disciplines and marketing for over 10 years. These skills turned out to be very useful when creating my own brand, Millbee.
- Do you work from home or a coworking space? I work from a purpose-built studio space in my garden so it's a two-minute walk to work!
- How do you balance the practical with the creative parts of your business? I struggle with this as I'm naturally a creative person. I can easily get sucked into working on creative projects all day. When you see bills that need to be paid that can make you focus on priorities. I use a diary and white board for lists.
- What’s one thing you wish you knew as an entrepreneur? You need to be creative, resilient, willing to learn new things every day and take risks! It can be extremely rewarding and emotionally draining. I've worked for other companies over the years and keep going back to being self-employed. This is my third business and I feel it's my natural calling to be an entrepreneur.
- What is the biggest risk you’ve taken? Investing in ads strategy and working with a professional ad agency. Even though it brought new challenges, I would never have known it was possible to grow a business through eCommerce. It's also a great way to reach customers globally.
- How has Selfmade helped you grow your business? I learned to focus and to not have self-doubt. My business was three years old and I was feeling overwhelmed before starting the course. I also needed direction, which my mentors helped with. My goal was to focus on the export market and we now have stockists in other European countries.
- How do you stay focused? I think a healthy lifestyle helps. I train with a local football team and I like to eat a balanced diet.
- What is the most powerful thing you do in your day? Meditation on my Calm app.
- How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you accomplish more in your business? Staying organized. When I started my business I was working from our kitchen table and had no defined office space. Now I have a comfortable and functional work environment with proper storage.
- What do you do to officially *end* your workday? I have orders going out from our studio and the courier collects them after 5. After that, family duties take over!
- What is your favorite desk essential? My diary.
- What is a motto you live by on this journey? Let's do this!
- What does the word “selfmade” mean to you? Building something from the ground up with little resources.
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.