Secrets to starting a successful creative biz

Camille Co. love

Starting your own business isn't a small task. Trust me.

You have to be really willing to put in the hard yards to see it grow and flourish. I run two businesses: Camille Co. and Design by CheyneyCamille Co. is product-based and Design by Cheyney is service-based. They are unique in their own way and each present their own challenges and obstacles. 

I am not claiming to be an expert in the realm of entrepreneurship, I have a long way to go and there is always something to learn. However, I want to share some of the knowledge I have learnt so far on my journey.

Plan, plan, plan

Photo credit | Maura Charmness

Whether it be at the very beginning of starting out or if you've been in business for years, the importance of planning will never recede. I have noticed since starting my businesses that my brain is more 'full'.

I have always been organised and fairly good at remembering to do things. The mental to-do list in my brain is long, but now it is so long that details keep mysteriously falling off the end. To combat this, I have a things on the go to keep my memory in check. Here is a list of some of the tools I use to keep organised:

• Daily diary - I use a hardcover paper one because i'm old school. Digital diaries and apps are just as good, whatever floats your boat. 

• To-do list - This is a written notepad on my desk that is forever ongoing and updated. I have a great one from Kikki.K that I love (anyone else have a problem resisting pretty stationery?)
• Monthly calendar - Again, manual. I have an A4 Collins Monthly Planner from Whitcoulls that I get every year, and could not live without. I plan all my social media promotions, blog posts and newsletters in it. It's handy to have a monthly view of what's to come. 

Now, remembering to check these is the trick (haha). My advice for this is make a routine of checking these and keep your chosen planning tools in your line of vision at all times.

Do the work

Do the work camille co. blog post

It's going to be hard my friends, but it's going to be worth it. I originally went into business to give me autonomy and infinite creativity, while I have succeeded with that, there is also a tonne of work I have had to do outside of this. Accounting, marketing, stocktake, packaging, invoicing, selling, updating, the list could go on. You will become a jack of all trades if you decide to get into running a business, particularly if you go it alone. 

No one is going to do it for you. My work days often spill over into the evenings and weekends, it's difficult to switch off. I have tried to be cut and dry with my work schedule but there is always more work to be done. Perhaps it's time to hire help. And on that note...

Hire help

dan trotter photography Takapuna Auckland Camille Co. warm amber and peach soy scented candle sustainable packaging

Photo credit | Dan Trotter

We can't all be experts at everything. Am I right? Where you absolutely can't do the work yourself, its time to hire help. I found that when I was starting out, I had to do as much as I could myself since cashflow was limited. It isn't until a business starts to flourish that you have funds to put back in to the business to allow it to grow.

Recently I was able to splash out on a professional photographer for Camille Co. for the latest photoshoot. I am so thrilled with the result and I think it's helped to keep my momentum going and excitement levels high.

Use great resources and tools

The world is at our fingertips. There is a plethora of information available online to help get you started. Here are some of my favourite business tools, check them out to see if they could be useful for you:

Free Business Tools
Ministry of Business
Inland Revenue

Stock image sites

Social Media Marketing
• Pinterest

Spelling, Grammar & Blog Writing Tools
• Hemingway

Planted with Light

Take time for yourself

Photo credit |  Viktor Hanacek on Picjumbo

This is something that I need to do more of. Striking a good work/life balance when you're working for yourself is tough! Things I am working on to get better at this:

• Actively restraining from working in the weekends (unless I have a market)
• Maintain healthy relationships with family and friends
• I get out for a walk everyday to help with mindfulness
• Eat a well balanced diet
• Keep creating - I use the kitchen as a creative outlet when I get the chance

If you would like to hear me talk more about my businesses and find out the stories behind the two, listen to this podcast by Planted with Light.

Please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you especially if you have any tools or resources to share :)

Until next time,


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  • Cheyney

    Thank you Hayleigh and Lydia, I am glad you both found it to be helpful :) Hayleigh, I sent you an email xx

  • Lydia

    Super helpful post thanks Cheyney! Loved listening to you on the PWL podcast too xx

  • Hayleigh Clarkson

    Hello! Thank you for the advice, especially the monthly planner. Defo hitting kiki.k this weekend for that (I love that store). I have just started a monthly book subscription box called Look Book Lit Box and was going to flick you an email to see if you do mini soaps? Let me know!

    Hayleigh (possibly your #1 fan)

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