Our Journey So Far......

by Gustavia Lui July 18, 2016 15 Comments

 

"How's business?"  I swear I get asked this every time I see someone I know."Do I tell them my struggles? Do I just tell them my wins? Do I elaborate? On what exactly?" These are just some of the thoughts going through my mind as I smile trying to respond politely. 

Tonight I thought I’d personally write you a letter to tell you our journey so far with Staavias. What's been happening at Staavias - The good, the bad and the ugly! 

As you know, we opened our online store on 06th January 2016 and we are just over 6 months old. Just like a 6-month infant who is still learning how to walk and talk – we too, are still learning how to walk and talk in business. Since business is a marathon and not a sprint, we’re going to be learning for a long time ** wink wink **

Our last 6 months has been HUGE! Here are some of our biggest achievements during this short period of time. 

  • We’ve sold more than $20,000 of shoes directly through our website only.

  • We’ve distributed our shoes to 6 different countries outside of NZ – Australia, United States, Singapore, Samoa, Fiji and Niue.

  • We’ve secured a partnership with an Auckland shoe retailer so you will see our shoes being stocked in store before the end of 2016.

  • Been featured in more than 15 different media publications including blogs, articles, national newspaper, TV and radio.

  • Designed 2 more collections and samples are being made before we launch a pre order. 

  • Featured in a special edition SUGA magazine.

We're so proud of our journey so far, especially when I think about how Staavias all came about from an idea, that turned into a dream and then into a vision.

Your first take away from our journey so far should hopefully be "Anything is possible!"

One of the biggest things I'm so, so proud of is when I see customers feeling super confident about themselves again. When we see customers brag about how happy and how in love they are with their shoes. When customers tell us "well done, I can't believe my shoes actually fit, I love my shoes". Being able to boost another woman's confidence so much she doesn't want to stop staring at her reflection in the mirror or when she just cannot stop smiling - that is what I'm oh so proud about! 

With success comes hardships and struggles - I mean how else do we learn and overcome? As a business we've made some mistakes and we've learned a lesson from them - oh believe me! 

Here are our Top 4 daily struggles. You might find that you can relate to them and that's awesome! We're all human so I wouldn't be too surprised haha! 

1. Attitude

I've found that my attitude determines my approach to life and its challenges. A negative attitude finds every reason and barrier under the sun. A positive attitude looks for the lessons in hardships, visualises success and focusses solely on the bigger goal. My biggest challenge with attitude is keeping the same positive attitude when things are great and going up and when things are not so great and heading downhill. Believe me, the struggle is real. 

2. Factory

We’ve been blessed with a factory who is able to meet specific demands and deliver an exceptional product (Ask our customers :D ). Our factory have ethical standards and processes, they treat their staff and people with respect. I bet you're wondering "And how is this a struggle?". I know right!! As our factory is based all the way on the other side of the world, there’s often a communication break down. I chose not to have a middle guy to keep costs down so the language barrier is something I need to be creative about. Things cannot always be done in a timely manner or the way we demand, without me getting on a plane to be there physically. Dealing with foreign businesses, we have to take into consideration their culture and traditions, it's not always easy to find that balance. Yes there are times when I'd like to personally strangle someone TBVH (to be very honest) but hey - let's not go there! Violence is not ok! LOL My everyday goal is to find a way to do positive, genuine business with our factory. 

 

3. Money / Capital / Funds

Someone actually said to me earlier this year "You shouldn't have started your business if you don't have money". I made sure to just shrug it off. The truth is unless you're Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates you're not rolling around in 100 dollar bills. Although money is NOT the most important thing in the world, money is definitely a much needed tool or resource, it can speed things up and slow things down. It definitely helps to get the job done. As a small business, we're strapped for cash - not many businesses will tell you that but I told you, I'm going to be real. What does that mean? We have to be creative in finding ways to fund our business otherwise it will die - there's no other way around it. 
 

When I first started the business, I was so excited about making profit but it wasn't until I actually started that I realised - profit is going to be a while away. There are so many things we have to pay for in advance before a customer even pushes that button to pay for our shoes. For us it means that we cannot do things as fast as the big guys, we have to take things slowly and it can be frustrating for you as a customer. We have to start small and slowly build from there because if we move too fast - the business can die out even faster and that's definitely not a direction we want to head. We didn't win the 40 million lotto last weekend either, what a bummer! LOL But it means that we have to continue working harder than ever and smart. 

4. Fear of the unknown

No one knows what the future holds but we cannot let that scare us. There are times when I procrastinate so much and when I really stop and break things down, I find it's because I'm scared of not knowing what to expect. I'm scared of what people might say. I'm scared people might not take me seriously. I'm scared people won't like me as much. I'm scared that it might not work the way I've envisioned it. I'm scared that I don't know what could happen. How else will we know if we don't try. So what if people don't like you? Their opinion of you doesn't matter. So what if things don't work out? You will find a way if you keep looking and pressing on. We can never be completely sure of what's to come but we cannot let that hold us back from achieving our true potential. Sometimes you have to not think about it and just do it and when I do this, I'm ALWAYS surprised at the results! I think Grr, I wasted all that time on something so silly and the results were great. It's not easy but it's doable. 

Anyway, so that's what's been happening at Staavias in the past 6 months and I cannot even image what the next 6 months might look like. 

I can tell you that we do have....... 

- A range of funky, bold flats to be released next month. You will get a chance to vote on your favourite design and the one with the most wins gets released first. 

- A chance for you to be a sponsor for Staavias where you get X amount of FREE shoes for 5 years and much more!!!! 

- A Staavias black tie event at the end of the year to celebrate our sponsors and our lovely customers. It will also feature a runway with our 2017 designs. 

I hope you've had a few more takeaways from our journey. My mum used to always tell me that if I was wise, I would learn from her mistakes - I think that applies to anything in life really. I hope our journey has stirred something great inside of you. Thanks for always supporting us at Staavias. It honestly means the world to us at Staavias! It's YOU that makes this journey worth while despite the trials and tribulations. So hang on tight as this ride is pretty bumpy and at times you don't even know what to expect!

But here's to another excellent 6 months to come ......... CHEERS!!! 





Gustavia Lui
Gustavia Lui

Author


15 Responses

Seloa Maliko
Seloa Maliko

February 18, 2017

It’s so encouraging to hear about stories in your blog. Wow, how brave and exciting you are. If you can start your own business and follow your dream, why can’t anyone do it? It’s supportive to know that you have built the oversized ones for those who don’t have their sizes in store Unfortunately, I am one of those who don’t have my size in your brand, but I’m so proud to learn that my friends and families have somewhere to turn to when it comes to looking for the best and expensive style of footwear. Good job and keep it up.

Sela
Sela

July 25, 2016

Congratulations on all your successes and achievements so far Gus. It’s really awesome to know someone real who is honest and says it as it is. I am inspired by your drive, motivation, and strength to keep going despite many obstacles you encounter along your way.
I wish you all the best xxx

Mele Siaosi Pese
Mele Siaosi Pese

July 20, 2016

You are keeping it completely real Gustavia and this blog means a lot to me personally – Procrastination is terrible isn’t it? It stalls us or brings us to a grinding halt if we keep that up – well done my young friend. Looking forward to the new flats and all the future events which will keep you driving towards your goals and dreams. You’re an inspiration! God bless xxx

Ro Faiva
Ro Faiva

July 20, 2016

One of the greatest things in life is enjoying the journey – THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY! I have been following and will always support Staavias because I believe that any business that focuses on serving another human being with love and care will always receive an abundance of blessings. Well done Gustavia! What a bummer I can’t fit your shoes lol..

Mayleen
Mayleen

July 19, 2016

You are and will always be an inspiration. You keep moving forward and know you got my support 110%. I wear my shoes with pride and look forward to your new line of shoes.

Peter Roy
Peter Roy

July 19, 2016

Wonderful story. You’ve done a lot of things right, but thing I find so wonderful, so brilliant, is that your business is making people happy. Bless you and your family always

Kim
Kim

July 19, 2016

Every time I see Staavia I can not help but smile. You are a brave and courageous woman who is an example to all our young entrepreneurs.

Keeping shining Gus!

Gustavia
Gustavia

July 19, 2016

AWW YOU GUYS ARE TOO KIND! THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR LOVELY WORDS! I TRULY APPRECIATE IT :) BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL

Gustavia xx

Sonny
Sonny

July 19, 2016

So inspiring! I cant wait to share this with my daughters and wife! Actually I’ll share it on facebook as I know quite a few may be inspired by your life story as well as benefit from your range haha. I Will be following your journey with interest and continued to be inspired as well as picking up as many tips I can from you! Onwards and upwards….

Helen
Helen

July 18, 2016

What can i say…your such an amazing person, very inspirational and honest in many ways. Reading your blog gave me more of an understanding or an inside peek (as they say on E! News?) of what STAAVIAS has accomplished in the last 6months.. WOW!!!! Seriously!!! GIIIIRRL you an your team have done exceptionaly AWESOME!!!! So proud of you, i know i have said this many many times but its true..bring on the next 6months – love you loads❤

Lena xo

Linda
Linda

July 18, 2016

Love your blog, very encouraging and inspiring. Your journey so far is incredible, thanks for keeping it real.
Ia manuia.

Julie
Julie

July 18, 2016

Girl, I gotta hi five you from the Rock! I know we have not touched base for a while, but I know you are working your bootie off to get your business out there and I am so proud of the achievements you have made. As a woman, you have certainly proved that you can be a wife, mother, sister, aunty, cousin and best friend and still be a success in the business world, whether it be on a local scene, regional or international, you have certainly made a mark, so congratulations!! On-wards and upwards to all women out there who are carving a business name for themselves, but especially you Gustavia for making shoes for the big footed ladies out there!! Love it!! God Bless!!

Ruth Faleolo
Ruth Faleolo

July 18, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience sis. So inspired right now as I sit on the train home a bit tired physically, but stong in heart knowing anything great is possible. ..anticipation of colossal Blessings for us, just around the corner. ..p.s. I look forward to the new flats…is there anymore Gardenia in stock?

Ese Mulipola
Ese Mulipola

July 18, 2016

Love it Staavias what an awesome journey!!

Marie
Marie

July 18, 2016

Mālo lava, Kia ora and Greetings Gustavia, Just read Your latest blog post and wanted to say, “You are O for Orsum, keep going Grrrhl, Ia loto tele to You and Your family.”

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Size Chart

To ensure a correct fit, please measure your feet to find the LENGTH and GIRTH measurements.

To measure the LENGTH of your foot, measure from your heel to the end of the tallest toe. 

To measure the GIRTH of your foot, measure right around the widest part of your foot. 

Compare your measurements to these measurements below. If you need help or have any questions - jump on live chat or email/phone us. 

 Size 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 14
Length (cms) 26.4 27.3 28.1 29.0 29.8 30.7 31.5 32.3
Wide Width (cms) 24.4 25.0 25.7 26.3 26.9 27.6 28.3 29.2