Tasha Wakefield of ocean-inspired and wanderlust loving Spindrift Collections, is loud and proud in her deep respect for legendary adventure brand, Patagonia.
In one of Tasha’s favourite books, the Founder of Patagonia talks about how every time they made an ethical decision, it turned out better for their business’s growth. He shares how he paved the way for Patagonia to grow, through focusing on the values they stood for and allowing them to be the foundation of what they do and how they do it.
“Our philosophies aren’t rules; they’re guidelines. They’re the keystone of our approach to any project, and although they are ‘set in stone,’ their applications to a situation isn’t. In every long-lasting business, the methods of conducting business may constantly change, but the values, the culture and the philosophies remain constant.”
Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing
Tasha made a conscious decision early on that she wanted to scale her jewellery brand, she knew she loved to design, but she didn’t want to individually handmake her pieces in huge quantities herself. She knew that for her, expanding into overseas markets was really important. Even though there are many different ways to have a jewellery business and be a maker, she realized it would be hard to scale her production without the help of a trusted partner.
We wanted to know more. So we went a little deeper.
OC: How do you scale your business when having a global brand is your ultimate goal?
TW: The biggest thing for me has been diversifying my sales efforts. I realised that I needed to diversify my sales channels in order to maintain a steady income stream all year round. My product is very much a summer beachy product and so by expanding into local stockists in my home country of the UK and opening up the UK sales market, this has really helped me to maintain my income even in the quieter months. I also have an online shop, I trade at local Australian markets and larger festivals and I now have stockists all around Australia.
OC: Why did you expand your brand into manufacturing in Bali?
TW: Different brands have different goals. For me, I have always loved creating the design of each piece. When I got my first large scale wholesale order I realized, I really needed help in producing my jewellery to keep up with growing demand. I wanted to continue to focus on the designing of new products and building my relationships with my customers, rather than spending all my time hand making each product.
OC: How did you find the right manufacturer who had a synergy with Spindrift’s values and ethics?
TW: Working in 100% recycled silver and working ethically was my number one priority, it took me over a year of research and I spent many hours googling and meeting people and eventually I found the company I now work with. From the first contact, I just knew they were the right company for me. I loved their ethos, their strong values and that they could work with 100% recycled sterling silver.
Bali was my first choice of location to work with, it’s only a few hours away from Sydney, which means my products would not have as far to travel as working with a company on the other side of the world. It also means it’s very easy for me to visit regularly.
Most importantly, we share the same values. The company I work with, really care about their staff, the environment and the quality of their products. I was understandably worried, before my first visit, wondering if the working conditions were going to be as a had hoped. But it turns out I had nothing to worry about I love how they run the company and when I visited, I knew that I would be so happy to work there myself! That was my benchmark, I had to feel like it was a place that I could be part of.
OC: It was so scary to start ordering in huge quantities, what made the decision easier for you?
TW: I have really strong values for Spindrift, values on how I want my business to run and to grow. I had to take a leap of faith in order to start ordering products in larger quantities.
With each big business decision. I think, is this direction right? I ask, does this fit with my core values? This makes every business decision easier. It’s your company and you can do what feels right for you.
Here are Tasha’s top #OChustlehacks for scalin’ your business when you want to think BIG.
1. DEFINE YOUR VALUES EARLY ON.
“The wording of your values does not need to be perfect from the start. It’s a constant work in progress and that’s ok. But the core ideas are always there, even if the exact way you express it grows with your business. Before the OC, I hadn’t really even considered by mission, vision and values. It was a great opportunity to get clear on the direction of my business. Soon after doing the OC Mastermind, I wrote the Spindrift Manifesto and it hangs in my studio where I see it everyday. Every time I look at it, it inspires me to keep going.”
2. LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCT ON TIMING.
“I sat on the fence for months about expanding my manufacturing overseas! What I have realised is not to worry. If it doesn’t work, you can fail fast and move onto the next thing. Don’t let your fears get in the way. Realise it’s ok to fail it’s just part of the growth of your business.”
3. INVEST IN YOURSELF.
“Like Pru has said, the amount of personal development we do as business owners is huge! It’s so important to invest in yourself. What I have realised is if you never try, you will never know. Every time I have invested in myself it ultimately paid off. You only ever regret the things you don’t do.
You can find out more about how The Owners Collective Mastermind can help you define your values and scale your biz here.