New South Wales
Meet local star, Judith Treanor from Northbridge. She’s mum to a 12-year -old son and 3-year-old dog, and she’s also the founder of curated store Temples and Markets, which has scored her a nomination in the 2017 AusMumpreneur Awards in the category of Social Impact. Read about her amazing journey…and don’t forget to vote!
Tell us about yourself and your business :
I’m Judith Treanor, the founder of curated store Temples and Markets. My online store showcases artisan made accessories and homewares from South East Asia, a region I’ve loved for 20 years. My experiences in travel, with motherhood and surviving breast cancer at age 36 have shaped who I am today. Ten years on from diagnosis, I feel lucky to have found my life’s purpose: to make a positive change in the world via my ethical business. By working with social enterprises and artisan groups in South East Asia I am helping women into a better life, empowered through training and fair work practices. A win-win for everyone.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively, often to South East Asia. During my travels I’ve been awestruck by the creativity of the people I meet, their stories of resilience and their creations. So often these artists have come from marginalised or poverty-stricken areas and use traditional crafts and sustainable materials to handcraft gorgeous unique items, with a designer edge, that one would never see elsewhere. I wanted to expose those designers and artisans to a wider market outside of the region and make their products available to consumers who wouldn’t otherwise have found them unless they were traveling.
What do you love about being a mum-preneur?
I love the flexibility and freedom being a mumpreneur affords me! I’m able to balance the needs of my family and home with running my own business. I love having a creative outlet; this is something I feel that is crucial for us mums. I enjoy learning new skills pertaining to running my business. And more than anything, I glean great joy from developing an enterprise that I can be proud of, that my family can be proud of, and that I can use to affect positive change in the world.
What has been your greatest challenge? How have you addressed this?
As with any e-commercial enterprise, it is a constant challenge to attract traffic to the store and then turn that traffic into sales. One one hand, you could spend 24/7 on marketing and social media – but that takes away time which could be used to develop the business, source products and update the website. So overall, I’ve had to conclude that as a one-woman enterprise I just can’t do it all. Instead, I’ve focused on marketing avenues that have proven, tangible results, enlisted help from interns, and outsourced digital marketing work and PhotoShopping to online freelancers.
What has been your greatest achievement in the past 12 months?
Personally speaking, it was an honour to be named a Female Leader by Femeconomy (an organisation enouraging people to shop brands with female leaders). This was because of my commitment to ethical and sustainable consumerism.
On a business level, I got a great kick out of holding my Pop Up Shop before Christmas, where I was able to share the stories behind the products with my customers, face-to-face.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
I wish I had known that spending a year sourcing product, then designing and creating a beautiful website to showcase them, doesn’t mean that customers will automatically come! And if they do come, they won’t automatically spend. Considerable time and commitment is required to market any online store, to generate traffic and to gain the trust of consumers. I also knew there would be ups and downs in this business but perhaps I wasn’t prepared for quite such drastic ups and downs! This I now know is part and parcel of life in the e-commerce world.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a business for the first time?
Why do you believe you should win this award?
Having given so much of myself to family, and to staying healthy after cancer, it’s my time to shine. I feel proud to have built up my skills so that I eventually designed my own online store and learned how to maintain and market the website myself, and built up a loyal customer base. I also feel I am making a difference that goes beyond the buying and selling of products- I am creating an ever-increasing international circle of women who are positively affecting each other’s lives through trade. When a woman wears a beautiful piece of jewellery or bag I’ve sourced, she does so knowing she contributed to the increased prosperity of the woman who made it.
Judith joins NSM founder Rachel Chappell in the 2017 AusMumpreneur Awards. You can cast your vote here!