Her Journey Revealed with Georgina Fihosy
At what stage of your life did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I was in my Early 30s when I decided to start Special Touch Designs. I had been working for about 10 years, full time as a Pharmacist and had always wanted to start my own business, ever since I can remember, so whilst I was on Maternity leave with my second child, I thought why not!
How did you develop your business idea, and what inspired you to proceed with your business idea?
Initially making cards was just a hobby. I would make handmade cards for friends and family. I received really great feedback and people seemed to love the unique nature of the cards. I felt that I was offering something different and it was meeting a pain point for people who were desperately trying to find afrocentric greeting cards that were reflective of there cultural background and lifestyle. I talked to my family and they encouraged me to go for it.
What steps do you take to market your business and to make people aware of your brand?
Initially I set up all my social media pages from Facebook to Instagram and started posting pictures of my cards on these handles. I also set up an Esty shop and later my website to have an online e-commerce presence. I sold my cards at markets and events on the weekend and encouraged people to sign up to my mailing list. I also partnered with other businesses or influencers to try and raise awareness.
What is your personal secret to developing healthy business habits that support you to stay on track?
I have to say I’m still working on developing healthy business habits. One thing I try to do daily is spend at least an hour on the business daily. Whether that be answering or sending emails, processing orders or social media marketing. I have a business planner which really helps me to stay focused. I try to plan my days by the hour and ensure that I have achieved at least one thing on my to-do list.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced on your journey so far and what steps did you take to overcome it?
As a small start-up, I find I have to do everything because financially I’m not yet in a position to outsource. Therefore a lack of resources has been a real obstacle. Not having someone to help with admin, designing marketing material or manufacturing and packaging e.t.c makes the process very long and time consuming. I have slowly started to engage in outsourcing to free up some of my time which is helping. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my business, so letting go has been a challenge.
Where do you see your business in the next five to ten years from now?
I’d love to see my cards being sold in lots of independent retail outlets and I’d also like to have expanded my product range to include gift items and stationery.
What’s the best business advice you have received and how did it positively impact you and your business?
That running a business is about having discipline more so than motivation. “Motivation gets you going but discipline keeps you growing”. So forming good business habits that you can maintain is really important. I really try to live by this.
One of the most exciting thing I have done in my business was….
I’m a huge fan of the HBO series Insecure and last year Issa Rae reached out to me to supply some of my cards for her quarterly Patreon Gift boxes. It was great to partner with her and the cards were really well received.
When I feel discouraged I tend to….
Talk to my business mentors or peers who I feel would understand my struggles.
If I could start all over again I would….
Have started alot earlier. I let fear hold me back, nothing is ever as bad as it seems and there is always a workable solution to any problem.
My favourite business app/tool is….
Canva – It’s been great for designing all my marketing material.
CONNECT WITH Georgina Fihosy
British-Born Nigerian Georgina Fihosy is the creative entrepreneur behind the Afrocentric greeting cards company Special Touch Designs which seeks to provide a buying option for people who have an appreciation for black culture and lifestyle.