NAME: Keahny Boers
COMPANY: Mint and Melon
How would you describe yourself in 5 words? Passionate, energetic, fun-loving, risk taker, dreamer.
What is the long version of how you got to where you are today? I have always been one of those people who, when some asked what my hobbies were I would respond with craft... From a really young age my mum and I would spend every weekend gluing, painting, sewing anything and everything we could find to make something pretty. Even into my teenage years, I would make my own clothes and jewellery just to stay busy. I ended up studying marketing at Uni, then graphic design afterward.
It wasn’t until I had moved to Melbourne and was working full time in a marketing role that I realised that being in the workforce wasn’t for me. All I wanted to do was spend my days creating business concepts and designing products to sell, so I quit my job and went and worked part time in a bridal store in Armadale. During my short time there, countless brides would ask me where they could buy silk hair accessories from for their big day. I looked around everywhere and couldn’t find any good Australian designers who offered these products, so I started making my own. A few years later, here I am.
What is your elevator pitch on what you do? I am the chief petal pusher for my online store, selling women’s hair accessories.
Are you doing what you thought you would be doing 10 years ago? (If not, what did you think you would be doing?) Sort of. I always wanted to start my own business, however I definitely didn’t think it would be selling flower crowns. I thought that I might be in fashion, but right now this is just a stepping stone in a longer journey.
What does ‘success’ mean to you, and do you consider yourself ‘successful’? Yes I do consider myself successful. I had a plan to start a business and now I have one, and it is sustainable enough to expand and allow me to keep on chasing my dreams. So yes, that to me is an accomplishment.
What do you still want to achieve (personally & / or professionally) I think personally, I would still like to travel a bit and see new things that inspire me. I am also getting married at the end of next year, so getting through the wedding planning phase will be an achievement! Professionally, I am about to launch a small clothing line early next year, which is exciting. I am always about pushing myself and constantly developing and learning as an individual, so I don’t think I will ever stop wanting to achieve new things.
Did you study anything specific for the career you are in? I constantly try to learn as much as I can. I studied Business Management at Uni, majoring in Marketing and HR. I then went on to study graphic design, website design and photography.
What have been the most rewarding things in your career to date? My first job out of Uni, my first sale and the first time I realised that my business was making a profit!
Tell us about your workspace (Office / café / couch / aesthetic) what inspires you about your workspace? To be honest, my work studio still remains at my house for now. I live up in the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne so we are surrounded by amazing gardens filled with nature. It is spacious and peaceful so work is actually quite relaxing most days.
What are some frustrations you have experienced on your career journey? My biggest frustrations on my career journey have been about being patient and letting things run their course. When I first started my website, I used to get upset when I wouldn’t have orders for a few days or when my social media had no engagement. These days I learn to just go with the flow and trust that my hard work will pay off in the long run.
When was the last time you were overwhelmed & cried from something provoked by work/work load? Maybe last month. I am still at this stage a one-and-a-half man show, so often when work gets really busy and I start cutting sleep, it ends up in tears!
Would you say you put pressure on yourself? Has this gotten more or less as you progress in your career? Yes definitely, I am my own biggest critic! If a customer complains or if an email is missed I tend to be very harsh on myself. The busier I get, the more pressure I put on myself to do better.
If you are a business owner – and you often can’t just check out / have a week off when you are dealing with personal things – how do you keep on keeping on with your business when things get tough? I just try not to get weighed down in the detail. Some days I am so tired from work but have to stay late to finish orders, but instead on dwelling on feeling tired, I just think of this as being another item ticked off the list. Other days, I let myself just have some ‘me’ time and then get back to it once I’m done.
Has your career affected your personal life/relationships? Maybe when I was younger. Now, if anything, I think that it has improved my personal life. It has made me value my relationships, so I make sure that I always take time out to see friends or spend time with my fiancé.
Has your journey at times felt lonely? Yes I think so. It’s hard to ask for help when everyone else is busy doing their own thing. In saying that though, I am lucky that I have people close to me who often lend a hand or an ear when I need to someone to bounce ideas off.
What causes you anxiety / sleepless nights? Time, and not having enough of it.
If you had your time over again, from when you started your career to right now, would you do anything differently? Probably not. I am really happy with the way that everything has played its course.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self? Stop worrying about having everything all figured out and go with the flow.
Who are some women in business you admire & why? I aspire to the careers of young women like Jess Hatzis from Frank body, Thessy and Yiota from Sabo Skirt, and Jane Lu from ShowPo, who have used amazing marketing to drive their brands to new levels.
What traits do you admire in people you surround yourself with? Positivity and a care-free nature.
Work life balance. Does it, and how do you maintain it, or a sense of it? My work-life balance consists of 6 days of work, and 1 day off (when I say off, I mean getting at least eight hours to myself). I love my work so it balances nicely anyway.
Have you ever thought about giving up / quitting? If so, does that feeling hit from the same triggers? Why haven’t you quit? Not seriously. Sometimes I lose my vision for a while and ask myself ‘what am I doing with your life?’ But then I get it back and just keep going. I haven’t quit because I started a project and I want to see it through!
What is the biggest misconception about what you do? That just because I work from home, means I am available to people. It’s the story that if you work from home than you aren’t really working.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your industry? Be savvy and smart about your business decisions. I started my business with a clear direction regarding risk and reward. I was also realistic about what I wanted to achieve and how I could get there. I think even if people don’t have a plan, they need to know enough about what they are doing to know whether the view is worth the climb.
If you knew what you know now, about how much work was involved to get you to where you are now, would you do it again or do something different? I think that I would do it again. I have learnt SO much since starting my business, things that I never thought I would need to know. I feel like I would be disappointed if I lost that knowledge by doing something different.
I like the quote ‘Don’t just have a job, have a purpose’ - What do you want your legacy to be? I like to live by the philosophy that I can achieve anything if I am willing to work for it.
The SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION is about bringing women in business together – why do you think this is important? I think having the support of like-minded women is a really positive thing. I know that if I had a network of people to receive advice from when I started by business I probably would have had more confidence in myself.
What are some of your favourite quotes?
The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. – Sophia Amoruso