Today’s Biz Ladies Profile comes to us from Alexia Klompje of Klomp Ceramics. After surviving a brain tumor, Alexia decided to pursue “gentler” work during her healing process. So she went back to her first love of ceramics and never looked back. Today she shares a bit about her journey into the creative realm and the ups and downs of owning a business. Thank you, Alexia, for sharing your amazing story with us! —Stephanie
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Read the full interview after the jump…
Why did you decide to start your own business?
After surviving a brain tumor, which left half my body paralyzed a couple years ago, I needed a lifestyle change and wanted to find something gentler to do whilst healing. I had been working really hard as a stylist for the previous ten years and found the industry to be stressful. Ceramics is an art form I’d dabbled with since I was a child and always loved it, and so I began with a few bags of clay and before I knew it Klomp Ceramics was born! It’s been a beautiful way to heal and, in a way, reconstruct myself and my life.
When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?
I’ve started a business before that I didn’t enjoy doing so every step was stressful and unpleasant for me. For this business I wanted the opposite so it started with my basic need of doing what I love and grew from there.
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?
My husband gives me the best advice. With business he’s always reminding me that it takes time. I’m an incredibly impatient person so when I get on the fast track he slows me down a bit. Businesses take time to build. Philosophically speaking, everything unfolds as and when it should.
What was the most difficult part of starting your business?
There were practical delays and hiccups but I found that learning to believe in myself and what I’m doing and the courage to get it out there was actually the most difficult part. Realizing those challenges made dealing with the practical difficulties a lot more manageable.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
Confidence. Confidence in myself, in my choices, in my products, in growing and learning, in where I’d like to take my business. It all requires big confidence and a sense of knowing what you are capable of.
Can you name a moment of failure in your business experiences?
Not really. In life and in business I try to see any failures as opportunities to grow and learn so I don’t know if I believe in failures as such!
Can you name your greatest success in your business experiences?
Waking up and being overjoyed by walking into the studio and starting my day! To me this is the greatest success.
What business books/resources (if any) would you recommend to someone starting a creative business of their own?
I personally do a lot of research online. There’s so much out there about starting businesses, creative fields, what people have themselves experienced, how others did it, inspiration. If looking for general advice or advice on a particular topic I’d definitely recommend a good browse. Design*Sponge Biz Ladies is a great place to start!
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
Is this something you’re going to love doing? There’s no point in doing something that makes you miserable. Life’s too short in my opinion and starting a business can be challenging so the love of it will be your greatest ally.
Can you find the strength and courage in this moment to make your dreams a reality? Starting a business successfully relies heavily on timing. Maybe right now you are ready, maybe only in a year or two and that’s ok. Either way it’s going to take a little chutzpah!
Are you feeling enthusiastic about your amazing ideas and super excited to get your business started?! For me enthusiasm and a positive attitude go a long way. If you’re enthusiastic, others will be too.