‘Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.’
Five years ago, Shannon was living in the Middle East, working as a member of an international flight crew. But she had a dream to start her own bridal wear label that was fashion-forward for the modern-day bride. She knew women in South Africa were the exact market she wanted to tailor to, and so she brought Australian bridal brand Bo & Luca to South Africa and opened her first international studio in Cape Town in 2014, which offers bridal wear, couture and accessories. Since opening, she has also expanded to sell internationally.
On becoming an entrepreneur:
I had a dream, and knew that if I didn’t follow through with what I wanted to do, I would always wonder ‘what if’. I couldn’t live with the thought of that.
On initial concerns:
I was concerned about knowing how to start a business. I had no background in running a business, just a dream. I soon realised that goals and persistence are all you need to get started – everything else will fall into place.
On daily challenges:
When you first start out, you need to do a bit of everything within the business – you don’t have enough money to afford staff, so you need to know how to do everything. Even when you grow and expand, you never have enough people to do everything. Implementing structure into the business from the beginning will help with this and, when you do hire staff, you’ll have the tools necessary to train them correctly.
On learning lessons:
There will be many highs and many lows, and you just have to keep riding the rollercoaster. After five years of business, I’ve learned that nothing can break you if you set your sights high and always follow your dreams.
On advice for other businesswomen:
Go and listen to other women in business, ask questions, read anything and everything about business and your industry. Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. You’ll find that other women in business will always want to help and see you succeed.