Jodie Fried’s Eastern Inspiration
DB: What do you enjoy most about what you do? What are the drawbacks?
JF: It’s such a rewarding process because the whole company has been built on passion. Passion for working with people, making change, working with craft and working with colour and design. So, the high for me is really in the collaborative nature of how we develop our products and work with these communities.
We’ve opened three schools now from the profits of the company and you can’t put a price on going into these schools and seeing these kids benefiting from the provisions. Working with the women and being invited into their homes is also incredible.
The drawback would have to be working in India. While it hosts such an amazing culture where the people give you so much despite having nothing, it’s still a very frustrating and long way to go about running a business. Language barriers are also quite frustrating, and with things not quite as up to scratch as they are here, it’s definitely not as simple as manufacturing in other countries. But, the reward really outweighs these problems.
DB: What’s your biggest ongoing challenge?
JF: Keeping an eye on production and making sure everyone’s happy. There’s always a lot of geographical, political and celebratory things going on in India which is quite tricky for our production and communication as language proves quite a consistent challenge.
DB: Do think you’ve made it as a business owner?
JF: No I don’t think you ever make it. I feel we’re at the point where we’ve ironed out all the creases in the business and things are running well, but the question of ‘what’s next?’ still remains. Having started in 2005, we’re still here, still operating and making changes while effecting people either through our products or their manufacture. I feel we’ve still got a way to go in terms our product reach and don’t think you ever stop learning or growing.
Jodie’s Tips To Following Your Dream:
- Start with your dream and follow your passion. The most successful businesses are the ones with leaders that are passionate and believe they’re going to make a change somehow. That is the number one rule, stay true to that.
- Run your own race. Identify why you’re starting a business and what your purpose is.
- Always come back to the same philosophy of how you set out to run your business.
- Surround yourself with people that are better than you, and have the skills, advice and inspiration to draw from and help grow your business. Don’t hold onto it, let them be part of your team.
- Have mentors in your life that can influence you in your business planning, day to day operations and bounce ideas of.