Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rhonda Nelson, Owner of Nelson Soapery, located in Warragul, VIC, Australia.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Nelson Soapery. We are an Australian business specialising in Australian sourced materials, Australian made, Australian Poured soap, creams, and bath products. Our target market is 17- 35-year-olds, but as we have grown and evolved, we have noticed a shift and seen many male buyers.

Our company is geared towards wholesale, where we wholesale to 21 individual stores through trade square Australia and through our site. We are also the owners of the only Australian soaping and candle guild that we set up in late 2021. It's an annual event with makers, suppliers, and small businesses attending for a 1-2 day event in Melbourne, Australia, where the focus is on inspiring small businesses, recognition, team building, networking, and education.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Rhonda, and I am a mum from the outer suburbs that thought I needed a slight career change from interior design, so I started this journey as a hobby, and along the way, I have been inspired to help other small businesses, create network opportunities, start YouTube channel, Australian Soaping and Candle Conference, wholesale and teach people about branding and designing products.

I'm a total workaholic, and I love what I do. I'm so passionate about helping small Aussie companies and giving any knowledge that I've learned to help others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I would say creating a brand that is successful and a brand that is starting to be recognized, but I'm so very proud of setting up the Australian Soaping and Candle conference as Australia has never had such an event. I'm proud of the small goals, such as selling wholesale and connecting with other small companies. It's lovely to have my brand recognised.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I would say cash flow as there's always something the business needs, and buying in bulk can mean huge investments where we are spending 1000s of dollars in one hit. Learning all of the things that we need is such a learning curve, and as business owners, we need to wear so many hats.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start small and slowly learn and grow.
  2. Do not take out a loan or go straight into a storefront, as that's added pressure.
  3. Use all the free social media avenues and try not to pay for social media as that can be a rabbit hole of huge expenses for little reward.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would like to offer some words of wisdom to any business owner or those who want to be owners - You can do this, but it takes time, so don't be in a hurry. Concentrate on design, product design, consistency, and service with a smile, and always push your amazing brand.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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