Natalie Bloom (Bachelor of Arts, Visual Communication, 1992, RMIT Alumnus of the Year in 2012) started her cosmetics business in her parents’ garage in Melbourne, went on to build a global brand, and is now embracing the digital marketplace. See what she says about managing the challenges of a growing business.
“My company, Bloom, started in an unconventional way. I was 23 and had no intention of starting a business; I just wanted to use my graphic design skills, and created some products more out of love than with the intention to start a business. Six months later, I committed to do a trade fair and got the smallest stand that was available. In the last hour of the day, the buyer from Myer stopped by and placed an order for 5000 pieces.
I was lucky – today it couldn’t happen as easily. I didn’t even know how to create an invoice, the buyer taught me! Whereas today you have to digitally accept an order through their system – you have to buy the software package which is a huge investment. It was sort of a blessing in disguise that 20 years ago things weren’t as advanced as they are today.
I think I was just young and naïve and I think that’s an asset. In my early twenties I just had so much adrenalin and no fear. I think the key thing is that you’re passionate about what you do. If you’re not, it’s very hard to ride through the highs and lows, because there are low points and challenging times in business and you need to keep motivated.”
Pictured: Natalie Bloom, at her business headquarters in Melbourne, is embracing the digital marketplace. Photos by RMIT alumnus Emma Phillips.