The “DREAM” that is the Lisa Pollock brand was created 14 years ago from humble beginnings in her little garage on Australia’s Gold Coast. It was the first step in an incredible journey—following her dreams, trusting her inner voice, and totally backing herself. Now, Lisa Pollock has not only National, but also international success in the gift & homewares industry with her heartfelt artwork.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I always dreamed of sharing my artwork with others, hopeful that in some small way I could inspire people to believe in the magic of their dreams and to never ever give up. Starting my business has allowed me to do just that. I am truly blessed to do something I love everyday, and this keeps me motivated to keep on sharing the love.
Tell us about your business.
The Lisa Pollock Brand is one of the leaders in the Australian gift & homewares industry. With hundreds of retail stockists throughout Australia, and now internationally as well, all Lisa Pollock ranges are originally hand-painted, then the designs are applied to our unique products.
There is so much time and research that goes into the creative process, along with all the logistical and administrative processes to make the Lisa Pollock brand the success that it is, but we constantly remind ourselves of our mantra to Dream Big!
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
My accomplishments have come through the growth of my business and making my dream become reality—from simple, local beginnings to international success and the continued support I have from my customers who keep this dream alive!
Where is your business based?
Gold Coast. We have a team of agents in every state of Australia who represent our brand.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I just took a deep breath and dove right in. It took courage, commitment, research about the industry I was setting my sights on, and quite a bit of learning on the run.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
In the beginning I would sell my paintings at the local markets and do a lot of footwork to retail stores to build up a customer base.
Next came trade fairs, which gave us great exposure to the right audience. And now with technology the way it is, we use a lot of social media posts, including videos and images, to show off our products as well as to interact with our customers.
I find that customers love seeing the daggy, real me! (I guess they like to know I’m human. ?)
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
As with any business there are always varying challenges, from questioning my belief in my artwork, to wondering if the goods coming in from offshore will all be saleable! (Yes, over the years we have had instances of full containers of stock having to be binned).
Probably the biggest challenge for me is keeping up with the changes within our industry. People want new things regularly and in our industry the styles and trends are ever-changing. Because I am the “artist” and my designs are all original, keeping on top of this can be quite the challenge!
How did you overcome these challenges?
The challenges I face keep me on my toes, and make sure I continue to think outside the box for solutions. I have surrounded myself with an incredible tribe of people who understand the direction of my journey, and having them around to bounce things off can be particularly helpful.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Without wanting to sound repetitive, I have to say that I just keep on believing. This truly is what gets me through difficult moments. I usually take a deep breath and just stop for a moment to remember what it is that I’m trying to achieve! (There may also be a glass of champagne involved from time to time. ??)
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
All my ranges are originally hand-painted. We don’t have anything generic or picked off the shelf. There is a little piece of my heart in every design I create, and I believe that this is the difference. Customers love to know that they can purchase something that has been designed from the soul.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Just keep it real!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Align yourself with like-minded people. Surround yourself with others who understand your end goal and will support you through every step of the journey to get there. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and never ever give up!
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Instagram, Facebook, gift & homewares industry guides.
I am constantly researching other brands, trends, and styles to ensure we keep on top of our game. To be able to do this from my phone or iPad is a blessing, as I can do this anytime, anywhere.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Articles in the recent YMag are great! It’s uplifting to see how other business women, and women in general, are stepping up to overcome challenges, as well as creating successful, meaningful lives for themselves.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
This is not an easy question! I’m always seeking ways to improve on things, from the way we manufacture our products to bettering my management skills. I believe there is always something to be learned, and I am constantly on the lookout for ways this can be achieved.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Can I say just keeping my feet on the ground?!
2018 has seen us start with a bang, collaborating on the YPlanners with the wonderful Shar from YMag, who established our spot in the Golden Globes Hollywood Swag Bags so that our products landed in the laps of 50 A-list celebs, not to mention Oprah, and in Ellen’s 60th birthday gift basket—I haven’t come back down to earth yet, so wrapping my head around what comes next is not easy!
We have regular trade fairs a few times each year that see us releasing new designs and products, so lately the focus has been on that. However, I have a few things in the pipeline with some international goals for 2018, and I’ll be taking my first trip to India this year to see what another country and culture can offer. I’m super excited to see what this experience will bring!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.