“It’s really important to me to make (my products) practical, but also as beautiful and as present-like as possible. I just remember myself receiving gifts during that time and how much of a boost it gives you. So my packaging, I spent a lot of time making sure it was as beautiful as it could be so this person gets a full experience, from the minute they open it.”
In today’s episode Kaity is joined by Sonia Fahey, a Founder and First Hand Warrior of Love Your Warrior.
This is Sonia story:
At the end of the September 2018 school holidays, I had 4, 13 year old boys arriving at 1pm to do a home economics prac in my kitchen with my son & I’d just been told I had Breast Cancer and would need a mastectomy, chemo & radiation. Don’t get me wrong, I had all the usual emotions and fears that come with a diagnosis, but decided that the best way to get through the afternoon was by distracting myself. Because of those funny, hilarious boys who made a fabulous mess and heckled each other all afternoon, it was one of the funniest days I’ve ever had. They’ll never know just how much they helped. Fast-forward to the 26th of July, 2019, I walked out of hospital for the last time and 5 days later, launched my online business www.loveyourwarrior.com.au. Yes, I am completely nuts for doing it this way, but, in doing so, it meant that I could trial a wide range of products and refine my own designs to make sure they were relevant and on-point for each stage of a Warrior’s experience. I started small and focused on what I knew best, which was that during cancer treatment I craved softness & comfort, and to feel more like myself at a time when nothing was familiar. I’m not a medical expert, but I am an expert on how I felt during that time and I thought, “if I felt this way, there’s got to be others too”. I mean, I had insider knowledge, for example: it’s not possible in summer to put a scarf on your head in a rush and expect it to be straight and the right way around when you answer an unexpected knock at the door (I started chemo during the Christmas holidays with 3 kids at home, so this happened a lot!).
Queue my Easy to Wear Headwear. So I designed and manufactured a range of products that would offer comfort and softness to women undergoing cancer treatment. Love Your Warrior offers Arm & Neck Support Pillows, Luxe Seatbelt Pillows, Surgical Drain Bags and Easy to Wear Headwear, all created in stylish fabrics with maximum comfort and softness in mind. I also have a range of beautiful on-point and relevant Gift Boxes for Surgery, Chemo & Radiation. Since launching in August, 2019 we have helped over 650 Warriors including a large order from the Breast Cancer Institute at Westmead Hospital (which was pretty exciting because it told me I was doing something right!). I feel like we’re growing everyday, not profitably YET! But introducing a new product to market, albeit an enthusiastic niche market takes time. I’m here to help as many women as I can feel the benefit of Love Your Warrior because I know from personal experience, it makes a very real difference. Behind the scenes we’re delving into a way we can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with cancer as they have higher rates and poorer outcomes than non-indigenous women and if you ask me, it’s hard enough without everything extra they have to deal with. I can’t wait to see where our hard work takes us.
Let’s jump in!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
The benefit of running multiple businesses before your current business
Creating a business / products that you were craving
The challenges of bringing a new retail product to market & explaining what they do & why they help
The cliff I had to jump off the night I launched my website with a big bald image of my head & why it was important to use it
The challenges of launching and starting a business amidst recovery
How a business evolves over time and getting a clearer picture of how you want the business to run and how you want to give back
Using facebook groups to network and build brand awareness
Women supporting women in business & having awesome mentors for sound advice, to celebrate the wins and help you get through the bad days
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