“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 http://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


RESOURCES:

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Kaity Griffin