An Interview with Larissa Bateman

 

  1. What is your business (include name) and when did you start?

My business is called I Am Happy, I Am Here, and I sell gratitude journals. I opened my business in mid-December 2017.

 

  1. What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always loved the idea of having my own business. When I was younger I would create spreadsheets on products I wanted to sell and work out how much I’d need and the profits I’d get if I sold a certain number of products (yes that is what I did for fun – lame I know) but I’ve honestly always had this burning desire to have my own business.

 

I Am Happy, I Am Here started as a side project for me. More of a hobby that I was passionate about & believed in (which I now realise is the perfect recipe for success)

 

I started using gratitude journals many years ago after losing someone close to me to mental illness, having a positive mind frame was a priority to me. I discovered that writing in a blank notebook what I was grateful for really helped clear my mind, ease my anxiety, helped me to stay motivated & positive.

 

I believe that this simple process changed my life & I wanted to create my own journals that were beautiful to look at and feel. Simple yet effective in having all the right questions. Clean looking and just a beautiful keepsake for anyone.

 

  1. Tell us about the journey you have been on with your businesses?

To be honest the journey with my gratitude journals has been easy for me, I feel like it’s all fallen into place because its meant to. I was lucky enough to find an extremely talented designer who created the font of my book, I then found a fantastic manufacturer and it’s all just happened quickly and easily. I’m very lucky that I have had a lot of customers that all love my gratitude journals and they’ve been a massive hit so far. Now the buzz of the launch is over I need to focus on different ways to market them, which is a whole new ball game for me. I’m ready and up for the challenge.

 

  1. How do you handle the naysayers?

If you believe in something and you have a good reason behind why you are doing it, whatever people have to say doesn’t bother you. You don’t want to regret not doing something because of someone else’s opinion.

 

  1. Where do you envision yourself in the next 5 years? How do you plan to do this?

Since opening I have been lucky enough to chat to many of my amazing customers about their life, what they are going through and how they are feeling.

This makes me want to do more to help them & to help others. My aim is to create a community where we can all come together to support, encourage and motivate each other. I’ve started to do this, and we have a Facebook group called I Am Happy, I Am Here Community. Its been great so far, it’s like a big bunch of friends, sharing their thoughts & experiences, offering advice and support. So, my aim is to grow that.

 

I also have many products in the works to help motivate & inspire adults as well as children. Its all very exciting, I can’t say too much, but it will be good so stay tuned.

 

  1. What has been a challenge you’ve had to overcome that has shaped you and your business?

To be honest I Am Happy, I Am Here hasn’t given me a challenge yet. Which is very rare in business.

I do have a 2nd business called White Rabbit Swimwear, which I have put on the back burner as I Am Happy, I Am Here takes up most of my time, the swimwear has given me many challenges, one I remember well.

I had spent ALOT of money & time on the prints for my swimwear. I felt like my prints were what made me stand out from the crowd. Just before we went into production the manufacturer told me that the fabric printer they were now using cannot get the same quality as the previous one. He showed me a sample of how the print would look on the fabric. It was dull, blurry & looked horrible. There was no solution as this was the only printer that could do it. I remember sitting in the manufacturer and I just wanted to ball my eyes out as I couldn’t afford to buy more prints & I couldn’t pull out of making the swimwear as I had all the white fabric there ready to be printed on.

I was panicking. Luckily my partner Kareem was with me. He just said there must be a solution. He spoke to them and we ended up having a graphic designer change the colours slightly and everything turned out fine but the lesson I learnt was that getting upset & feeling like giving up doesn’t help the situation. Just stay calm, go with the flow & work it out. I now take that with me in everything I do in business. Which is probably why I have had no challenges with I Am Happy, I Am Here as they’ve come, and gone & I’ve just gone with the flow.

 

  1. Who inspires you? Why?

My customers as mentioned above and my fiancé Kareem. His work ethic is something I look up to. He is a problem solver, a hard worker, he never complains (except when he gets the man flu), he stays calm in almost every situation & he works around the clock. He has been a massive support to me despite all he has going on in his own life & he inspires me to be and do better each day.

 

  1. What has been the biggest tip you have received off someone that has stuck with you?

There is always a solution.

 

  1. What is a tip that you would give to a young person thinking about starting a business, but not sure how to start?

Do the research into the product you want to sell. If it’s a very competitive market, how are you going to stand out? I found doing a business plan in the beginning helped me outline all of this. There is a free one via https://www.business.gov.au/Info/Plan-and-Start/Templates-and-tools

 

  1. What are your top 3 biggest lessons you have learnt in your business?
  • You need to spend money to make money (Advertising is very expensive)
  • You need to be extremely passionate about your product & your why behind starting the business. As when things get too hard you will want to give up.
  • Stick with your gut instincts, if something is a little more expensive but you absolutely love it and have a good gut feeling about it – go with it. That includes the people you hire or work with as well.

 

  1. What is a book you can recommend?

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Law of attraction is something that every person in business should be aware of.

 

  1. If you could choose one place in the world to work, where would you go?

Australia! Our country has endless possibilities & opportunities. Second to that, I would love to work/live in Bali for a few months.

 

  1. What was one of the first goals you smashed in your business?

I wanted to make a certain amount of money each week and in the first week of opening I Am Happy, I Am Here I ticked that goal off the list. (Helps that I opened a week before Christmas).

 

  1. Where can we contact you?

My Instagram is @iamhappyiamhere or my email is hello@iamhappyiamhere.com

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