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I studied accounting and communication at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton and went on to be an accountant for several years (I had so much fun that it's all a blur).

From accounting I moved into event management and then onto project management specialising in finance system implementations and process improvement projects.

I launched my first online business, Hazel's House, on Shopify in 2012 back when people weren't really buying online and big businesses didn't really have an online presence. Instagram was pretty much still in its infancy and your only option was to post one static square image.

That first business (a women's clothing store) was an epic failure, but what a great lesson (she says with a forced smile of toxic positivity). I rebranded and re-launched as HEART from HAZEL selling super chunky throws that I made as well as DIY kits and I hosted knitting workshops as well.

At the same time (because I'm chaotic like that) I launched my consulting business, Running In Heels Consulting, to service my project management clients and also starting taking on Shopify clients under the same business.

I took a short break to have a baby and went back to project work when my eldest was six months old. Two months later I launched my next online business: FaceStuff Co, a cruelty free skincare and cosmetics business.

What started as a simple business structure (buy products at wholesale from established brands and sell at retail prices) morphed into importing products under my own brand and trying to survive our first ever global pandemic.

Somewhere in between all of that I kept building online stores and offering support and strategic advice to ecommerce business owners. I also had a second baby and moved away from building Shopify sites and launched online courses instead.

Somehow, FaceStuff Co survived the pandemic and turned over quarter of a million dollars in it's third year of operation while I was working from my spare room with two toddlers.

It was about the three year mark and after my mum (who was working for me picking and packing up to 400 orders a month) took an unexpected extended leave of absence that I realised I was suffering from the effects of burnout and I put the business up for sale.

After a false start - selling a business is like the most ruthless performance review you could imagine (over and over and over again), the business was sold in May of this year so I could focus on my latest adventure...breeding miniature cattle.

Now, with my fluffy little friends all here and thriving I have got some capacity to launch this blog series all about how to set up and launch a start up, and then grow it to the point where it makes you some money, and ultimately sell it.

Buckle up, you are in for a (very) bumpy ride!


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