Pamper Hamper Gifts director Shelley Steyn lives by a simple rule: “believe in yourself, work hard and don’t try to be everything to everyone. In a market that is saturated and very competitive, it is important to be unique. We stick to what we do well and we don’t try to be the solution for everyone.”
There’s a lot she has learned as an entrepreneur through challenges, leadership and growth.
The thing about entrepreneurs is that they are constantly learning. They learn from their failures and their successes. They make mistakes, but they overcome them and move onto better things. That’s what makes them successful.
When Shelley and her mum, Gill took over Pamper Hamper Gifts, they did so because they wanted to provide beautiful and affordable gift boxes for people around Australia. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. When it comes to challenges, they’ve faced plenty. The toughest challenge?
“The toughest challenge for me personally, is I am too trusting of people. So many people advertise themselves as ‘experts’ in their field and then don’t deliver on their promises. I have learned a few hard and expensive lessons about trusting people in business.
I will always lean towards giving people the benefit of the doubt however if I am looking to engage anyone for a piece of work, I seek recommendations first and I do ask a lot more questions,” she says.
With a financial background, marketing a business was a major challenge for Shelley — it was new and there was a lot to learn, fast.
“I thought marketing would be the easier part of the business to learn however it was one of my biggest challenges.
I signed up for courses, read as much material I could but after getting pretty overwhelmed I decided this area was best left to the experts. Two years in and after a few failed outsourcing attempts, I finally found a company that could manage that aspect and deliver results.”
Culture and taking care of staff are major priorities and both of these are essential for a successful business.
“Culture is very important. Pamper Hamper is very seasonal — the busier seasons can be quite challenging, making teamwork and communication vital to getting gifts packed and delivered to the recipient, within our referenced timeframes.
We hire for team fit and attitude, the rest can be trained” Shelley says.
“You need to create a work environment that is collaborative, encourages communication and initiative and is a safe learning environment where mistakes can be made and learned from.”
And when it comes to business partners, staff and leadership?
“Surround yourself with good, smart people and let them earn your trust.”
Finally, there are two personal lessons Shelley has learned. First is to find a balance.
“I can dwell on aspects of the business that aren’t working well and it can get me pretty wrapped up in trying to fix it. It takes a fair amount of discipline to get myself down to the beach or to go for a long walk.
It’s the best way I have learnt to clear my mind, put things into perspective and come up with an action plan,” she says.
“Secondly, be flexible. I like having a plan and sticking to it. Following the bushfires and COVID-19, I have learnt the importance of flexibility and being able to pivot the business and adapt to changes in the environment.”
And if she could start over, what’s the one thing Shelley wishes someone had told her before starting out?
“I wish someone had told me not to make any changes within the first 12 months of taking over a business. During that time, I was learning so much and changing what I thought wasn’t working when I should have been focussing my time and energy on building my relationships with our customers and winning new business.”
Check out the website today to find out more about Pamper Hamper Gifts. Now is also the perfect time to arrange some Christmas hampers for your colleagues, family or friends.
Pamper Hamper Gifts is a luxury gift hamper company based in Sydney, Australia. The company offers a variety of gift hampers for all occasions, from Christmas hampers, through to gourmet food hampers, baby hampers and corporate gifts. Hampers are affordable and shipped Australia-wide.