A former corporate high flyer has revealed how she quit the daily grind and grew her tiny startup into a booming health business worth $2million.
Kate Williams, 33, from Victoria, said she came up with the idea for Retreat Yourself Box when she was working in the corporate industry after nine years of working, volunteering and travelling around the world.
‘Because of the things I’d seen and experienced, I think I had a different perspective of life, which allowed me to notice some flaws with the way we’re living our lives,’ Kate told FEMAIL.
A former corporate high flyer has revealed how she quit the daily grind and grew her tiny startup into a booming health business worth $2million (pictured: founder Kate Williams)
Kate Williams (pictured) said she came up with the idea for Retreat Yourself Box when she was working in the corporate industry after nine years of volunteering around the world
Kate said she noticed that people were struggling with anxiety, depression and stress more than ever.
On the whole, she said they felt under pressure to look, be and act a certain way.
‘I wanted to create a product that wasn’t just a “product”,’ she said.
‘I wanted to make something that had a hugely positive impact on someone’s quality of life.
‘Something that encouraged them to slow down and pause for a moment to find more happiness, fulfillment and well-being in the hustle and bustle of the modern world.’
Dubbed a ‘retreat’ in a box, Kate’s idea was for a subscription-based service that gave the buyers a break, without them having ‘to spend thousands of dollars to go away on a health retreat’ (pictured: the Retreat Yourself Box)
Enter the Retreat Yourself Box.
Dubbed a ‘retreat’ in a box, Kate’s idea was basically for a subscription-based service that gave the buyers a break, without them having ‘to spend thousands of dollars to go away on a month-long health retreat’.
‘I wanted people to discover products that would act as tools to living a healthier life,’ Kate said.
Her boxes – which are released four times a year – now contain up to 15 health and wellness products designed to better the users’ lives.
The products are all designed by other start-ups, often from Australia, and are made to promote small businesses.
A typical box contains around $200 worth of sample health and wellness products.
For just $79.95, you might get your hands on everything from smoothie bombs to Pilates handbooks, reusable coffee cups and wellness sprays.
A typical box contains around $200 worth of sample health and wellness products, and it can cost as little as $79.95 (pictured: the Retreat Yourself box)
Within weeks, Kate explained that she acted quickly to buy the business name, website and trademark.
‘I also hired a designer to flesh out the branding and design,’ she said.
Kate said that she realised that for people to trust their brand upon launch, she would need to have ‘professional-looking branding and photography’.
She then said she started approaching brands to collaborate with her and launched Retreat Yourself Box in 2015.
Nowadays, the business idea has gone from strength to strength, with Kate saying that the business has grown exponentially since launch.
‘We’ve grown 300 per cent in the past year and are forecast to turnover upwards of $2million, Kate said.
‘It’s great, but it’s hard to feel like you’ve made it. As soon as you reach your goals, new ones are set, so you’re always striving for the next big thing.’
Kate said that she realised that for people to trust their brand upon launch, she would need to have ‘professional-looking branding and photography’ – and so she prioritised that
Speaking about her tips for other businesswomen, the entrepreneur said the most important thing is that you believe in yourself.
What are Kate’s tips for other businesswomen?
* You are your greatest tool. You should believe in yourself and think that you can do anything you set your mind to.
* Try to learn about as much business as possible.
* Remember you are not your business – do not let it become your life.
* Ask questions and reach out to as many people as possible.
‘I know it sounds like a cliche, but in business and in life in general, you are your greatest tool,’ Kate said.
‘I honestly think that you can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you believe you can.
‘I didn’t have a business bone in my body when I started Retreat Yourself, but I was determined to learn and grow.’
Kate also said that it’s important to remember you are not your business.
‘I used to be so emotionally wrapped up in my business, and I see so many friends do this too – when it becomes your identity and whole life,’ she said.
‘But this is not healthy. It is what leads to relationship breakdowns, burnout and stress overload.’
Rather, if you’re running a business, you should also make time to prioritise your health, family and friends – as often it is in this time that you can learn something new about your business, and it can grow.
Finally, the 33-year-old said you should ‘ask questions and reach out to as many people as possible’.
‘I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am today without asking loads of questions,’ Kate said.
‘If you feel uncomfortable about it, put your pride away for a minute and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
‘People are always so willing to help, and the things you learn from people who have been in your position before, are invaluable.’