A few years ago, Katrina Hatfield left her corporate job to start The Little Market Bunch, a daily flower and gift delivery based in Melbourne.
We recently had the very hard job 😉 of catching up with her at her favourite cafe (The Glass Merchant in St Kilda) where she told us all about her career path, the challenges she faced starting her business and a few other things over great coffee! Poor us.
As a kid what did you dream about doing?
Strangely I dreamed of being a Weather Woman! I spent a few years in Hong Kong as a child where my dad was working at the time and was fascinated with weather (they has big storms called Typhoons and plenty of rain storms in the summer – if they got bad enough we wouldn’t have to go to school!) that continued until I realised I hated science at school so that wasn’t going to work out !
What make you switch career?
My first job was in Fashion Retail before I moved into Marketing/Events for ANZ after uni. After 7 years in corporate banking, I was tired of the politics, stress and making rich people richer. I wanted to do something more fulfilling and worthwhile and tried to think of ways to achieve it.
How did your come up with the concept of The Little Market Bunch?
After living and working overseas for 6 years, I would be continuously frustrated by the lack of gift/flower options that were just simple, affordable and nice. When I arrived back in Australia, I did a lot of research about the floristry industry and saw an opportunity to make flower delivery simple and affordable again. Having one bunch of flowers available daily only, and matching with generic gifts such as candles was the first step, and later we took on new stockiest such as T2 and Black Pantry Marshmallows which have worked amazingly.
How long did it take for the initial concept to become reality?
It took around 3 months from taking the jump and quitting my full-time job to launching the business. I found that I was only going to be focused on it enough if I wasn’t working 2 jobs, so I believed and took the risk.
The daily little market bunch
Candles and tea
Did you have an áhah moment when you realised that the business was going to work?
It was probably around 6 months in when sales doubled one month and I realised the concept had taken off. All my hard work around the marketing, social media and collaborations were starting to pay off. As soon as I was able to draw a proper salary was probably the next milestone, which was around the same time.
What is a typical day in your shoes?
A typical day in my shoes depends on the day of the week, but generically in ‘our’ shoes starts with: – collating orders the previous days pre-orders, dispatching orders, customer emails and queries, stock taking, visiting suppliers and buying flowers, arranging the bunches for the next day and prepping as much in advance as possible and then the same again (depending on the day of the week!)
The biggest lesson I learnt starting my own business is that you can’t control everything, as much as you would like to. The only way to build a business is to relinquish the control. I wish I realised this earlier! And remembering that shit happens, take a deep breath, scream into a pillow and move along 😉
What’s your favourite place in Sydney? Melbourne? And why?
In Sydney – I love going back to where I grew up on the Northern Beaches, particularly Palm Beach and the Boathouse café.
In Melbourne – I can’t pick just one favourite in Melbourne as there are too many! I do love the Windsor Chapel Street strip of awesome restaurants and bars, Hanoi Hannah, Saigon Sally, Tokyo Tina and Hawker Hall amongst the best restaurants and the Railway Hotel rooftop is casual and cruisy too which I love.
What advice would you give to someone dreaming about switching career?
Life’s too short not to give it a go. Remember your old career will always be there!