What is your name? Alex Stalling
Where can we reach you? firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the name of your business? Tinker
Where are you based? Toowoomba
Describe your business in a few words. A space to learn and grow your creative side for adults and kids.
Why did you start your business? I needed it, I had taken a break from the industry with the arrival of our second child. Ever since I hit the pause button on teaching art it was a constant hum not far from the forefront of my thoughts at all times. I truly love working with others to allow them to grow their own personal creative drive and style. There is something about the way that which we limit the way we create as a whole at the moment that crushes the souls of many. The ‘I am not creative’, ‘I only draw a stick figure’, ‘I wish I had your talent’ thought process which puts a physical block on so many to even indulge the idea of attempting something creative. I love to be able to show people easy ways to break down those observation barriers and just start making marks on paper. People are often surprised at what they can make in just one class. It fills my cup and my heart.
What were you doing before you started your biz? On a self-enforced maternity leave. I used to work for the local Toowoomba Art Society hosting their children’s art workshops. With Master Fox’s arrival I knew self-care was needed, the pregnancy wasn’t the easiest and I needed to do what was right for everyone. My students, my baby and myself. It was a hard choice but I found comfort knowing that it wasn’t for forever. I also felt that my wings were ready to grow, knowing that I was needing to branch out into my own space. That moving from my current position was going to happen at some point anyway. So before Tinker I was full time mum and full time business dreamer. I had my plan so mapped out that when the right venue popped up on my phone there was zero hesitation. I created a business from scratch in under 3 days.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far? Time management. But that is a me thing. I just go go go. Many times I have had to take a breather and do the following thought process: 1. Is it necessary 2. Is it the most effective way to do it 3. Is it good for my family 4. Is it a smart move or purely just excitement This thought process has stopped me from just throwing everything at the wall until I burn-out.
What do you love the most about being your own boss? The flexibility. I want to have my cake and eat it too. I can work the hours that works best for my family.What would you do differently if given the chance?Nothing. Even the little things I have changed I wouldn’t go back and change at the beginning as they allowed me to have grow, a time for introspection and development.
In your opinion, what is the secret to a successful business? Trust your gut. Listen to the advice of others but remain authentic to your own goals and dreams. And be thrifty. I have never been in a point where huge financial backing was available so I would always break down my plans into what I need, what I can work towards and what I can do on a budget.
What advice do you have for our readers who want to be their own boss or are running their own small biz?Get out there, talk to people and take the plunge. That first step can be the hardest and also the most rewarding.Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?Doing what I love.