Starting your first business aged 19 isn’t the usual route for all young people. But it’s the one that Rachel Gilbertson took, and success has been hard-earned but worth it for her! Her Crosby shop The Treasure Trove is going from strength to strength and she was recently nominated for a Downtown Women in Business Award in the category of Young Entrepreneur. The Women’s Organisation has been a part of Rachel’s journey for a couple of years, and we took the opportunity to head over to Crosby and speak to Rachel about the business growth and what success means to her…
Roxiie’s Treasures, based in The Treasure Trove on College Road in Crosby has been open since June 2014, but previously Rachel had a space in the Crosby Emporium. When this wasn’t available any longer, then 19-year old Rachel paired up with Wendy and began looking for a new retail space. Staying on the high street where there’s a great footfall, they took over a building (previously David’s Cakes). Right now, having been in the space for a few months, business is going well and Rachel is continually thinking of ways to expand and grow Roxiie’s Treasures.
‘I’m addicted to social media. Having been to the social media courses at The Women’s Organisation, I hated it all at first. But now, I do it all the time and it’s the first thing I do when I get home after closing the shop. It’s about connecting with other business owners through the #networking hours and speaking to my clients and customers.’
The journey to being self-employed hasn’t been smooth for Rachel, having left school she completed a National Diploma in Graphic Design and used Jobseekers to try and find employment. ‘I was on Jobseekers and I was applying for twenty jobs a day and continually getting rejection emails. It got to the point where I was sick of applying for jobs and sick of going to the Jobcentre. I could by in pajamas all day applying for jobs on my laptop. After a while, I knew something had to change, so I got in touch with The Women’s Organisation.’
Rachel met with our Business Advisor, John Jones in Crosby at one of the local drop-in sessions and was put onto the right track. She says; ‘I didn’t have a clue about anything to do with business, but I was able to get involved in the courses that The Women’s Organisation held and that helped with my business planning.’
|Grand National Themed Shop Front|
From there Rachel moved from selling at home, to the Crosby Emporium and then finally to where Roxiie’s Treasures in The Treasure Trove is now.But what are the factors that make up success for Rachel? And does she think it’s important that entrepreneurship is promoted in young people? Having started her business so young, she has been a guest speaker at the school she attended, a business enterprise college, and spoke to the students there about her story. ‘It was all about getting them interested in entrepreneurship because I don’t think it’s promoted as an option in schools. They all want you to go to University, but even if you do, you might not get a job. Starting your own business is hard work, but for me, it’s worth it.’
|Hand-made Iron Men Cushions|
Success for Rachel she says is; ‘a journey of goals and achievements. It’s something you can look backon and be proud of. The goals I’ve achieved are setting up my business, andopening up a shop at the age of 20. I would never give up working for myself. Ithink it’s the best thing to do because you can make all the decisions, even ifthey are the wrong ones, you learn from your mistakes.’
Of course, with every young business there will be mistakes made, but something that is vitally important for Rachel, is not be afraid to ask for help; ‘You think you might know everything, but it’s good to have a fresh pair of eyes on something’. Rachel says; ‘Always listen to people who know what they’re talking about. Sometimes admitting that you don’t know something is really important, because when you’re young you think you know it all, but you don’t’.
Although Rachel doesn’t know it all, she does know an awful lot and is proud of the amount she has learnt about business at a young age and has big plans for the future and growth of her business. At the moment she is working with Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business to get her own website up and running, and continuing to network and connect both on Social Media and at events across Merseyside. As well as this, she’s connecting with client’s overseas and shipping packages of Roxiie’s Treasures goodies globally.
Starting young, even if it was tough has been a positive experience for Rachel, and one she would recommend to others, and her business role models reflect this. Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne and Beyoncé are public figures that she counts as inspirational. All business-minded individuals that started their ventures when they were young and continued to grow and branch out into other projects, and one final word from Rachel on Beyoncé; ‘She’s a woman who knows what she wants’.A bit like Rachel we think…If you would like to find out more about Rachel and The Treasure Trove, follow her on Facebook and pay a visit to the shop!
Address: The Treasure Trove, 187 College Road, Crosby, Liverpool,
0151 345 6331