Meet Mia Klitsas. Mia is the Founder of Moxie – purse worthy personal care products that have re-designed feminine hygiene with convenience, quality and style in mind. We sat down with Mia to find out how she went from student to superstar entrepreneur.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
I was studying a marketing degree at RMIT and doing work experience in new product development when my now business partner and I had the crazy idea to redefine the women’s personal care category in Australia. As a young woman, I was sick of having tampons and pads rolling around in my handbag and thought that they should be packaged more stylishly and conveniently, whilst being as environmentally conscious as possible. We launched Moxie personal care products, complete in pretty, reusable and recyclable tin purse-packs nationally in Woolworths stores throughout Australia in 2006. Moxie is now sold in many major retailers around the world.
How did you get your business started?
Quite rudimentarily, to be honest! Initially, I worked out of my parent’s study and then during the warmer months, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks because they had good air-conditioning and free wi-fi. We did almost everything from one laptop in the early days. There were tough times and exciting times and I was certainly confronted by a lot of things I didn’t really anticipate (cashflow!). I really knew nothing about starting a business, but I soon learned that every day brings with it new challenges and that’s still the case to this day, more than ten years on.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
Being in business isn’t easy; it is challenging, trying and can be really isolating at times. But on the flip side, it can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. I’m so motivated by the fact that I can execute my own ideas and see those ideas come to fruition, without them being rejected or told that they’re not valid. Sometimes things don’t work out and I learn the hard way, but this reminds me that I’m being true to my values and am always pushing the boundaries.
How important is it to have a business mentor?
I think it’s important to have mentors or supporters in general – for me, surrounding myself with people who have supported my journey and being able to learn from others experiences has been critical to my success. Initially, I shied away from asking for help because I really didn’t think anyone would want to help me; but once I did, I not only broadened my thinking, but it helped give me confidence and focus to properly execute my goals. It’s amazing how many people are willing to offer you their time; sometimes all you have to do is ask.
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
1. Have the right people around you; whether they be supporters or experts in areas where you’re not
2. You need to have a good idea
3. Be brave and back yourself. If it were that easy, everyone would do it.