My Neighborhood – Hoboken, New Jersey

Written by Peta Arthurson

See why moving to Hoboken was a winner with former AWNY Vice President Peta Arthurson.

 

My husband and I stumbled upon the neighborhood of Hoboken and at first we completely freaked out. We had never planned on moving to NEW JERSEY!!! That’s a whole different state, and train system! But, if you read along with me you will see why I think its been our best neighborhood so far!

Upon recently expanding my family to include our new baby girl Matilda, my husband and I knew we wanted a little more space at but with affordable rent, and non- negotiable outdoor space for our dog (there was no way could I walk him at night in the dead of winter with a newborn if my hubby was away for work!) And of course we wanted all of this without moving to Westchester or some other upstate NY or Long Island location. I’m pleased to report we found it in Hoboken, New Jersey, just a short distance from Manhattan.

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Peta, husband Shane and baby Matilda on Matilda’s first Snow Day – Dec 2016

 

Where is Hoboken?

Hoboken, New Jersey is right across the Hudson river and is bordered by Weehawken to the North and Jersey City to the South & West. The streets are on a grid similar to Manhattan with the cross streets being numbered from 1st (downtown) to 14th (uptown) and some president’s names like Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe.

Transport in Hoboken

Hoboken is essentially in line with Houston and 23rd streets of Manhattan and getting into the city is quick and easy. The PATH train runs regularly from 33rd street to Hoboken and the ferry runs to 42nd and World Trade Center. In fact, if you work downtown, the ferry takes only 5 minutes. There are also buses, with NJ Transit operating between the Hoboken Bus Terminal and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. We also have a light rail system connecting Jersey City to Weehawken and beyond.

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AWNY Startup Stories: Lipstick Queen

Poppy King is a name many Australian women associate with lipstick. Her successful brand Poppy was a 90s icon that gave us bold lipsticks named after the seven deadly sins. Fast forward 20 years and Poppy King has created Lipstick Queen. Poppy spoke with AWNY about her experiences of reinventing her brand in the USA.

Tell us about yourself and your business – how was Lipstick Queen born?

I grew fascinated with lipstick when I was 7 years old and played dress up with one of my mum’s lipsticks. What amazed me was how different I felt on the inside when I put on lipstick, and that is what led to my lifetime obsession with creating lipstick that makes you feel like a superhero.

What have been your greatest challenges in starting up a new business in the New York area?

Holding people’s attention. There is so much going on here so its hard to compete with that – it’s something I work at every day.

What are your three greatest learnings in starting up a business?

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition…..you have to repeat what you stand for so that people understand what your business does, and what it offers them that no other business can.

What steps did you go through to launch your business? (logistics, marketing etc)

I developed the right lipstick formula that gave the brand a point of difference.  and then figured out how best to get that message across in the marketing.

Starting up can be notoriously difficult – what’s motivates you to keep going?

Someone once said to me, “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle” – meaning work hard and be patient!

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’ 

I feel that way every time I look at the Chrysler Building. I am just so happy to have that beautiful art deco skyscraper in my sights.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

By treating lipstick the way Willy Wonka treated chocolate. Making it magical, surprising, and imaginative, versus a trend or fad.

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Do you have any mentors that have been instrumental in their support? How have people been with sharing information and their networks?

My customers are my mentors and working at my in-store counters is where I get the most inspiring and useful information.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?

Think about why you are doing what you are doing as that will help you figure out what you need to do to achieve success.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business, and why – or if not, also, why?

Australians are great at multi-tasking, which is great for efficiency, and I credit my Australian-ness with being able to see things from a wide perspective.

What is next for Lipstick Queen?

More magical and enchanting lipsticks and global expansion on the back of that!

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Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

Blog – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org 

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Startup Stories – Tanya McCaw of Royal IT

Tanya McCaw is the CEO of Royal IT, an IT Managed Services business. She and her business partner and husband arrived in NYC in 2015 to take a bite out of the Big Apple. AWNY sat down with Tanya to find out what it’s been like bringing their company from Perth to NYC.

Tell us about your business and what inspired you to begin?

Royal IT provides IT consulting, support and Managed IT services to small businesses of up to around 200 staff. Our team of consultants, engineers and project managers become the IT department for our clients so they don’t need to hire their own IT staff. Our goals are to maximize our clients’ profits through the use of technology. We have an office in Perth, Australia, which is now 9 years old and we opened our second office in NYC in 2015.

My business partner and husband is the founder of Royal IT – he started the company after working in the IT industry for over 17 years. I joined Royal IT when it was 3 years old and needed a person to take charge of the business and leadership aspect. I have always wanted to own my own business since I was a teenager, and now that I am realizing this dream with my life partner I feel blessed as we really complement each other.

You brought your business to the USA two years ago – what was the inspiration for moving to the USA?

After backpacking around the world together for a couple of years when we first met, we had a taste of what it would be like to live abroad.

We came to NYC for a holiday 5 years ago and instantly fell in love with the energy of this amazing city. There are so many interesting, talented and diverse people compacted together – it really does inspire me on a daily basis to evolve and become a better version of myself.

From a business perspective, we have always dreamed big: our goal is to open 5 international offices. By moving to the US we are able offer an exceptional service that is 24×7 because we have international teams that are on opposite time zones. The US was an attractive place to start because the need for Managed IT services in small business is becoming crucial as the technology landscape becomes more complicated.

It also made good business sense to expand to the US and diversify our markets during a time when Perth is experiencing an economic downturn.

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As an IT consulting business – why come to NYC vs other cities in the USA?

In a city like NYC business professionals are very busy and don’t have time to wait hours for their IT issues to be resolved. Our 24×7 help desk and technical consulting team is able to service the round the clock needs of our clients. In addition, we provide guaranteed IT support within 45 seconds! We do plan to expand to other cities in the USA, but at this stage we are focusing on NYC.

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’?

The first 12 months I definitely wasn’t in my comfort zone and was trying to get a grasp of the unique way everything is done in this city. I worked really hard on putting myself out there to develop new friendships and networks and after a while it started to pay off. Now I find that I am out most nights of the week either socializing, attending workshops or networking events. I love it!

My ‘Ah Ha’ moment was when I was delivering a presentation on Royal IT to a group of around 30 professionals and I was sharing our story. I was proud to show photos of our international team and offices. I remember feeling really confident and proud of what we have achieved so far.

What have been the hardest lessons in starting a business?

There have been so many! Starting a business and expanding internationally isn’t for the faint hearted that’s for sure. The main lesson would be not rushing into new hires and taking the time to find the right people. We are now very picky with selecting new staff to join our team and have a lengthy interview process in place. We go against the grain of the typical ‘IT geek’ and employ exceptional communicators that can relate to our clients’ needs. Of course it’s also essential that they possess the right technical skills and are a good fit for our team.

What has been the hardest thing about bringing your business to the USA?

Leaving my family, friends and the Royal IT team in Perth was definitely the hardest part. The flight to Perth is around 26 hours, so unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of popping home for a long weekend catch up. Despite this, I make sure I take out regular time from my schedule to Skype home. My parents and Aunty and Uncle are coming to visit in August this year and they have never been to NYC, so I am very excited to show them around.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

We use an outsourced marketing team to coordinate the marketing campaigns for both our Perth and NYC offices. We developed a strong brand and use a range of marketing strategies that have proven successful, which include in-bound marketing and paid advertising. Networking and referral-based marketing groups have also been critical for lead generation.

Do you have any mentors, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks?

Royal IT is a member of several different IT industry groups that provide ongoing training and mentoring by business leaders. We also attend a couple of industry conferences each year, which are critical as they provide a community to share information and learn the latest technology trends.

In addition to this, I have engaged the services of Zento Global Consulting for the past five years for business coaching. We have used business coaches since the early stages of the company’s development and this has been an instrumental component to supporting the company’s growth.

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What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?

The best advice I can provide is: don’t go at this alone! If you don’t have any business experience, find some mentors or engage a business coach. It might cost a bit extra but it really is a wise business investment and will save you from making many costly mistakes. If you pick the right coach they will effectively become part of your team.

Secondly, as a business owner a critical part of your responsibility is to put aside time every week to work ‘on’ the business. This time should not be switched out to work on operational or reactive tasks. Use a virtual assistant and outsource ALL of your lower level tasks where possible, as it is not a good use for your time.

Finally, it is critical to take time to look after yourself. Eat well, exercise, meditate and ensure you have time for family and friends. It is very easy to get caught up in all the ins and outs of running a company and let your life and health go downhill.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business?

Our business name is from the street we used to live on in East Perth: Royal Street. Our whole team in Australia is involved with the servicing our NYC clients in one way or another, which is really exciting.

What is next for your business?

Continuing to grow the NYC office and expand our networks is the priority. At the end of 2018 we will start looking into opening our third office somewhere in the USA.

Do you have an offer or promo code you would like to share with AWNY members?

Royal IT offers a 10% discount on our services to AWNY members. Use the code RIT-AWNY when you get in touch.

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Follow Royal IT at:
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/royalitnyc/
Websitehttps://www.royalit.nyc/ 
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/843564/

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Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

Blog – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org
Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/AUWomenNYC/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AUWomenNYC
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Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

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Event Review: Act like a New Yorker

DSC_1561Written by Kate Lee, Workshop moderator and AWNY Committee member

As I walked through Times Square to the rehearsal studio for our AWNY workshop, I got that NYC buzz – a heady mix of excitement and wonder as I make sure I don’t tread on or brush against anything that will make me want to burn my clothes later.  
Our studio space was small. It had scuffed walls and hadn’t been swept for perhaps a decade. I peeped into the spacious, airy room next door. The one with the polished floor and windows on two sides. I thought we’d booked this one. The large one with room enough for 15 people? No, you booked 703. Oh. Grit and grind of New York indeed. I arranged the space and put slips of paper on the table by the door. These were for people to write the challenges they’ve experienced in this city. I should have written, ‘separated by a common language.’ Later, I would use these slips for our improvisations. As people began to arrive, the familiarity of the accent, the sense of humor and that sun-shine-like Australian openness lit-up the room. It awes me all the time, the stories of women in New York. From one- to twenty-plus-years living here, each of us had different why’s, who’s and how’s of being in this city.
The workshop began by orientating ourselves in the space and to each other. Classic drama games such as mirroring and molding our bodies are great for this. The aim is to turn off the analytical brain and ‘tune’ ourselves to our own reactions as well as those who are in the room. We then created a series of tableaux that reflected images and feelings of New York life – finances, dating, confidence and speaking up at work. We then moved into the main activities known as Image Theater and Forum Theater. These processes come from a very well-known Brazilian practitioner called Augusto Boal. His ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ is famous for its ‘spect-actor’ – the notion that the spectator is not a passive observer of the dramatic action. Rather, they become active participants by co-creating, directing and changing the outcomes. This means anyone can join an improvisation and try out different ways of getting what they want.
There is never a straight, nor clear outcome in these processes. In seeing one’s situation enacted in front of them, not only is a person’s feelings validated, but also the group becomes an active mechanism in supporting their process of addressing the challenge. Rather than thinking through a problem, participants get to physically see – and embody – solutions and new ways of being. There are no answers, but the rich discussions that follow draw from the collective knowledge of the group and remind us that we are not alone.
Act Like a New Yorker wasn’t about acting like a New Yorker. Rather, it was acknowledging the challenges that we, as Australians, encounter in this city. And by drawing from the experience of the group, we can see these challenges from a different perspective and perhaps find new ways of addressing them.

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Eco Cleaning Supplies Inspired By Australian Recycling – AWNY Startup Stories with Sacha Dunn

Tell us about your business and what inspired you to begin.

I started Common Good when I had small children and became concerned about the chemicals we were bringing into our home. I was equally alarmed by the amount of plastic recycling our little family was generating each week from laundry detergent and hand soap bottles. We remember that in Australia, we’d keep the big plastic container and refill it with a milk carton of laundry detergent. When we couldn’t find anything like that here in New York, we created Common Good and designed a refill station where people could bring their empty bottles, refill them and keep them out of the recycling stream for years.

What is your Ah Ha moment?

That happened before launching Common Good  In my previous career, I was a still life and interiors prop stylist. I used styled for Vogue Living and was the style editor at Marie Claire Lifestyle (remember that magazine?!) When we moved to New York in 2001, it was bad timing to start a new career. But I called a few photo editors and on the third call, the editor said “just keep talking with that Australian accent! I’m so glad you’re here. I only hire Australian stylists and photographer. I’m going to book you on this job.” The accent has been working for me ever since.
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What have been the hardest lessons in starting a business?

The hardest lessons have been about moving from a freelance creative business to manufacturing and distribution. That’s a lot to learn. I feel like I got an MBA in real time. The other big thing I learned, was how to build a company culture. As a freelancer, you don’t work with the same people for very long. Now we have a team of people who are amazing and we look forward to seeing each other every day.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

We were lucky. We created a product we wanted, put it out into the world to see if people would buy it and they did! Beyond that initial success, word-of-mouth is the best thing any brand can hope for and because we have a great mission, we get a lot of people sharing our brand.

Do you have any mentors, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks?

We have some wonderful mentors! People are either drawn to us by our mission which means we get a wide range of advice from finance to environmental to sales and marketing. I also think we get interest because we’re trying to move the needle in terms of sustainability in a category that is dominated by a few major corporations.

What advice would you given someone thinking about starting a business?

Talk to other entrepreneurs! It is like having a baby and will take 2x the time you think it will. At the same time, don’t wait, don’t hold back. If it’s something you really want to do then get to work and make it happen.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business?

The whole idea behind Common Good is Australian! It was that A-ha moment of refilling our laundry bottles that lead us to create Common Good. I also think that everything about me is Australian so there are probably a lot of things about how I work that are culturally different because I’m Australian.
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What is next for your business?

We are launching the next phase in refillable household soaps and cleaners! Our new Refill Box Collection uses 83% less plastic than the equivalent bottles and will ship direct to your door.
 

Do you have any offer or promo code you would like to share with AWNY members?

We don’t have a promo code but we’d love you to check us out on Kickstarter!

Why the Kickstarter now?

We’re running the crowdfunding campaign because we want to show this product to people and get them excited before we manufacture. We want to get feedback and questions from as many people as possible before we launch. This felt like the best way to get that feedback. We plan on manufacturing in the fall so it won’t be too long before the new products are on the market.

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Follow Common Good on Social Media

Websitehttps://www.commongoodandco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commongoodandco/ 

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/commongoodandco

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/commongoodandco/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/commongoodandco/

Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

Blog – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org 

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/AUWomenNYC/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AUWomenNYC 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/auwomennyc/

Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

If you do and you want to tell us all about it, email us at awny@aaanyc.org

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