ENTREPENUER Samantha Wills will give insight into how she turned her small self-titled jewellery and accessory business into an international iconic brand, at an upcoming Business Chicks event at Crown Ballroom.
Wills made the decision to close her business in August after 15 years in the industry.
She said she was looking forward to sharing her experience of the highs and lows of the business world, as well as sharing plans about her next steps.
“I will be talking through the journey of the Samantha Wills jewellery business from my days on the kitchen table and being in $80k debt, to the global success of the brand,” she said.
“But as with any public success, there is often personal sacrifice, which is not always spoken about so I will be talking candidly about what was happening in my personal life while the public success was playing out.
“I think it is important too.
“Many young entrepreneurs only see the highlight reel, so sharing the highs and the lows of the journey as a whole I hope will make people not feel as isolated on their own journeys.”
Having worked with Business Chicks previously, Wills said she wanted to get involved with the group again because she loved the sense of community, optimism and empowerment.
“On this particular series, I approached them as I wanted the opportunity to share my journey after making the decision to close (rather than sell) after 15 years,” she said.
I have learnt so much in that time and been able to step away in that decision-making process to reflect on lots of the milestones and learnings along the way.
“So often you see examples of closed networking, the concept of ‘tall poppy syndrome’ where you keep all the information to yourself in the fear that sharing it will see someone else be more successful than you.
“Business Chicks bring together groups of women on macro and micro levels, all for the purpose of information sharing.”
Her career highlights include having her brand featured in the Sex and the City movie, scooping The New York Times Breakout Star in 2011 and starting the Samantha Wills Foundation.
Wills said it was now time to move on.
“I want to do other things,” she said.
“My heart was no longer in it like it once was, and it was always built on heart and honesty, and to continue on with it would have been dishonest to myself, to the team and to our incredible community.
“I felt the brand had said and done everything it had out to, and the decision to close was also to honour that and everyone who had contributed to it over the years.
“So I took a leaf out of the Seinfeld book and decided to close while we were on a high.”
Going forward, Wills said she would continue to work on her foundation, public speaking and write a business memoir that debunked the concept of an ‘overnight success’.
“It shares the parallels of what the public see of a successful brand versus what was happening in the background in the business and also personally to make that a reality,” she said.
“It’s written for anyone who has a business, or is thinking of starting one.
“It is also written for anyone who thinks they may have found themselves on the wrong path in life, personally or professionally.”
Tickets are $105 for premium Business Chicks members and $125 for non-members.
WHAT: Business Chicks – The Founder Talks with Samantha Wills
WHERE: Crown Ballroom
WHEN: Wednesday April 3, 6pm-8pm