Women Inspire Women #1: Nelissa Hilman
Hello beautiful, welcome to the very first edition of Women Inspire Women! We are thrilled to introduce you to the very first #SheBlooms interview with Nelissa Hilman – an engineer-turned-shoemaker, a mom-of-two, and a kickass girlboss.
How would you describe your typical day?
I am a mom-of-two and loving it (there are some good days and longer days). After settling my kids, I usually check-in with my operations or store team on issues and sales. We will discuss the staff, customer service, stock level, and cleanliness of the store. Sometimes I will meet up with my business partner or industry friends for brunch or coffee, to update and catch up or talk about collaboration. Once in a while, I will pop by the factory to review samples and production progress. I have a small team that works well together and they help to keep me grounded.
What do you love and hate about running a business?
That you can never stop thinking about work.
How do you overcome creative obstacles?
I recently had one - I permitted myself (for one day) to take things slow and to do things outside daily routine. Visit a museum, walk around, run, yoga, or pick up a new reading material - recently picked up The Skirt Chronicles from Snackfood and excited to read it. I think walking or wandering around helps to clear the mind too.
What is the one thing you needed help most back then when you first started the business? And where did you seek help?
Honestly, what is business and cashflow people talk about? I didn't have a proper business plan and wasn't interested in the business side of things. Mistakes and losing money by far serves the best lessons. Good lessons are expensive. I was working alone (entrepreneurship can be lonely at times) and help were mostly online - plenty of webinars (circa 2012) and Instagram just getting warmed up. I'd Google the heck of everything from setting up a company, marketing, branding, finance, sketching. I started to connect with more creatives and learned from each along the way - and still learning about everything.
How do you recover from burnout?
There are days I just find it a real struggle and drag myself to work. I now understand myself better, so I welcome some days which are not so great. Best time to take stock of things and reconnect with family or friends or even one's self. I've started journaling again (for personal consumption) and I find it helps to unload the raw and scattered emotions, then I am myself again.
And here you go. We hope you find this enlightening :) Check out Nelissa Hilman's collection if you are also a fan of pretty shoes! (We are definitely in love with their Celina Slingback Heels)
Also, please take care of yourself while hustling hard (especially in this current set back).
Till next time,
Ying and Cynn :)