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Ep. 11: Caroline Olah Goes with Her Gut and Finds Success with Reddie.co

Interior architect Caroline Olah left an elite and male-dominated architecture firm in New York to launch Reddie.co, an online furniture company that creates customizable minimalist furniture. From moving to Hong Kong to finding Indonesian craftsmen to hand-make furniture from ethically-sourced materials, Caroline's leap has been an adventure -- one we all can learn from.

Advice:

  • It takes twice as long as you think it will
  • Don’t wait, just do it - don’t be a perfectionist
  • You will have to adapt and mold as you learn about your market
  • Let go of perfectionism and keep moving forward
  • Follow the gut, not the brain

What you will learn:

  • Caroline is the founder of reddie.co which is an online store selling customizable hand made wooden furniture.
  • She studied interior architecture at university and worked for a corporate architecture firm.
  • Before she left she was design leader and ran the interiors team.
  • All the wood Reddie uses is ethically sources from government regrowth forest.
  • Reddie launched in October 2015 and it took 2 years from quitting her last job to launch.
  • It’s taken about 6 months for orders to start coming in as furniture isn’t an impulse purchase.
  • Caroline noticed gender more in the architecture firm than working with the Indonesian wood workers.
  • Many women leave architecture to go into different fields or start their own businesses.
  • Caroline’s female role models are the older women at the architecture firms who followed their passions and had a family at the same time.
  • Caroline is a member of a business accelerator run by the Women’s Foundation of Hong Kong.
  • She has been offered funding on several occasions but has always turned it down as she wants all the decisions to be hers.
  • Profit is important but Caroline also wants to enjoy the process.
  • Caroline couldn’t manage without freelancing sites where she outsources as much of her business work as possible.
  • In Hong Kong, female entrepreneurship is flourishing.

Quotes:

  • You’ll never feel prepared enough
  • People are a lot more forgiving than you think
  • You just have to keep moving forward
  • Control over your time is freedom

 

Links:

http://reddie.co

 

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