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.
- 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.
- 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