Hello! I’m Alicent, or Ali, as everyone calls me. After having had a taste of the wonderful things that Australia has to offer whilst studying for my degree in Canberra, I decided to move to Sydney from Singapore. I’ve been living in Sydney for 15 years now, and fell so much in love with the country that I’ve started a little family of my own right here. I’m now proud mama to two little ladies, Madelien, 2 and Lily, 5, and am blissfully married to my bestie and ‘Flying Dutchman’, Maarten.
Tell me a bit about what you were doing before you got in contact with Business Jump?
I’ve been in marketing, working in multinational and local boutique ad agencies since I graduated from uni in 2002, so that makes it 16 years in marketing! I’ve never worked in another industry or environment unless that telemarketing gig back in high school for extra pocket money counted for anything. My husband and I co-owned a boutique marketing agency for 5 years before we sold it in April last year, and that marked the beginning of a new journey for me with Business Jump.
Why did you want to start your own business, what is your why?
Even though I had tasted entrepreneurship with our previous business, it never really felt like it was completely ours. We had two other founding business partners whom we had to consult with any business decision, and you can only guess how many times we’ve disagreed on so many levels. When we sold that business last year, I really started to question my path in life, and what I really wanted for my family and myself. I was so scared as I’ve never done anything outside of ‘ad agency land’ (the previous business was an agency for God’s sake!). Selling the business force ejected me out of my comfort zone, but the one thing that was crystal clear in my mind was that I wanted to own and run my very own business. I wasn’t going back to working for someone else, and in a male-dominated industry that accounted for every little when it came to gender equality. I didn’t want to feel like I was once again back in the cast of ‘Mad Men’. I was intent on a beautiful business that I can grow, nurture and build by myself. Most importantly, I want to leave a legacy for my girls and demonstrate to them that a petite woman of lesser minority can be extremely successful in a male dominated and Anglo-Saxon world.
How long had you wanted to start a business before you actually took action and took the
It took me about 7 months of deep soul searching before I picked up enough courage to send Nat an email and booked in to have a chat with her.
If you hadn’t of started your own business what do you think you’d be doing right now?
I would have gone back to working with an ad agency after maternity leave with my second. That very makes me cringe by the way…YIKES!
What have you done differently because of Business Jump that you wouldn’t have done if
I wouldn’t have started an online business at all as I’ve never saw it as ‘my thing’ until now!
Tell us about your business?
home cook love is a beautiful online marketplace curating unique and lovingly crafted creations for the everyday kitchen. We work with local and international artisans who are passionate about their craft to bring their creations and stories to our customers.
Nervous, scared but also so bloody exhilarating!
How many hours a week do you work on your business?
It varies! I tend to work on the business during the evenings when the girls are in bed as I’m also currently working a 2-day week on a paid gig. I would say around 10-15 hours a week on average.
What are some of your most special ‘business wins’ you’ve had to date?
I had a journalist from Herald Sun pick up on one of my seller’s products and had it featured in the Home Living section in the Real Estate supplement. It was unsolicited so that was such a big win for both home cook love and my seller! I’m the exclusive Australian reseller of the neotus pepper mills. The seller approached me on Instagram and he’s based in Switzerland, so that was very cool. He’s been great to work with as well which is an extra win. A lady who’s subscribed to my newsletter emailed me to let me know that she loved my founding story and it really inspired her. That made me cry happy tears knowing that I’ve actually inspired someone!
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Well, it’s funny as I’ve been having this crystal clear visualization come to me every time someone asks a similar question. I picture myself sitting on the porch of our new home with a glass of wine in one hand, whilst my other arm is wrapped around my husband’s just watching the girls run and play on our huge, grassy yard. There’s this stunning sunset in front of us, as the sun goes down slowly behind the mountains ahead. Then I turn around to my husband and say ‘WE did this’. That sense of fulfillment, gratification, comfort, joy, gratitude and release I can feel whilst I’m typing this, it’s insanely clear. That’s where I want to be in 5 years, in that exact moment, basking in that sunlight, soaking in that pure joy and laughter from the girls, and celebrating life with my best friend.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about starting their business?
I’ve been listening to James Wedmore’s ‘Mind your Business’ podcast whenever I get a moment to myself, he speaks to me on so many levels. He always says this “There’s no such thing as failure. If something turns out as you’ve desired, that’s great! But if not, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed as there’s no such thing failure, it just means that there’s a lesson to be learnt to prepare you for your inevitable success.” So my one piece of advice is to follow your heart and your dreams. YOU have all it takes to make it happen. Don’t let fear and worry get in the way of your greatness!
Where can we find you?