My business story, The Wall Sticker Co

In the lead up to the Telstra Business Awards National Finals in Melbourne next week, we’re bringing you the stories behind some of the very inspiring finalists. Good luck to all!

Fiona (centre) and Jenny (right) accept the Victorian Telstra Small Business Award.

The Wall Sticker Company

Jenny Menz and Fiona Gathercole

Everything was in slow motion when we were announced as state winners of the Telstra Micro Business. Winning something like that makes you stop and reflect on all the hard work, and the time you’ve put in, and the sacrifices you’ve made.  It’s the best feeling and it’s pushed us on like nothing else.

When we began in 2006, we were both on maternity leave from our Nursing positions, and we started hand painting personalised canvasses and selling them to children’s stores.  We bought a vinyl cutter from eBay for $300 when we couldn’t keep up with the demand and needed to make the names quicker, and that’s when The Wall Sticker Company really started.

One night we stuck the vinyl straight on the wall and we had a light bulb moment – you could cover a wall with these stickers in any colour and any design. We instantly knew we had a new product for the Australian market. We were both heavily pregnant, but we had the drive (and the hormones!), and we just poured everything in.

Seeking the work/life balance and building The Wall Sticker Company has been an interesting journey for us. We encourage our staff to leave on time, have mental health days off, and have a healthy diet and exercise. But as the business owners, it’s sometimes not that easy.

Whether you’re someone who chooses to balance a business with your family, friends, and your health, or you choose to put your business up there with food and air, just remember that the first three years or so of any business are going to be the hardest, and the most critical.  So just do whatever you need to do to build it successfully and stay happy, and don’t beat yourself up about it – it’s such a time waster.

We now have a range of over 160 wall sticker designs, with guest designers every month bringing fresh and stylish designs.  We have wall stickers for children’s rooms, homes, and businesses, and we also have a full customization service. We sell via our online stores and stock over 100 stores in Australia.

And at last, we have a business that is allowing us some time for a work/life balance.

READ: Business tips from Telstra Business Awards finalists