17th July, 2015
Every business has a “crunch” moment. A time when everything is riding on the outcome of one particular event.
If everything goes to plan? You’re on your way. But if it’s a failure?
Time to pack up and go home.
After leaving her job, Michelle Boehm had everything riding on one of these moments. With just $1,000 to launch her jewellery start-up, Boehm spent the last $150 of that money on a market stall.
It was all she had.
“It was all riding on this market stall,” she says. “We went there with no money to spend at all.”
Her tenacity paid off. By the end of the day, Boehm had made her money back. Her little jewellery business, Bok Bok B’Gerk, was underway.
The successful day at the market was a plus, but Boehm had already dedicated herself to the idea of running a business. Bok Bok B’Gerk began as a way for Boehm to escape the daily grind – and live life on her own terms.
Now Bok Bok B’Gerk has built a successful brand – all from Boehm’s house. Boehm’s jewellery, which features colourful and bright designs ranging from owls to ice cream, is being sold across markets and on the internet as well.
It’s not a bad performance at all for a business located in country Victoria.
But according to Boehm, the biggest inspiration doesn’t come from reaching the world through the internet.
“It comes from doing art projects with my kids,” she says.
“They challenge me to use things in ways I would never have dreamed possible and quite often I have to stop myself from saying, No, you can’t do that,’ with whatever they’re using because they can do whatever they want.”
Of course, running a business at home with children is never easy. But for Boehm, running Bok Bok B’Gerk means being able to do everything on her terms – including starting the day with a coffee or two.
“There’s no real set routine,” she says.
“Generally I’m pretty flexible, so if the kids aren’t cooperating with me while I’m working then I just shut down shop for the day and pick it back up later on.”
“I just roll with it and I think you have to be like that when you’re working full time with two small children.”
It’s exactly the type of flexibility Boehm was looking for when she started the business. And the best thing?
Even the downtime is work.
“When you’re doing your doodles and things at your desk, just playing around, it’s all work. It’s all helping you become a better artist and challenging you to think about how you see things. “
Bok Bok B’Gerk is on the rise – Boehm says she’s looking forward to employing some more people and bouncing ideas off a crew.
“I’m looking forward to expanding to a point where we can employ other people.”
Starting a business and striking out on your own can be daunting. Michelle Boehm and Bok Bok B’Gerk show that dedication and success can come in the best way – the flexibility to live and work however you want.