Small Business: Solo acts - Kelly Bozzone

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Kelly Lawrence, owner of Zabbana.
Kelly Lawrence, owner of Zabbana.

Kelly Bozzone, owner of Zabbana, a boutique business, which she runs as a sole trader. She launched the fashion accessory company in 2008.

How did you come to own your own business?

Before launching my unique collection of handbags and jewellery in January 2008, I studied design, art history and learnt to hand-make jewellery. I then went on and worked for a year in the jewellery wholesale business here in New Zealand. The experiences and knowledge I learnt from these environments, have been invaluable for running my own business.

What does your working week look like in terms of hours?

Hahaha...I feel like I'm always working, even in my sleep. Monday to Friday is roughly 10 hours a day and then weekends are used to catch up and are a little more flexible. But always a seven day week!

What is December like for you?

Zabbana is really busy during this time, with everyone buying pieces for Christmas, which makes it an exciting month.

When do you manage to take your holiday?

We always try to have one week off a year. Owning and running your own business doesn't allow you to completely unwind, but while I'm growing my business I wouldn't have it any other way for now.

How do you cope with not having money coming in for a few weeks during the holiday break?

I'm lucky to have an extremely supportive husband and by having an online boutique, it enables me to get through the quieter periods.

Do you have an accountant who helps you with cashflow when you close for the holidays?

I have a great accountant, but Zabbana is a small business and cash flow is always a constant struggle. However she manages to make it work.

What happens to the business in your absence when you go on holiday?

I'm fortunate enough to have an amazing family, who help me out when I need it. Without their support things would be a lot tougher.

Why does working on your own suit you?

My husband divides his time between NZ and the USA, so I wanted to come up with a brand or job that I could work on from anywhere in the world and we wouldn't have to spend months and months apart. So being my own boss enables me to do so.

What do you like about it?

I love the flexibility it gives you. My life is very nomadic between the two countries, so having a more flexible job/hours has made life a lot easier in many ways.

What don't you like about it?

That you can never really switch off and there are constantly things that need to be done.

Any tips to others starting out about how to stay sane working as a one man/woman band?

I think creating a great support team around you, who are creative and have a great business understanding. I also find exercising in the morning is a great way to start the day, fresh air and being out and about is great for the mind. And lastly make social plans in the evening or weekend, so you are surrounded by friends when you're not working.

- NZ Herald

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