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Building A Cult Brand: 3 Female Founders On The Key To Success

Meet the movers and shakers.

14/07/2016 12:00 PM AEST | Updated 16/07/2016 5:38 AM AEST
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Vincent Fahey
Jamie Blakey, OneTeaspoon founder and creative director.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, there is no rulebook or magic formula for starting a successful business.

And with statistics that show nine out of 10 startups destined to fail, understanding the cold hard facts before taking the leap is probably going to tarnish even the largest cloud of optimism.

Still, those who succeed are the ones willing to do whatever it takes, even if that means failing.

Here are three Australian women who know a thing or two about a major career switch, taking charge and most importantly, resilience.

Jamie Blakey, OneTeaspoon founder and creative director

Vincent Fahey

OneTeaspoon is something of an Aussie religion for its 90s-beach rebel aesthetic. Like a good pair of Levis, OneTeaspoon's line of denim shorts is a year-round favourite and one adopted across the globe by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Alessandra Ambrosio and Shanina Shaik.

Embrace your small failures

"It's important in business not to get hung up if things you have planned don't work out," Blakey told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Quite often things don't go exactly to plan but it is how you adapt to change and push through that really proves whether you are going to make it long term."

"Embrace your small failures, learn from the mistake and keep moving on," Blakey said.

Dive in

"People always ask me 'where do I start?' My advice is just start!"

You can keep developing your plan and change things along the way, but too many people overthink things at the beginning instead of just diving in.

"You can keep developing your plan and change things along the way, but too many people overthink things at the beginning instead of just diving in," Blakey said.

Deviate from the path

"When I was just a kid, my mum used to always say 'be a leader not a follower'. This has stuck with me my whole life, she never wanted me to follow a predictable path and she helped me understand how to listen and use my intuition," Blakey said.

Peta Shulman, founder and CEO of GoodnessMe Box

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The company may have just celebrated its second birthday, but Goodnessme Box has been successfully disrupting the health food space in its short tenure, one raw dessert at a time. Its monthly subscription boxes have attracted a loyal customer base at a time when wholesome, GMO-free foods couldn't be sexier.

Get busy researching

"Early on in my career I had an acute understanding of the industry and of my target customer, both of which were paramount to creating and building the GoodnessMe Box brand so quickly," Shulman told HuffPost Australia.

Shulman worked as a publicist in the health and wellness industry for five years before launching her business during which she soaked up as much as she could.

I spoke to hundreds of health practitioners, attended health conferences, worked with the latest health foods and supplements and learned about the movement of prevention.

"I spoke to hundreds of health practitioners, attended health conferences, worked with the latest health foods and supplements and learned about the movement of prevention," Shulman said.

"I could see the wellness industry was on the cusp of booming and I developed valuable insight during this time into the marketing needs of the health companies I represented, as well as an understanding of the growing consumer demand and the view that health was becoming aspirational," Shulman said.

Know your 'why'

"You can't be everything to everyone and knowing where and how to market your product is key to building a business," Shulman said.

Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage your customers, listen to feedback and adjust your offering to help spread brand awareness.

"There are so many great ideas but if you don't know who your market is and how to get them to know about you then it is problematic. It comes down to knowing your strengths and weaknesses and not being afraid to reach out for help in areas that you do not have expertise in."

"Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage your customers, listen to feedback and adjust your offering to help spread brand awareness," Shulman said.

"Finally, know your why. Your purpose will drive you to use your business as a vehicle for change."

Sara Caverley, founder and creative director of Sol Sana

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The Australian footwear brand has been dishing out playful, high quality designs since 2010 and achieving major cred in the process, no thanks to celebrity customers including Gigi Hadid, Olivia Palermo and Jessica Alba. Stocked in over 500 locations including Topshop and Urban Outfitters, Sol Sana has firmly cemented its place in the global streetwear scene.

It's never too early to hustle

"I started working in retail at 16. Not only did it show me the difference between a strong and poor work ethic, but it exposed me to different customer buying behaviours," Caverley told HuffPost Australia.

"After that, I went onto work for a PR and marketing firm where I learnt about trend forecasting and promoting brands."

"Before launching Sol Sana, I worked in-house for a fashion wholesaler and it was here that I learnt the knowledge and tools to start my own brand," Caverley said.

The quote I live by

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

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