Interview with Jo Smith – Owner of Treefire Limited

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

I have always wanted to run my own business. At 21 when I left the University, I immediately set up a tennis coaching company which was very successful the first year, until the sports centre I was using, saw how well they could do and decided to run it themselves. It was a shame, but the seed had been planted, and I knew that it wouldn’t be the last business I’d own.

A few years later, while working full time in a marketing and events agency, I decided to set up BM Seminars which ran business training seminars. I really enjoyed this, but with the long working hours in the agency, I struggled to grow the business the way I wanted to.

It took a few more years for me to pluck up the courage to finally make the move to leave the agency, but I knew deep down that I couldn’t suppress the desire to run my own business any longer, so I made the leap.

I set up a Marketing Consultancy company called Purple Dayz, and I also joined a few partners and created I LOV3 IT and Beatpix.

After a year of setting up and running three businesses, I learned a valuable lesson about spreading myself too thin, and not giving one thing my full attention. At the same time, I got approached to join another new venture, Treefire, which I was really excited about. I took a step back and looked at all of the companies from a business perspective, rather than a personal perspective, and decided that I needed to give my full commitment to one business, not four.

I haven’t removed myself from any businesses, but I recognized the need to get additional support to run the businesses, so Beatpix and I LOV3 IT are now managed by me, but not run on a grass root level by me.

With Treefire.com,  a top level idea has grown and flourished into an exciting new business which creates everyday clothing, accessories and homeware, but with an abstract unique print giving it a quirky, but beautiful edge.

I still do marketing and business consultancy as I really do love talking to people about their business ideas, but Treefire is my main focus and I’m really excited about our designs and what we have in the pipeline.

What did you do before launching your own business?

I worked in a full service Marketing agency for nearly seven years, working my way up from a marketing executive with no experience in marketing and leaving as a Strategic Marketing Director.

How did you fund your business?

My business partners finance the business, but we are very frugal, in fact we’re in the process of trying to get Crowd Funding so we can take the business to the next level.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?

Approximately 40 hours, but it fluctuates. I work at home for the majority of that.

How would you rate your success?

What is success? I would say that I’m not making my millions, but I have huge success in making me happy and fulfilling a dream I’ve always had. I’m successful in the sense I have learned so much in these last couple of years and grow as a business woman and entrepreneur every day.

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?

Trying not to spread myself too thin. There is no harm is asking for help, or getting guidance and advice. No one knows everything!

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

  • Read E-Myth Re-visited
  • Speak to someone who has been through it already to get advice and guidance
  • Have money behind you to LIVE ON, not just for the business
  • Enjoy the ride 🙂

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?

Having a good routine and preparation. I left the marketing agency as it took over my life. I wanted to be able to have a work/life balance and finally I can dictate how I manage that balance.

Connect with Jo Smith and Treefire Limited…

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