An honest account of running a small business
OUR STORY SO FAR….
This weekend marks Soi 55’s 3rd birthday. Three whole years since I took a leap of faith and pressed launch on our website wwww.soi55lifestye.com. For those of you who don't already know our story I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share it with you.
I owe much of my motivation for starting my own business to my years spent surfing and traveling in my twenties. Before I started Soi 55 I spent my summers working as a RNLI lifeguard and surf instructor in Cornwall and my winters traveling to surf spots around the world. I traveled on chicken buses, rented £5 a night accommodation and lived off rice and coconuts so that I could travel on a budget for as long as possible. Basically I did everything I could to make sure I was on the beach as much as humanly possible!
I started Soi 55 whilst on a happiness mission traveling and surfing in Thailand + Indonesia in 2015. This photo was taken at Bangkok airport at the end of our 10 week trip as we were about to fly home. In my suitcases are a bunch of our first samples and two days after this I quit my job and started Soi 55.
After setting up the business on the road Soi 55 spent its first year of trading in beautiful Cornwall before moving to the sunnier coastline of the Algarve in Portugal where we are now based. Although we don’t travel for months at a time anymore travel is still a regular part of both my personal and work life. The goal has always been to be able to work from anywhere.
OPENING UP ABOUT THE LAST 12 MONTHS….
Soi 55 has been one of the best things I have ever done but also, without a doubt, the hardest too. I have learnt so much about running a business, communication, travel, fashion and more but as Soi 55 grows I am quickly realising how much I still have to master.
This year there has been lots of amazing moments for Soi 55; Launching our recycled plastic beach bag collection in April last year, working with a fulfilment agent in the UK and launching in Wolf & Badger’s flagship store in London are some of the achievements I am super proud of.
But the truth is in the past 12 months Soi 55 has faced some of the hardest challenges so far and I have experienced more low points personally than I would like to admit. Dealing with some of the problems Soi 55 has faced this year has caused stress and worry to seep into everyday life meaning I have been consumed by the business 24/7. Over the last few months I have tried to take some time to re-evaluate and, thanks to some incredibly supportive people, been able to start moving forward with a more positive outlook.
Soi 55’s 3rd birthday has been the perfect time to reflect over the adventure that is running your own business. I never could have imagined what the journey would be like up until this point, like how utterly amazing the highs are or how scary some of the lows can be. I also can’t imagine doing anything else than this exact rollercoaster ride so I am happy to say I am super excited about what the future has in store.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for following our journey and supporting us along the way! I hope we can continue to send you all the beach and travel good vibes as we continue to grow.
Big love and palm trees always, Candy x