Cathy Makes Mark Online
Young mother defies odds with successful online business ‘Little Chiefs’
Her main idea was to provide quality and affordable clothing options to working mothers. When this first started, I was a single mother, and now I am doing this for all the single mothers out there. I hope to inspire other young women out there not to focus on the negatives that surround us.
With online shopping becoming a hot trend these days, a woman making her mark here is a young mother of two, Cathy Petersen. Anyone with children would know the quality one can expect from clothes sold by Ms Petersen through her online business - Little Chiefs - which solely operates through Facebook. Ms Petersen is an epitome of what young women can do when they put their minds to it. Having toyed with the idea of selling children’s clothes since her son, Reef Petersen, was born five years ago, she did not venture into it till her relationship with her former partner ended three years ago. It was then she was faced with the reality of having to fend for herself and her child. Today, mere few months into selling pre-loved and brand new kids clothes, Ms Petersen nets around $1500 in weekly earnings. And, while she is too modest to take credit for the huge success of her business, it is easy to see how her determination and urge to excel pushed her to new heights.
Ms Petersen feels that there is a lot of potential on social media sites like Facebook. She refuses to engage in any Facebook ‘dramas’, instead, focuses on following the pages of inspirational people who have rags to riches stories behind them. When Ms Petersen had her first child, she found it difficult to find affordable clothes for the fast growing young ones.
She researched in-depth for almost five years, reaching out to suppliers overseas. Her main idea was to provide quality and affordable clothing options to working mothers who do not have the time or energy to drag their young ones for clothes shopping. She zeroed in on her sister who lives in Australia as her supplier and started small with 50kgs of clothes for her first sale. It was a success. Right now, she has over 6000 likes on her Facebook page, Little Chiefs. Every other day she has sales on her page where hundreds of clothes are sold off within minutes.
“When this first started, I was a single mother, and now I am doing this for all the single mothers out there. I hope to inspire other young women out there not to focus on the negatives that surround us.
“I came out of a bad relationship. It was a low point in my life. But, I was determined not to sit and feel sorry for myself. I was determined to be a good role model to my children,” Ms Petersen said. “My advice to women out there is that you are never too young or too uneducated to start fresh. You need the focus and determination to make a difference.” She said that e-commerce was the future and those who could make a name for themselves right in the market would go a long way. Ms Petersen said she used Facebook and did not let Facebook use her. “A lot of people waste time on Facebook. Everything I know about business, even editing videos, I learnt on the internet. Do not be used by social media, make it work for you.”
Ms Petersen’s greatest strengths come from her elder sister Davina Hennings and her fiancée. “When I told them that I had this crazy idea of having an online Facebook store that sells 100 to 120 clothes a day that sold within minutes they could have said I was crazy or that it was impossible instead they said how can we help. “They have been with me and Little Chiefs from day one, even in my darkest days when I didn’t believe in myself, they never gave up on me. Without them believing in me, Little Chiefs and I would not be what we are today,” she said.
Cathy Petersen with her five-year-old son Reef Petersen. INSET: Ms Petersen’s oneyear-old daughter Elaine Petersen.
Busy at work, from right: Cathy Petersen, her aunt Karolina Waqa and sister Davina Hennings sorting orders for her online shopping page on Facebook.