Cathy Makes Mark On­line

Young mother de­fies odds with suc­cess­ful on­line busi­ness ‘Lit­tle Chiefs’

Fiji Sun - - Nation - JY­OTI PRAT­I­BHA SUVA Edited by Filipe Naigulevu Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Cathy Petersen

En­tre­pre­neur

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.

The jour­ney

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.”

Ac­knowl­edg­ment

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.

Photo: Jy­oti Prat­i­bha

Cathy Petersen with her five-year-old son Reef Petersen. IN­SET: Ms Petersen’s oneyear-old daugh­ter Elaine Petersen.

Photo: Jy­oti Prat­i­bha

Busy at work, from right: Cathy Petersen, her aunt Karolina Waqa and sis­ter Dav­ina Hen­nings sort­ing or­ders for her on­line shop­ping page on Face­book.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.