Female Founder Feature: Giovanna Castelli – Soon To Be Female Entrepreneur

Based in Bunbury, Western Australia, 26-year-old Giovanna Castelli is qualified in business administration and marketing. She is now looking into starting her own business within the fashion industry. With a focus on clothing, leather works (natural and eco-friendly fabrics) and shoemaking, she is looking forward to starting an exciting adventure.

Give us an overview of what work you have previously done or are currently doing?

 I have tried so many different jobs in my journey to find a career I love. I have worked jobs as a retail salesperson, cashier, grocery assistant, library officer, personal finance assistant, marketer, receptionist, personal assistant and administrative assistant. I have always found myself in the past looking for the next challenge and wanting to learn more, so I have found myself moving around a lot. I am currently working as a relief library officer at a local high school while I am starting my journey into creating my own business. 

What is your current business idea?

My current business idea is to have my own leatherwork/shoemaking small business. I have been obsessed with shoes since I could walk, even my Nonna would call me Imelda Marcos and my love affair with handbags and accessories has developed over the last 3 years. I believe that nowadays not everyone is interested in traditional leather goods and new types of vegan leather will become increasingly popular in shoes and handbags. The types of eco-friendly vegan leather I would be interested in using would be Cork Leather and Pinatex (material made from wasted parts of the Pineapple bush). So I would like to work with both traditional leather and new eco-friendly kinds. 

What do you foresee being the hurdles you will need to overcome in starting your own business?

Training and mentorship I believe are going to be the biggest hurdles I will need to overcome in starting my own business. The leather working and shoemaking industry is very niche and training is limited in Western Australia so I can foresee that gaining the skills I need will be difficult. I have reached out to a few other entrepreneurs in the industry, however, I have found it so far very difficult to connect and gain some mentorship.

What scares you most about becoming a female entrepreneur?

I think what scares me most about becoming a female entrepreneur is the fear of failure.

Which female entrepreneurs inspire you?

My aunty Vicki Read has been a big inspiration in my life, she has beaten cancer and created her own pottery business which is thriving. Sophia Amoruso is also someone who really inspires me. She is a rebel who found her voice and career in fashion and women in business. She now runs a podcast called Girlboss Radio and every couple of weeks she interviews inspirational female entrepreneurs. I am also inspired by Maria Hatzistefanis (Founder of Rodial skincare) and Chiara Ferragni (Founder of The Blonde Salad). 

Why are you finding yourself exploring the option of starting your own business?

I have found myself always searching for a position in the fashion and creative industry. The problem is it is such a competitive industry and is so small in regional Western Australia so I am finding myself to wanting to take a risk and dive right into being my own boss, especially while I have no financial commitments. Sometimes, we have to take a risk and take the plunge into entrepreneurship! 

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