Sophie Doyle is the CEO and Chief Alf Mama of Aussie owned baby bag brand Alf the Label who are disrupting the diaper bag industry with their epic baby bags for #mumlife.
Prior to founding Alf the Label, Sophie had 15 years local and international experience in public relations, marketing, media, brand management and in the production of large-scale corporate events working in both agency and corporate environments.
Alf the Label was born in October 2016 and is named after Sophie’s Grandfather, Alf, a furrier after WW2.
Here’s our chat with Sophie.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
Alf the Label was born when I was pregnant with my daughter Ari and couldn't find a baby bag I liked. I had previously designed handbags and had them made for myself, so drew up a baby bag and had one made. I had so many comments about where I bought the bag, I realised other Mamas out there also wanted something pretty and functional, and not so baby-bagish.
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
No, I started the brand as a hobby and it took off organically! I do believe though, I was a natural entrepreneur as it feels like I have found my purpose.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?
Ensure you have full visibility of the finances of your business – what your COGS are and profit margin. This will ensure you are making the right decisions when it comes to selecting a distribution strategy and budgeting for marketing.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Motivation, agility and being able to think three steps ahead.
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?
Lisa Messenger my mentor has been an incredible inspiration and motivator for me over the past few years. I also admire other successful brands who started from the kitchen table – Spanx and Drunk Elephant just to name a couple.
What was the best advice that you have been given?
When a door closes, the universe opens a window. Meaning everything happens for a reason – and you should try to see the positives and learnings in every situation.
What do you think your key to success has been?
Determination! And passion for what I do – being able to bring products to market which make our community feel good about themselves makes me smile.
How have you personally measured your success?
The people and things around me. I started this brand from the desk in my spare room, handwriting labels on postal bags – to now, where I have the most incredible team of gals and the most beautiful office I could ever dream of.
Outsource the skill or learn the skill?
Learn the skill if you have time, if not, outsource!
How do you generate new ideas?
I design what I need and love. I come up with a problem I have, then design a beautiful product to solve that problem.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being flexible and able to spend additional time with my kids and hubby.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Celia Loves, Go-to Skincare, Drunk Elephant – the packaging gets me everytime
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Hopefully with a larger team and a solid presence internationally
Who are the women around you that allow you to thrive?
The Alf gals, my dream team who work so hard to make our brand the best baby bag brand around.