Ever wonder what it would be like to turn your hobby or passion into a full-time job? Just ask Emma Morris, founder of Round She Goes. Her indoor market for preloved, vintage apparel and adjoining website started as an idea with a friend and her sister and has grown to accommodate over 2,000 sellers showcasing their products both at the markets and online.
“I started it because I had always been a collector of vintage,” Morris shared. “In Melbourne I felt like there wasn't a market quite right for my demographic. I thought I might just try my own market where it’s just for women's clothing, it's indoors and has a bit of atmosphere and fun to it.”
The website was added when Morris realised many of her shoppers were missing out on their chances to buy after the market was over. Finding a developer and getting a website launched weren’t too much of a challenge, but reliability often was. After having the Round She Goes website crash and noticing slow download speeds for the high-resolution images sellers were uploading, Morris found a different solution.
As a fellow with the Melbourne chapter of the Startup Leadership Program, Morris had access to a startup program offered by Rackspace, a managed cloud computing company that came to Australia in December of 2012.
“Rackspace is really committed to the startup community in Australia and NZ,” said Angus Dorney, director and general manager of Rackspace ANZ. “We offer startups a few discounts and promotions on Rackspace cloud hosting, which is very useful for startups. We also provide mentoring, networking and brainstorming.
“The program is more than just about having some credits or discounts to Rackspace cloud hosting: it's really about joining and partnering those startups and helping them start their business so they can scale successfully and quickly.”
Through the Startup Leadership Program, Morris received the tools she needed to build and maintain a cloud space that is now allowing her to compete with multinational brands like Etsy and eBay. And while having a hobby-turned-career be successful is rewarding, Morris has really found a passion helping female entrepreneurs like herself.
“The business has really allowed me to help encourage women who want to be entrepreneurs themselves start their own businesses,” said Morris. “We have many women that sell handmade jewelry at the market or want to launch their own fashion line, and I’m able to help them do that. We're not just about second hand: we also give people the opportunity to test out their own creations in an accessible way.”