Friday, October 17, 2008

Meet Tayana

Let me introduce you to Tayana, owner of an online store and information site that were designed as lifestyle resources for busy women. The website is also called Tayana.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Tayana about herself and her experiences in managing life and business.

1. Tell me a little about yourself and your background.

My name is Tayana Nickson, I'm married and have a 10 year old daughter and we live in the Northern outskirts of Melbourne. I was born in Croatia and emigrated to Australia with my parents when I was 14 years old. After completing school, I spent most of my career working in the Telecommunications Industry.

2. Why did you start your business?

I worked full time for 25 years and an opportunity at work enabled me to leave and have some time off before looking for another job. This started me thinking about what I wanted my next job to be. I have always wanted to have a shop selling fashionable, stylish homewares and fashion accessories so I started thinking about that idea again. Soon I realised that I didn't want to lose the computer skills I had gained during my working life. so I decided to incorporate both and created Tayana - Online Gift Store which targeted busy women. It took some time to set up the website, find the products and so on but in Nov '07 we were open for business.

3. What is your business all about?

Originally it started as an Online Gift Store but as I met and spoke to women and got more and more feedback I realised that women wanted more. Busy women wanted a one stop shop, an online resource with helpful interesting information. They wanted tips to help them run their non business lives more easily and with less stress. Now we have regular interviews with successful business women who tell us how they handle the balance between work and home and we have regular articles on interesting, innovative and eco-friendly products. We have resident experts: Imogen - image and style consultant, Simone - naturopath, Monique - fitness instructor and Claire - an organisational expert. These women write regular monthly columns for Tayana, to help us with all things lifestyle related. Fun stuff is our monthly competitions, which are a great way to win some great prizes. Also, monthly Book Reviews are another helpful way to make book selection easier. I created this section because I love to read but one of my pet hates is standing in the bookshop staring aimlessly at hundreds of books not knowing which one to get and then only be left disappointed with my selection. Now I go to bookstores prepared! Last but not least we still have the Online Store where women can buy gifts or just spoil themselves.

4. How do you manage your day?

I couldn't do this if I wasn't super organised because for about a year I worked full time, was working on my business and running a household without paid help....although I am so grateful to my mum and my husband who helped me greatly. Now, my life is a lot simpler as I have finished my full time job. Now I get up in the morning as my husband is getting ready to go to work, I switch on my computer and the kettle. I have my first cup of coffee and check my emails. Then I wake my daughter and prepare breakfast and lunch and take her to school. When I return I exercise for about 45min......I try to exercise 3-4 times a week. Then I have my breakfast. Three days a week I work solidly on my business and the other days I spend running errands, shopping, gardening etc....but my business is never far way and I'm always thinking of new articles or new products for the store. Every night, including weekends, I again read my emails and spend at least 2-3 hrs working as this is usually a quiet time in our household.

5. Do you cook? What is your favourite recipe?

Yes, I do cook but I try and cook every second day by making enough for 2 nights, which gives me more time to spend on doing other things. I guess that started when I worked full time and was trying to get the business off the ground. It made things a lot easier. I love my trusted chicken and rice dish which is all done in the oven - very easy but so delicious. I also make choc chip cookies which seem to go in a flash! I've now started making double quantities!

6. What is your best tip for managing business and daily life?

Having a plan and a routine is very important. I found that first few weeks after I finished my full time job I was doing bit of this and a bit of that and a little bit of something else and yet felt like I wasn't really accomplishing anything. So I created a plan: what days of the week I was going work on my business and then I broke that down further into what tasks will I focus on on those days i.e. marketing, writing and compiling articles, searching for new products for the store etc. If I didn't have a plan like this I would be easily distracted so I have to remember "what is my focus today". Working from home comes with it's many distractions: TV, music, hobbies and family so a routine is very important to me.

7. Where to from here for Tayana?

I want "Tayana" to become the place where many women come to and always find something interesting whether it's an article or a product. I want the monthly newsletter to become a weekly e-zine in future. I want to involve our readers and have "reader of the month". I want readers opinions and their tips on life because not everyone knows it all but together we can make "Tayana" a really interesting and informative place.

Tayana is an interesting woman who is passionate about making our busy lives better. I hope this has given you some insight into the woman behind the scenes.