Rac n Roll is the brainchild of Sharon Jayne Middup, affectionately referred to by her customers as ‘the bag lady’. Her business idea was born after several years of juggling costumes, makeup cases and garment bags while packing for her daughter’s dance competitions; and after one too many years of chaos, she felt compelled to try and find a solution. The result was a practical pull-along bag that keeps dance gear visible, mobile and easily accessible. Today, in the first instalment of our Business Owner of the Week series, Sharon shares her entrepreneurial story with us.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I came up with the concept for Rac n Roll while my daughter was competing in dance competitions. There was a large room packed with dancers, but there was nowhere for them to store any of their costumes, accessories or personal belongings. It’s essential that dancers are organized before they perform, so I soon realised that there was a gap in the market that could be filled.
What makes your business unique?
The unique design of Rac n Roll means that once the bag is assembled it becomes a closet on wheels. Not only does the dancer then have her very own portable wardrobe, but it’s also ideal for travelling and for use as a suitcase. It’s very versatile and ideal for sales people – particularly in the clothing industry. It’s a great way for them to be able to show their product to customers.
How did you raise money to start your business?
Raising capital to start a business is extremely difficult, but I was fortunate to be able to take a small loan from my husband’s company. With his backing I was able to start small without getting into any debt.
What do you love about being a small business owner?
The amazing part of owning your own business is looking back to the beginning and realizing how much both you and your company have grown. There are ups and downs, but I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. You get to choose your own hours and decide how to fit working life around your family. I still have to pinch myself everyday.
What advice do you have for people who want to start up their own business?
Start small and surround yourself with great people. I also highly recommend using BizLaunch’s online courses and materials – Andrew is the most motivating person I know and I took his course twice. I’d also advise people to try to think with their heads and not their hearts, but above all else, I would say to anyone who has an idea to follow it through.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
I currently sell in the US and Canada and have recently introduced the product to the UK. Sales haven’t been great there so far, but I’ll keep trying. I’m also trying to obtain an Australian business number with a goal to expand there in future. Ultimately, I would love to help other entrepreneurs reach their goals.
To visit the Rac n Roll website, click here