Make the dream your bread and butter
Alright team, here I sit. It’s raining outside, and based purely on this fact, I am stoked to be at home and not at work. Super stoked. Oh shit.. My rent money comes out tonight. LOL whatevs! I’m still killing my style game in spite of the weather, and also the fact that no one is around to see my outfit.. But that, my friends, is called commitment to the hustle. Ready to go at any second. Coffee meeting – I’m there! Interview – now? Bathroom – any time (that’s the hardest one since I’m wearing a flippin’ leotard.. Like I said, style commitment).
To help us with our Hustle-spiration, I’ve decided to hang out and chat to people who have realized their dream and given it a chance; people who have pushed through, despite the setbacks, and are now in the position of individual success and fulfillment. People who are proud of what they have achieved, but who are still working at their dream, still making it even better; cause that’s just what hustlers do.
On Monday,I went in and chatted to Sarah, one of the owners of The Bread And Butter Letter on K Rd. If you haven’t been, I suggest you make a particular effort to visit – they sell curated vintage clothing, NZ craft and delicious tea – a winning combination for the everyday winner. Sarah let me in on exactly how The Bread And Butter Letter came about, and sure enough, making her dream a reality wasn’t always easy..
When Sarah left school, she did the socially expected thing and went to university. There, she studied landscape architecture, and actually worked in a firm for 8 years before being made redundant. “To say it wasn’t a massive blow would be lying” – it was a well paying, respectable position and she did enjoy it. However, this was the catalyst which made her re-assess where she was at, and forced her to ask herself what it was she actually wanted to be doing. Sarah believes “if you really listen to your heart, it already knows what it wants”. She had always wanted to run her own business, was super in to vintage clothes and loved interior decorating. So she decided it was now or never to take a risk on that shop she’d been dreaming about her whole life!
Sarah quickly realized that she couldn’t make it work 100% on her own. She met Rose, her business partner, through her boyfriend who was friends with Rose’s boyfriend. Rose seemed to share a similar work ethic and had the same passions as Sarah, so after knowing Rose for all of two months, she decided to be bold, and asked her whether she would be interested in being involved with the shop. Rose enthusiastically agreed, and even said that opening a shop was her dream too, so that first part all fell in to place frighteningly easily.
The shop started out in a room under Sarah’s house on New North Road. It was tiny, but it was perfect. The name ‘Bread And Butter Letter’ came from a blog Sarah was writing at the time, and it seemed only natural to make her written ideas come to life. Sarah and Rose decided to stock curated vintage clothing, and NZ made craft exclusively, as they wanted to support local talent. “It’s really important to have a point of difference when starting something new, and that was ours.” At that point, they could only afford to stock things on a consignment basis and were only open from Wednesday to Saturday. They would work in the shop two days each a week, and held part time jobs in their spare time to keep afloat – “There were a few 2 Minute Noodle meals during the first stage, that’s for sure!”
The pair took a leap of faith, and moved to K Road in 2012. The rent increased ten times that of New North Rd, but they knew that they had to be somewhere more central to make it really work. People were skeptic at first, and many warnings were raised (especially since they started out during the recession!). But, they kept positive, and created a solid business plan, which wasn’t too risky either way. When they were just about to open, they wrote to lots of people to gain publicity and momentum. Viva magazine ended up writing an amazing article about them and on their first day in business, there was a line of customers out the door! “That’s the great thing about NZ – everyone is willing to give you a helping hand when you ask for it.”
Now, The Bread And Butter Letter is an integral part of K Road and Sarah and Rose can afford to pay staff as well as themselves. Sarah’s advice to people wanting to chase their dream is that “you just need to do it! Plan ahead, and know exactly what that dream is before you start – but more often than not you’ll already know in your heart. You’ve got to be open to learn and adapt and you’ll probably have to sacrifice a few things along the way; but if you keep the dream alive, you will always be excited and invigorated and that’s something money cannot buy. It is the best feeling ever.”
I should also mention that part way in to the creation of the Bread And Butter Letter, the firm Sarah used to work for asked her whether she wanted to work full time for them again. Having realized that living her dream was far better, she declined with some sense of satisfaction.. And if that’s not living the hustle, I dunno what is!
The Bread And Butter Letter
225 Karangahape Road, Auckland
Inspired? I think so. I’ll be doing these Hustle-spiration interviews every couple of weeks, so if you know of anyone who has made shit happen against all odds, feel free to email me the detes (email address on my contact page). You might even email me about yourself, you hustler you!
PLUS – giveaway time!!! Sarah and Rose have are so excited for you to start your own hustle that they have gifted me a journal and a set of pencils which you can win! It’s so easy to enter – just head to my Instagram page @mondayhustle, follow me and ‘like’ this picture before 2pm tomorrow to get in the draw! Winner must be based in NZ and will be announced on Monday 20 July.