By Jack Hayes
For many small business owners, the current stress, anxiety and uncertainty being felt are enough to force even the busiest doors shut.
Few businesses will be enveloped by financial strain of this magnitude in their lifetime, but when you’ve been here before, you learn from those lessons in readiness for the future.
For Queen Victoria Market (QVM) trader and Inner Essentials owner, Robyn Faulkner, those lessons have been a somewhat cathartic journey.
“I have almost fallen on my face three times, but I’ve managed to resurrect myself,” Ms Faulkner said. “Having to stop in time, look at what I’m doing and change what I need to keep moving forward has been the biggest key.”
“For many years, I had wanted to take the next step to create my own business but didn’t have the confidence. Then life throws all sorts of different challenges at you and prepares you to take that next step.”
“I’ve changed my business countless times as I’ve seen the market change. You’ve got to in order to survive.”
Calling the market’s F Shed home, Ms Faulkner specialises in aromatherapy, selling a range of high-quality goods including essential oils, candles, candleholders, local chemical-free soaps.
In addition to the aromatherapy products, Ms Faulkner also produces a range of beautifully hand-crafted stained-glass, as well as offering relaxation massages.
It is this ever-present theme of adaptability that shines through in everything Ms Faulkner does that has prepared her for this day.
Now, faced with the trials and tribulations of a global pandemic, Ms Faulkner is again living by that simple ethos of “adapt or die” by shepherding her loyal customer base to online – no easy feat for a self-confessed people’s person.
“Naturally, the pandemic has increased our online turnover because people can’t come in anymore, but it has also allowed some of my long-time customers to continue getting what they need,” Ms Faulkner said.
“The market has been a blessing on so many levels. I love the comradery of the traders. I was in five different locations on five different days, so I got to interact with so many different people.”
“I want to remind people that by going to the market, you are supporting real people. It’s the small businesses and local people that make the experience worthwhile.
With over nine years of market experience, and eight as the owner of Inner Essentials, Ms Faulkner has taken a no-nonsense approach to producing and sourcing her products, with the simple attitude of “I wouldn’t use it if I didn’t believe in it.”
While having more than 25 years’ experience in stained glass, Ms Faulkner is also a practising masseuse. Not only is she selling her products, but she is using them too.
“Our pain rub is one of our biggest sellers. I’ve tried it myself and massaged many hundreds and hundreds of people. It is great for stress and muscle relief,” she said.
“There was one stage when we were so busy, my son Cameron was working with me. He would be serving two to three customers at a time, and I would be massaging a client.”
Ms Faulkner’s holistic mantra to life and business has been the key to getting her through life so far and will no doubt be driving factor to thrive over the coming months •
For more information visit: inneressentials.com.au