Geri Gash is the owner and creator of Lil' Eve. Lil' Eve empowers children with the tools they need to build emotional resilience. By creating happy hearts, Geri believes kids will grow into kind, compassionate, confident adults. Lil' Eve markets its products to families who want to provide their children with a healthy mindset in order to make better life choices and build positive connections.
Geri founded the company because she believes there’s a large market for products relating to kids' mental wellness. The problem she discovered shortly before setting it up is that parents don’t always feel they have enough time to spend with their children. The company’s only been around since 2020, but it’s already proving to be incredibly popular with families. We chat with Geri to find out more about her growth plans.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
I am a wife and mumma of two girls who are the inspiration behind my business, which is why I named the business after them. Through Lil' Eve, we aim to create products that empower children to play mindfully and create positive connections.
Our biggest seller is our positive affirmation cards for kids. I am based on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, where we have lived now for almost 2 years. Through the brand, I am focused on serving the family market, especially those who hold a strong desire to provide their children with the tools in life to have a healthy mindset, feel empowered within themselves to make better choices in life and families that want to have a strong family unit where their children feel safe, loved and heard.
I feel incredibly fortunate to wholesale my products to other businesses as it means that more of my products are reaching families who share similar values. I often receive the most beautiful heart warming emails from parents who are noticing real differences in their children’s behaviour/mindset since using our affirmation cards. That for me, is my whole “WHY” right there!
BRAND IDEA - how did you come up with the idea for Lil' Eve?
When I first decided to start a business, it was a completely different concept to what it is now. I think that when you really find your purpose and passion and step into that, you know you are on the right path. I believe that my business is my soul journey from my own experiences and the legacy that I want to leave behind not only for my kids but for the community. I believe there is a large market for products relating to kids' mental wellness. The problem I hear from parents all the time is that they feel they have a lack of time to spend with their kids. Through Lil' Eve, I want to show parents that it is not about the quantity of time you spend with children, but more about the quality.
When I came to selecting the brand name, for me the choice was easy, I would use my 2 darling girls names combined for the brand. I did this as I wanted to connect them to the business as so much of them drives my passion for what Lil' Eve is trying to achieve. Through the logo I wanted to introduce a softness as well as an earth element which is why we used the foliage stencil image.
BRAND LAUNCH - take us through how you launched Lil' Eve.
Once I became clear on what my business was and what I wanted to achieve by having it, things started to fall into place a little more. That’s not to say that there aren’t days I don’t question myself and ask if I am doing the right thing. But I tend to listen to my spirit guides through meditation for my creative inspiration. Often, if i have an idea I will see the concept and design in my mind before attempting to see it come to life.
There were definitely more costs involved in setting up the business than I ever realised. It’s all about branding, right from the start and outlying the expenses to do this. I had an issue early on with a collaboration I was doing. It was a big learning curve for me to outlay the large expense to own the art and work right from the start because trying to do it the way I did, did not work in my favour at all. Finding the right design team/suppliers, can also be a tricky and a time consuming task, especially when you see the finished product in your head and to be able communicate this effectively to see it come to fruition.
I have been very lucky with my business that right from the start I have only done organic marketing and sales. This has just been through Instagram, Facebook and Facebook groups. The first proper post I did in a facebook group, I sold out of product and had over 400 comments on that post !!
To date, I have not had to do paid advertising. However, as I grow and scale I am looking into this for the near future.
ONLINE STORE SETUP - what are your top 2 tips for successful Ecommerce store setup.
- Conduct extensive market research - this is so you can see where a missing element lies that you can add to your business offerings. For me, it was that I can personalise the products. Don’t get caught up in comparison with your competitors though. Comparison is the thief of happiness.
- Know (or learn very quickly) what your strengths and weaknesses are - If building a website is easy for you, then happy days. If not, (like me!) outsource this and use your strengths elsewhere to build your business. 3. It will never be 100% ready to launch, just get it 80% and the rest will follow.
CUSTOMER RETENTION - what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
For me, customer service is my number one priority. I want to make sure that all my customers, regardless of their experience with Lil’ Eve, walk away saying “wow, that was the best customer service”. To do this, I make sure any mistakes I make (and there are a few from this sleep deprived mumma) I apologise, fix, and give them something in return. I am still learning about newsletter campaigns and blog posts to help increase customer engagement and of course, to give value for nothing in order to build brand trust. I am very authentic with my voice on social media/ website and I hope that helps with customers being able to relate to me.
SOCIAL - what are your top 2 tips for successful use of social media to engage with customers.
- When necessary, utilise a virtual assistant - social media is incredibly time consuming. I find this the most difficult thing to stay on top of because it is not only about creating and posting good content, but engagement with others also. I have a virtual assistant that helps me with engagement for algorithms, but as far as content goes it is my voice I want heard and I am not ready to hand the reins over on this just yet. For me, l know I need to spend time organizing my social media and scheduling posts, but the juggle is real and this has not happened as yet. It is more an off the cuff schedule. Always room for improvement!
- Regularly review and refine your hashtag strategy - continuing to monitor the best hashtags to be using and what times are best to post and ensuring consistency with posting. I aim for 3-4 times per week.
BUSINESS GROWTH INSIGHTS - how has Lil' Eve changed and evolved?
It is absolutely key to remain flexible and evolve constantly as a business owner.
As I have evolved and grown, I have been able to outsource help that is not my strengths in order to continually improve. I soon outgrew my working space which was in our bedroom to actually needing an office, which I have now also outgrown.
MANAGING CHANGE - what are the top 2 tips you’d suggest others adopt to safeguard their business.
I have been incredibly lucky as I really only launched my business in 2020 during the midst of the upheaval. One of my favourite quotes from Tony Robbins is that “ your business did not fail because…(insert excuses), it failed because you wern’t resourceful enough”.
We have also been very lucky in the fact that my husband now works from home full time, so that has meant I have been able to spend more time on my business that I would not previously have had as my first role is being a mother.
FUTURE BUSINESS PLANS - how is Lil' Eve doing today and what does the future look like?
I am in the process of a few new product developments and expansion of my product range. I am looking at doing paid advertising in the near future in order to see more sales and would like to see at some point this year, one staff hire for a few hours per week to help with packing orders and other tasks.
I believe the longer I have the business, the more knowledge I will gain which will allow me to continually expand and grow.
ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHTS - what has been your biggest learning experience since starting Lil' Eve?
- Find a strong support network- join as many business groups and ask questions. There are people out there who have gone through the same struggles before you. So pick their brains and jump to the second step rather than go through them too.
- Maintain balance - it is so easy to get caught up in all the tasks required to run a business but to the detriment of what? Less time with family and friends? Overwhelm? Stress and exhaustion? Remembering to find synergy and flow and take time away from the business. (Including your thoughts about your business!).
ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLS - what are the business software tools you couldn't live without?
Via social media you really get to offer your authentic voice which is how your business will grow organically. I have recently been introduced to Trello and it has been an amazing tool for communicating/tasking jobs with all my different contractors. I am still learning more about utilizing it to its potential as I know many people schedule their content on here and use it in many more ways than I currently know how to.
I also use Dropbox alot for my stockists. This enables me to send them the link for product photos to use and product descriptions.
See what tools and platforms other founders are using.
SELF DEVELOPMENT - what are the educational resources you’d recommend?
I am very much about personal growth and my business stems from this. I really highly recommend these books, especially for parents/carers:
- The power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
- The conscious parent by Dr Shefali Tsabary
- The whole brain child by Daniel J. Siegel · Tina Payne Bryson
- Any books/podcasts/courses by Tony Robbins- The man is incredible for any personal and business growth
INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ‘shout-out’ - who have been the most influential people for you during your brand journey?
I would never have undertaken this journey without my husband, his encouragement and support. I have a friend who owns the brand “Sinchies” and she has been a big help in bouncing ideas off and seeking support and advice when needed.
I have also had a couple of short stints with business coaches who have asked the big questions about “why” and then helped me through certain blocks and challenges I have currently faced.
FINAL WORDS OF INSPO - for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
You can do it, all you need is self belief and when that belief falters and it will often.
Keep going, because who are you to take away your amazing products and services from the people out there who need them?
Latest offers & promotions - where can we go to learn more about your latest offers and promotions?
People can follow Lil’ Eve on social media at @lil_eve_creations and online at www.lileve.com.au Keep an eye out for our new product releases that are happening all the time!