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I am often out and about meeting people, customers and suppliers and of course speaking to groups this can take me to anywhere in Australia (and sometimes overseas). It still surprises me that a business that no one had ever heard of a decade ago now appears in the most remote and far distant places.

I dreamed that RedBalloon would become a household name in Australia and New Zealand – and in the past few weeks I have discovered that this dream is on its way to becoming true.

On a flight to Bali to present at one of our fantastic supplier events I sat next to a woman and she asked what I did – I said I founded a businesses more than a decade ago – she said ‘oh’ and told me she was an aviation lawyer – I enquired about that, so she politely asked me a little more about what I did. I said I founded RedBalloon… at that point she got all excited, blushed and said “Oh oh – I don’t believe it you’re business is amazing – I know all about it – I buy all my gifts from you…” and the conversation went from there.

I was in Sale in eastern Victoria a large county town. I was at a supermarket (buying supplies for the trip)… and the kind employee helped me scan at the check out – as she could clearly see that I was a novice. She asked if I was in Sale for work and I said “Yes – I am the founder of a business called RedBalloon” – she said “Wow that is a fantastic site – I bought my mum her Christmas combined birthday present from it – I cannot believe I have met you here at work, in Sale”.

Then I was in Colac in western Victoria for a speaking engagement – and the hair was a flutter – I had to rush to a hairdresser for a quick blow dry…. and the hairdresser of course asked “What brings you to Colac?” I told her… and she called everyone over and said “I cannot believe it – this is the woman that started that great business RedBalloon – you know the one, it is amazing – and I’m doing her hair – just wait until I Facebook this… can I have a photo….”

Three far away places and the RedBalloon story proceeded me…. but then just now I asked a colleague to find out where our customers reside – of course we are everywhere in Australia and New Zealand… but here is something that amazed me.

346 Peruvians, 223 Jordanians and 33 people from Christmas Island have all visited our store online in recent months. In fact, we have customers (ie people who have purchased from us) in 129 countries outside of Australia, which means we are earning for Australia precious export dollars.

It is the beauty of being online – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week we can serve anyone in the world…. RedBalloon is a global story.

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@naomisimson

  • Who's that? @whomagazine spread feat. Dexter 🐶 on sale today! There's even a peek into my closet - you'd never guess what my favourite colour is... here's a hint: it's not red. Any ideas?
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  • How do I grow and scale my business?⠀
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It's a question I get asked by many people and I know how hard that task can be. I have had many challenges as I've scaled my businesses and I have found that there is no set and forget. I am continually learning and developing ways to improve. That is my journey and I am not sure of yours… but so I can remain customer focused, I'd like to help you. 
Click the link in my bio to send me your questions. Each fortnight my team and I pick a question that resonates for the collective, and hopefully I can head you in the right direction: http://bit.ly/2tjv2tl⠀
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  • In business they may well call this a pivot... in my view it is the small adjustments that a business owner makes each day as they listen to customers and respond
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