FROM BEGINNING TO BRAND WITH TIA ROQAA, ROCCABOX
Roccabox is every beauty fanatics dream; a box filled with some of the latest beauty products, as well as insiders tips and tricks, posted through your letterbox every month. Of course, there are many other beauty boxes that have popped up over the last few years but the main aspect that sets Roccabox apart is that they team up with a new beauty influencer every month who will select each product that they highly recommend so you know you're in good hands.
The creator of Roccabox is the beautiful, Tia Roqaa, and I got the absolute pleasure of speaking to her about her personal journey to become an entrepreneur as well as the creation of Roccabox as a brand. Similar to my own journey, Tia was unhappy and uninspired in her 9-5 job and decided to follow her passion and well, a year down the line and it's gone from strength to strength.
1. What was your first ever business idea and did it come to fruition?
That's a tough one, I have had millions! My parents had restaurants when I was younger, one I remember from when I was 17 was to have a discount card for all the restaurants and bars in the city on their quieter periods. The establishments would pay an annual fee for us to advertise them, and the consumers would pay a fee for the card that got them the discount. The discounts would be in a booklet rather than online. Soon after that, Taste Card launched, and I am pretty sure the guy who started it sold out to millions so I really kicked myself there! One lesson I learned: if you have an idea and you start it, follow it through, you never know where it could lead you.
2. Do you have any unexpected sources of inspiration?
I feel my most creative after a really good gym session or run (I hate running), or on Sunday morning when I really want to read a magazine but I read two words and pick up my laptop and start researching my next idea.
3. What has been your most satisfying moment in your career thus far?
When I was made redundant, I was told by certain people I should just get another job, but I knew I had a great idea so I went with that feeling and launched Roccabox. 3 months later I fully sold out of boxes.
4. What would you tell your teenage self if you could go back in time?
Don't be so eager to grow up, spend more time with your family, and you can't sing or read music so why on EARTH have you opted to do GCSE music?!
5. Excluding yours, what business, organisation or entrepreneur do you admire the most?
I really love the Spectrum (brushes) sisters, Sophie and Hannah Pycroft. I have never met them but they seem pretty cool - they launched their business from their garage; they had a great idea and they followed it through. Their brand has great personality, it's tough launching a product when there is so much competition but they nailed it. I also like how they kept it local creating jobs for creative people like them in Wales. It's tough having to move to London for a career, and not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford that.
6. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?
I haven't really had a bad boss, but I was probably a bad employee. Everyone always told me I needed file my edges down, but I worked so hard and was always the best at my job so it balanced it out!
7. When you’re having a stressful day, what’s your ultimate comfort food?
If it's in the middle of the day, I might pig out on some chocolate (I usually buy it for someone else then eat theirs so I don't feel as bad). Or if it's the end of the day, a bottle of red wine.
8. Is there anything you wish you had known before you pursued your passion?
Don't work with friends! This isn't to do with what I am currently working on, but I was stung on a previous project.
9. When things become overwhelming, what do you do to unwind?
I go to the gym and run on the treadmill, it's the ultimate head clearer.
10. Name one song that makes you feel super pumped and motivated.
I am the absolute worst with songs! I just pop on the radio and dance along to whatever is on. But I'm a soppy romantic so a love song always makes me feel good, I love Ed Sheeran, Charlie Puth and John Legend.
11. Are there any missed opportunities that you wish you had leveraged?
Tonnes, but that's life!
12. If you could give one piece of advice to someone chasing their passion, what would it be?
Make sure you do your due diligence, then go for it! Because if you don't someone else will.
13. How would your perfect day end?
Putting my feet up with a glass of red and watching a great box set.
14. Have you had to make any sacrifices in your personal life in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
When I was first working on Roccabox I still worked my day job. I got home and worked from 6pm - 1am on my business venture every night and every weekend to get it ready to launch. I didn't see my friends or date as I just didn't have the mental space for it, but I don't regret one second, it was such an exciting time of my life!
15. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
For being always being kind to others.
A massive thank you to Tia for letting me interview her! I hope that her story helps to inspire any of you that are looking to pursue your own passion!