“Fear, you acknowledge it and move on”

This week on the Move podcast Jamie and Ed sit down with Ashleigh Hinde, founder and MD of the successful contact lens company Waldo. Before moving to London and founding her business, Ashleigh grew up in South Africa in Johannesburg. She tells Jamie and Ed how she spent most of her childhood outside in the sun, running around and staying active which gave her a great passion for life and nature. She is an extremely motivated individual and always has been. At only 10 years old she’d already won the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year award, an incredible achievement for someone so young. 

Ashleigh had a burning desire to learn and consume knowledge and never took for granted the fact she was lucky enough to attend university and study psychology. For Ashleigh, a baseline education is imperative to starting a business, however she believes the best way to learn is to work for multiple companies doing internships to absorb as much ‘real life’ strategic knowledge as possible, which you can then apply to your own business. 

Ashleigh’s company Waldo was born out of her own frustration as a contact lens wearer. She constantly found herself running out of single use lenses, and found it such a chore needing to constantly order and collect new ones. She saw a gap in the market for a high quality contact lens subscription service, and began to build upon this idea until she developed the end product ‘Waldo’. The key factor that makes Waldo unique is the direct business to consumer contact, and Ashleigh always prioritises making sure her customers feel valued and build a relationship with the business as their supplier. 

Ashleigh had never set up a company before, and was keen to learn as much as she could by reading articles, contacting other contact lens companies and searching the internet to help her build upon her ideas, and work out the initial stages to starting her own company. Her mission is to make vision and eyewear appealing, affordable and trendy.  She focused on making a product that looked good whilst still being functional, and ever since Waldo’s existence, the company has continued to grow and flourish. To listen to this week’s podcast and find out more about Ashleigh’s journey follow this link.

Here’s Ashleigh’s top 5 tips to succeed in building your own business:

  1. Be authentic. Do work that is meaningful and that you believe in.
  2. Work hard - I don't think there are shortcuts!
  3. Hire great people and optimise for jobs that allow you to work with other great people.
  4. Push boundaries and don't let fear stifle you.  
  5. Seek guidance and ask for help when you need it. It opens doors and relationships in surprising ways. 

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