The shift from PR and fundraising to her own Shoe Shop – Episode 80 Carol Haffke

Carol Haffke - The shift from PR and fundraising to her own Shoe Shop - Episode 80 Your Next Chapter Podcast with Angela Raspass

Carol spent 27 years as a journalist before morphing into a PR specialist. But she never quite settled in the industry, although she was talented and by all measurements, a great success. A PR role at the UN opened a new door for her and she discovered, and fell in love with, the world of Fundraising. “I believed what I was writing and speaking about – I felt proud”. 

 But even in the midst of such enjoyment and positive impact, life had other plans for Carol. Another, rather unexpected, chapter was waiting for her. And, as with a great many changes, it came on the coattails of challenge, when a particular fundraising event just didn’t go according to plan, and her expectations of herself. 

 The idea for her next chapter, as a business owner, was born the very next day and The Shoe Garden is the result. 

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Show Notes

  • Empathy is the glue that bonds clients and customers to you 
  • Your own experiences and unmet needs can point to a business opportunity that you are well aligned with – in Carols case, this was the impossibility of finding gorgeous shoes in size 12+ 
  • A conscious decision to remain a “small giant” might be the right one for you – don’t be swayed and unduly influenced by others people’s opinion of how you “should” grow your business. For Carol, the one physical store and the online component  is the perfect combination, regardless of others encouraging her to open more shop fronts  
  • Listen intently to your customers – that’s how you will become a better business person  
  • Starting out in business can be daunting – but you definitely have transferable skills. Be open-minded and positive, ask a lot of questions and surround yourself with people who support you  
  • Believe in yourself and take action! There is a reason why you have the desire to do this – trust and follow that desire  
  • Build giving into your business heart and you can make a significant impact – Carol has donated over $25K to her cause of choice. Microloans Australia through her “Shop, Share, Care” initiative  

About the speaker

Carol Haffke spent 23 years in media, PR and fundraising, working in Australia, Namibia, Portugal and Vietnam.

Then one Sunday in November 2012, she suddenly had a melt-down.

Five hours later, she decided she would walk away from her career and open her own women’s shoe shop in Hawthorne, Brisbane, specialising in longer sizes.

Five months later, she opened The Shoe Garden.

Carol had no experience in business, retail or in shoes, but she did have a size 12 foot and knew first-hand how hard it was to find shoes that fit, let alone were fabulous.

Carol opened her beautiful shop when she was 44 and now, at 50, has never, ever been happier. Stressed to the eyeballs frequently, yes, but still happy.

Carol is also the proud author of “In My Shoes ... What it’s really like to start your own business” which is an honest and open account of her journey in business.

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