Pop Quiz, Monday with Julia Christie

Julia Christie

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

What is your name?
Julia Christie

What is your job role?
I am the CEO of Christie & Christie (a company that I have started). I am the inventor of the Nail Snail – baby nail trimmer. I am a mother of three children under 6. I am a work-from-home-mum.
You name it I do it 🙂

Tell us about your company?
I founded Christie & Christie 5 years ago. I started the company to sell my patented invention: The Nail Snail. It is a revolutionary, 3-in-1 baby fingernail and toenail trimmer. Since then I have won; an Australian Good Design Award, AusMumpreneur of the Year Award for Product Innovation, Editor’s Choice Mama & Baby Award, Big Innovation Award, been featured as a Top 10 Innovation on Australia By Design TV show and nominated for a Telstra Women in Business Award.

Just recently I have started employing on a part-time basis, two other work-from-home mums. I launched my first order of 3000 through my successful Kickstarter campaign, and now I have sold over 20,000 Nail Snails and have just placed a third order for 10,000 more! The Nail Snail now has over 350 stockists in Australia and is expanding with overseas distribution.

What do you love most about your job?
The complete flexibility and that the buck stops with me. I get to make all the decisions, and I don’t have to answer to anyone. That I can incorporate my family into my company, that my family and I are the faces of Christie & Christie. My customers know who I am. Working from home allows me to dictate when and where I work.

The flip side of that, is I am also responsible for any shortcomings or mistakes. They are all on me. I now have people relying on me, and the success of the company also affects others and their families. Finding uninterrupted time to focus on challenging tasks is rare and precious.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
It is incredible just how motivating running your own company, that sells your very own invention is! From the moment I open my eyes to the moment I close then I am thinking about how I can improve my sales and connect with my customer base. But, this isn’t a negative thing, I just LOVE it!

Also, a significant driving factor is making sure that no parent ever feels that guilt or shame that I thought when I first cut my newborn’s finger when using clippers. This was the moment that inspired me to do something about it and solve the problem for all parents and caregivers of children under five, all over the world!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Seeing just how hard they work and manage their families is a constant source of inspiration. Their unwavering belief in me and the Nail Snail also helps me to get a wriggle on!

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I work with two amazing women that I am fortunate enough also to be my closest friends. It is a complete joy to work with them. Or families and children often socialise together as well.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Finding the time to do everything that needs doing. I always feel like I would be amazing in a circus show with my juggling skills. Also keeping the ‘mum guilt’ monster at bay, I hate that thing. When I’m working I should be playing with my kids, or when I’m spending time with them, the feeling that I should be ‘productive’ and working. But the plus side is, that I am lucky enough to have incredibly supportive and independent kids that play well when Mumma is working. Not to say that they don’t then make an enormous mess!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Make sure you do a little background and reference checking on people who make big promises. Make the phone call to the previous person they worked for a get the real story. Are they able to deliver what they promise to? Listen to your gut instincts, and little red flags are waving, listen to that.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Get a GREAT accountant. This will make starting up so much easier when you have a trustworthy and knowledgeable team to help you. I use Wealthmed, and I adore them.

Make sure you have a great product that genuine customers want and will pay money for. You can not rely on friends and family to buy your product. In fact, they will be your worst customers, and some will expect freebies. Make something people want.

Make connections, join business-oriented facebook groups, they are a wealth of knowledge. If you don’t know how to do something, ask!
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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