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Buying a business can be an amazing way to get into the business and eCommerce world. In today’s episode, Alana walks us through the purchasing process and how she made Canvast Co hers.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • The process she went through to buy the business
  • One thing she wished she knew before starting the business
  • What the rebranding process to make Canvast Co her own was like
  • Her favourite planning tips for a productive week
  • How to manage the work life balance
  • And so much more


[00:00:00] Alana Paulin: a lot of us start these businesses so that we can live a lifestyle that we. Dream of, we wanna get out of that nine to five. We wanna get outta that working for the big guy. We wanna, we don’t want that. We want to be able to create a life that, where there’s balance, I think where yes, we work hard and yes, we, we do put in long hours and we love what we do. And that’s amazing and we create these successful businesses, but we wanna be able to take a step back and, do what we want in our personal lives as well. That makes us actually happy. Cuz you can’t just be on that grind and on that hustle 24 7 because it’s exhausting.

[00:00:42] Hi, and welcome to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. I’m Dahna founder of bright red marketing, and after helping so many businesses in the e-commerce space over the years, I wanted to bring you the best advice from Australia and experts in e-commerce and e-commerce store owners. If you want to relatable stories and actionable advice and the latest Facebook advertising strategies, you’re in the right place.

[00:01:02] One help with your Facebook and Instagram ads. Remember you can always book in a free strategy session at Forward slash free dash strategy dash session will run through your ads. See what’s working and what’s not. And no sales pitch. I promise. So let’s get into today’s episode.

[00:01:21] Dahna Borg: Hi, and welcome to the Bright minds of e-Commerce podcast Today we’re here with Alana from Canvast.

[00:01:26] Welcome.

[00:01:27] Alana Paulin: Hi. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:28] Dahna Borg: So good to have you. So tell us about how you became involved with the business.

[00:01:33] Alana Paulin: Oh, so I became involved with Canvast be 12 months before I actually bought Canvast. I had purchased one and I loved it. And then when I saw that they were closing, I thought, oh no. That’s dumb. And then not long after that, an email came out from Emma, who was the former owner and founder.

[00:01:57] And it was saying that campus is looking for a new home. And at that stage in my life, I. In a place where I was looking for what was next for me after a very long career in mining. So yeah, I reached out and connected with Emma and we had a chat and we vibed really well. And yeah, long story short, I ended up buying it.

[00:02:26] Dahna Borg: Amazing. Did you know that you wanted to buy a business or you just went opportunity taking it?

[00:02:31] Alana Paulin: I didn’t know that I wanted to buy a business. I had recently started studying uh, new small business and digital marketing because I had really been thinking about it for probably 12 months. That I wanted to get out of what I was doing and start my own business. And so when the opportunity came up that Canvast was for sale, I looked at it as, maybe that’s my opportunity.

[00:02:59] That is supposed to be my next step. And it was obviously a brand and a product that I knew and I loved and I believed in. And so I thought this is perfect.

[00:03:10] Dahna Borg: Yeah, very good timing.

[00:03:13] Alana Paulin: Yeah, it was all just that. And that’s what one of the things that we said to each other, the timing just aligned really well yeah.

[00:03:20] Dahna Borg: Is there sort of any tips or advice that you can share on the buying process now that you’re on the other side of it?

[00:03:28] Alana Paulin: I think overall the process of like buying the business was pretty seamless. I think, we had a really good back and forwards conversations asked all the questions, found out all the information that. I thought I needed to know before buying a business did all the things that you do.

[00:03:47] And then I took over and then I was like, oh my goodness, what have I done? This is so much more I feel like I didn’t ask enough questions. So even though at the time I felt like I had gotten all the information that I needed, I think there was always more that I could have asked or that I could have learned prior to just jumping in and doing it.

[00:04:10] I don’t think I was prepared as what I thought, and so I’ve totally been winging this since I started. We

[00:04:18] Dahna Borg: doing a very good

[00:04:19] Alana Paulin: till you make it baby. Yeah.

[00:04:21] Dahna Borg: It’s what they tell us. It’s what they tell us. Were there any questions or things that you wished you’d learned that are like good advice for other people that may be in a similar position that you didn’t think of until afterwards?

[00:04:34] Alana Paulin: Something that I really wish I’d known before was, I think how much everything really costs, like what your outgoings are to maintain running a business. And although I had, a lot of information, it’s all the little things that kind of add up each month or each, quarter that you go.

[00:04:59] Oh, like I wasn’t really expecting that which I guess you only learn as you’re going through it, but that was probably one thing for me that I didn’t, probably didn’t get enough information around, which, you don’t go to every single little scent that gets spent,

[00:05:17] Dahna Borg: No.

[00:05:18] So more, more into the financials is probably good advice in general.

[00:05:23] Alana Paulin: I think the financials and just getting somebody to help me understand that better before I had done it. So now, we’ve got the people and the things and programs that help you understand all of that and, it’s great. But I wish I’d known that from the very start.

[00:05:40] Dahna Borg: that makes sense. Once you bought the business, you’ve now decided to rebrand can you tell us a little bit about the decision to do that, and then we’ll go through what that process was like?

[00:05:50] Alana Paulin: Yeah, so we have just gone through a rebrand and it’s beautiful and we love it. Thank you, Sarah.

[00:05:57] I decided, to rebrand because after I think maybe two or three months into, owning Canvast and trying to find my groove, And what felt good for me and what I, what direction I wanted to go in. I was really struggling quite a bit with imposter syndrome and just knowing where, like my place was now in this business that had such big shoes to fill.

[00:06:23] It was such, canvast is such an amazing brand, which is why I bought it. so stepping into that and then trying. Work out how I fit into that was really hard. And so I had to sit down with myself and go, okay, what do I want for the business and for the brand and for the community who, are such a big part of Canvast and for myself and the future of, of this business.

[00:06:50] And essentially that led me to rebranding. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it felt like the right decision for me and for Canvast. So that’s what we did. We decided to rebrand and here we are. It’s, it’s beautiful and I love it and it feels like me and it is very different, but it’s still got the same voice behind the branch.

[00:07:16] With Canvast is still the same. It’s all. Empowering women and supporting women and providing these tools and resources, for these women who love this brand and this product and this community. But it just looks a little bit different.

[00:07:31] Dahna Borg: Amazing. I love the decision process. That’s so important to make things your own and put your own spin on it how was the process of rebranding? How did you find that?

[00:07:41] Alana Paulin: I actually loved the rebranding process cause we just visually rebranded. I love all that sort of stuff that creatives like digital marketing. It’s so good. If my mom had away, I would’ve gone to university and I would’ve done graphic design and advertising, but I didn’t. I went to the mines.

[00:07:57] So I love all that sort of stuff. I engaged with Sarah from Digital Bloom, and we sat down and we went through you. What my vision was for Canvast, like now in 12 months, in five years, in 10 years, long term, what are we, what am I trying to achieve?

[00:08:16] What do I want it to feel like? What do I want it to look like? What do I want people to, get out of it. And so that was really good cuz it allowed me to really sit down and get even more clear on what I wanted for the business. And. Yeah we started that process.

[00:08:36] So we started with the visual rebrand, we are just gonna make it look different. And then we’ve, it’s changed a lot of things behind the scenes as well, which has been great. And it’s allowed me, cause I’m like, obviously, like I said, I’m still learning. Trying to work out how it all works. It’s been great for me to change a few processes and things because then I can learn from scratch cause it’s a new program.

[00:09:01] Whereas before I was learning from something that was already created, which was effort. But it’s harder to learn when something’s, already there. It’s

[00:09:10] Dahna Borg: A hundred percent you’re doing something based on how someone else’s brain worked, whereas now

[00:09:14] Alana Paulin: Yeah, it’s all new and it’s all me and it’s all fresh, so I can learn as it grows.

[00:09:22] Dahna Borg: Yeah, it’s always amazing. We just went through a rebrand and it’s amazing. You’re like, I’m just gonna change the logo and some colors. And all of a sudden you’re like, actually, now I have to change my entire social strategy. I need a brand new website. I need this.

[00:09:33] I need some new headshots. I need this. And oh my God, I need to change this as well. I now gotta change the reports and the templates and it’s not just like I’m just changing a logo, all of a sudden everything change.

[00:09:44] Alana Paulin: That’s it. And I think that’s how, I guess in the beginning, cause I didn’t really know, I thought this is what, we’ll just change the logo, change the color scheme, like it’ll be great. And then all of a sudden you’ve changed everything. You’ve got, like you said, all your socials are different.

[00:09:58] Your website, you need new photos because, so you’ve gotta get a photographer, which was probably one of my favorite parts of the rebrand, was actually getting. New photo second. Cause I had this idea of. Rather than it being all about me and the planner, I really wanted the brand to focus on the community.

[00:10:22] The woman who used this planner, the woman who loved this planner, who were all. Essentially trying to achieve the same thing, but they’re all real. So their lives are all completely different. And they use these tools in different ways and they, they do things differently. But they all bought together by this one, community.

[00:10:43] And it’s was such an incredible day. I had five girls who wanted to be a part of it, and we went to the stunning location for the day. And we just had, it felt like a girl’s day. It was, that we laughed and everybody connected so well and the vibe was really good and it just felt like you were hanging out with your girlfriends and , you see the photos now, it’s the content that came from such a genuine, authentic vibe created some absolute magic.

[00:11:16] Dahna Borg: I think it’s one of my favorite things. Your new brand is beautiful, but I love the fact that you’ve just got real people. Like the photos that I’ve seen are just, they do so much justice to your brand and they really give off that community vibe I think it’s a very clever decision and it’s just been executed amazing.

[00:11:35] Alana Paulin: Yeah. I think that was really important for me. Like when I sat down, I really went through what I wanted for the brand moving forward. I can get on there and I can share all of my tips and tricks and how I use my canvast and, all these things that I do in my life, which I will continue to do and will always do.

[00:11:52] Cause I, I love showing up, and being real and being present. But I really wanted to put the focus on, like you said, these real women who are just doing their thing

[00:12:05] Aesthetically, they are beautiful, but I wanted. Real, which is what the whole canvast, it’s about being real and it’s not about being perfect and perfectly structured and all of this. It’s about doing what works for you with no pressure, with no expectation just being us, being woman.

[00:12:29] Dahna Borg: Yeah. I love that so much. So obviously you’ve built and continued to build this amazing community. Is there anything that you do in particular to nurture those fans? Or is it just happening organically? I.

[00:12:42] Alana Paulin: I think it is happening organically, but I have a lot of connections in the dms. Like people will comment on stories or. Things like that. And I’d really like to not just, tap and Cool, thanks for the comment. And I think that it’s really important to engage with, these, the community and these women.

[00:13:01] Cuz we’ve all got something to share. And I think that’s a really cool thing about this community is everybody wants to like, support and inspire. We’ve been saying they’ve all got different things that they bring that, we might need. So I think, engaging and staying connected as much as possible is really important.

[00:13:27] I’ve got some like really want to try and harness that a little bit more. In real life, especially after the big girls’ day that we had, is try and, organize some things over the next, 12 months to bring these women together. And yeah, I think that’s would be probably our next step kind of thing, which is really cool.

[00:13:50] Dahna Borg: I love that so much, and I think it’s just, it’s such an important part. With business these days is those actual relationships. Like I think a lot of the time social media gets very, just throwing things out there. But the fact that you do that and then really do that to build a relationship, I think is incredible.

[00:14:07] And I think it would Joe.

[00:14:08] Alana Paulin: Yeah.

[00:14:09] Dahna Borg: So what are some of your favorite and most successful marketing strategies?

[00:14:15] Alana Paulin: I look you, you’re probably asking a wrong person. Cause I dunno yet I have been trying a few different things. I think consistency for Canvast, I think consistency and showing up regularly is really important.

[00:14:35] Dahna Borg: , we found that with our clients, like a lot of the time, obviously we are doing their Facebook ads and things, but the ones that are there that are active, that are showing up, they’re on stories, they’re posting reels, those are the ones that are getting the most success at the moment. I think people are really responding to that connection and I think.

[00:14:53] You’ve managed to harness that in such a great way, and that makes a lot of sense, especially with the kind of brand that you’ve built.

[00:15:00] Alana Paulin: , I think that’s it. It’s just that consistency and showing and being like genuine and real and not just, I think that’s probably what I am starting to learn and what we’ve now implemented are more of is the email marketing as well, not. Focusing on Instagram or you know, Facebook, it’s all the different types of it because the community is the range of women is so different.

[00:15:28] Some of them might not be on Instagram, but they love that weekly email that they get. Whether it’s me telling some random story or sharing some tips about how, , I use my planner or, what you can do differently. So yeah, there’s, I’ve definitely, the last probably six months, I’m really trying to, try different marketing techniques because I didn’t know.

[00:15:51] A lot about it. I didn’t know how it was gonna work. So I’ve been doing so much work behind the scenes to work on that marketing strategy for Canvast, that now I really just have to nurture those strategies and those things that we’ve implemented.

[00:16:05] And hopefully then work out which ones are gonna really work for Canvast and which ones might not be the right way.

[00:16:12] Dahna Borg: I think that sounds like a great plan. Is there anything you think we’ve missed? You can share before we go on to the last couple of questions.

[00:16:19] Alana Paulin: I think if. Anything that I’ve kind of learnt since becoming a business owner, and it’s so cliche, but trust yourself because there’s been so many times through this process. And through this journey where I’ve gone, oh no, don’t do that because what are people gonna think?

[00:16:38] Or is that really gonna be a good decision? Or, oh, should you be spending that money and whatever. But trust yourself back yourself 100%. Because what I find is if I don’t back. Nobody does, cuz it’s me. I’m doing this,

[00:16:56] Dahna Borg: Yep.

[00:16:56] Alana Paulin: I do all the things. So if I don’t go Yep, do that, then nothing happens. And I sit there and I, I am a perfectionist and I like planning and I like to know what’s gonna happen next.

[00:17:07] And unfortunately in. I’m finding you don’t know what’s coming. You don’t know what’s gonna happen next. You don’t know if this thing that you do now is gonna pay off in three months, or if it’s gonna pay off in 12 months. Like you just have to try and see what happens. Like back yourself, trust yourself, and just do it.

[00:17:26] Dahna Borg: Totally agree, and I think that’s excellent advice and great strategy and tips to end on. Now I think you’re gonna have the best answer of anyone to this question, I hope considering. What you do. No pressure. No pressure.

[00:17:38] Alana Paulin: No pressure.

[00:17:39] Dahna Borg: also a good chance to plug your product. But do you have any strategies or habits that you follow each day to help you stay on track?

[00:17:46] I assume a planner is a big part of that.

[00:17:49] Alana Paulin: Oh, that I do. So for me to stay on track, I need routine. Like I need to plan, I need to be able to know what’s coming, because then I, I’m prepared. I’ll sit down and I will look at my week ahead and I will sit down with my planner, which is Dateless, so I can. Start whenever. But if I sit down, lay out my week in, I try and put in all of my, my exercise and my movement and the things that are good for me and that I know are good for me and for my mental health.

[00:18:25] So my movement and then any appointments or like important things that need to happen that are non-negotiables for my. And then scheduling everything else that has to happen. Starting my week like that is really important for me.

[00:18:39] And then I also will set myself intentions for the week. So they might be different every week. The things that I put in place that I know help me be number one, a better person, human, a better human happier, calmer, Martha, all of these things. So things like getting up in the morning. And for me, I like exercising first thing in the morning.

[00:19:03] If I leave it till the afternoon, it’s probably not gonna happen. And I know that if I start my morning like that I’m gonna have a much better day. Reading is another really big thing for me, and journaling. So reading, because it’s nice to not be looking at a screen all the time. And usually I have at least two books on the go.

[00:19:28] One’s learning book, and then another one might be like a story. So reading and then journaling I find. And some days it might be like a really quick 10 minute session. Other days it might be a really, in depth let’s get this shit out kind of session. But that just helps me to clear my mind, which then allows me to be more productive throughout my day because I’ve started, I’ve done something that’s good for my body.

[00:19:55] I’ve cleared my mind, I’m feeling good. And I know that when I don’t do those things on the days that I don’t, for whatever the reason might be, I find that I’m a lot more scattered and I just, it’s a lot harder for me to be productive

[00:20:09] Dahna Borg: Yeah.

[00:20:09] Alana Paulin: throughout my day.

[00:20:10] Dahna Borg: Very good. . And do you have a favorite business book?

[00:20:14] Alana Paulin: I think when I first started in Canvast, I read The Chill,

[00:20:18] which I’m just trying to look at the spine to see. Oh, it’s Denise Duffield Thomas the Chill Premier. And I really

[00:20:28] Dahna Borg: up my alley.

[00:20:29] Alana Paulin: Yeah, it’s, it was really good because. I found she’s a big successful business owner, but she talks a lot about creating this keyless life.

[00:20:41] So essentially putting things in place, so that if it’s little things like she changed. All the doors in her house to be like a code rather than cuz then she doesn’t have to one worry where her keys are. And it’s just little things like that, which obviously it’s not about business, but doing those things in your business, outsourcing and if you, obviously eventually when you can afford that sort of stuff.

[00:21:09] But creating it so that it doesn’t have to be stressful. You don’t have to hustle every single day, you. 14 hours a day. To be successful in business, you just have to be smart. About the way that you do things and the way that, we, yeah, you set it all up so that it’s easier and you can chill a bit more.

[00:21:32] Cause I guess, at the end of the day we, a lot of us start these businesses so that we can live a lifestyle that we. Dream of, we wanna get out of that nine to five. We wanna get outta that working for the big guy. We want to be able to create a life that, where there’s balance, I think where yes, we work hard and yes, we, we do put in long hours and we love what we do. And that’s amazing and we create these successful businesses, but we wanna be able to take a step back and, do what we want in our personal lives as well. That makes us actually happy. Cuz you can’t just be on that grind and on that hustle 24 7 because it’s exhausting.

[00:22:13] Dahna Borg: Yeah, it’s why I’m very anti hule. So I definitely am adding that book to my list cuz that sounds right up my alley.

[00:22:21] Alana Paulin: me know if you wanna, you can buy mine.

[00:22:23] Dahna Borg: Thank you. I might do that. I might do that. Me too. Do you have a favorite podcast, business or

[00:22:30] Alana Paulin: A business one, or, I don’t really look, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a business podcast. I used to listen to the mentor, the mindset mentor.

[00:22:40] Dahna Borg: I find a lot of business owners. A lot of business owners are like, no podcast is Funtime. And most of them recommend crime podcasts.

[00:22:49] Alana Paulin: oh, I’m not a, I’m not a crime podcast girl. I’m probably more of a trash podcast girl.

[00:22:54] Dahna Borg: Fantastic.

[00:22:55] Alana Paulin: I like the ones I like. A lot of the ones that I listen to are like the friends who just sound like the having a chat. So I like The Darling Shine Girls Goes, and Life Uncut. I really like Alexis s or Fernanda’s.

[00:23:12] She’s got Do Fucking Mind. That’s a great podcast. She’s a psychologist, she’s super smart brand lady.

[00:23:19] Dahna Borg: Ooh

[00:23:19] Alana Paulin: but she’s cool as fuck.

[00:23:21] Dahna Borg: Fantastic. And lastly, how can people visit you? And I believe you’ve got a special offer for our listeners.

[00:23:28] Alana Paulin: I do, so you can find me on Instagram at Canvast Co or on Facebook as well. The website if you want to. Check out our products . It’s au.

[00:23:43] And yes, if you want to go and check out our planners. So those are out dateless yearly planners come in four colors. The OG black, we have a coral. Apricot and an eggshell. You can head to the website and pick one of those up. And for all of your listeners, we are going to offer 10% off with the discount code.

[00:24:09] Bright Red Marketing.

[00:24:11] Dahna Borg: . So thank you very much for that. We appreciate it. I am in the market for a new planner, and I like that they’re dateless. So

[00:24:18] Alana Paulin: That’s right, because you can start like to this week if you want

[00:24:22] Dahna Borg: I’m one of those people that buys a planner and then I’m like, I’m busy and then I don’t use it. And then it’s gone.

[00:24:30] Alana Paulin: this

[00:24:31] Dahna Borg: Pressure and

[00:24:31] Alana Paulin: miss a couple of weeks and then you feel this pressure like, oh, I can’t start now

[00:24:35] Dahna Borg: I’m done.

[00:24:36] Alana Paulin: wasted. It’s all over.

[00:24:38] Dahna Borg: I’m not gonna lie, there is one on my desk right now that I’m fairly certain is two years old, but I spent a lot of money on it, so it just sits on

[00:24:46] Alana Paulin: So I’m gonna look at it.

[00:24:48] Dahna Borg: I’m just gonna look at it and stress myself out some more. It’s pretty, it looks nice on

[00:24:52] Alana Paulin: Nope. See you need Dateless.

[00:24:54] Dahna Borg: and yours are pretty, and they sound like they’ll stress me out a lot less.

[00:25:00] Alana Paulin: they will, and they’ve got lots of cool resources in them that’s not just, it’s not just a planner. There’s so much stuff in there for managing your money and setting goals and planning your next exciting business, adventure, whatever. It’s, there’s lots of specs in our planets, so go and check them out.

[00:25:20] Dahna Borg: your new AVID fans. I’ve always loved your branding and what you’re doing. But I might need to be on the other side to be a customer.

[00:25:27] Alana Paulin: part of the canvast gang.

[00:25:28] Dahna Borg: one of the gang. I love it so much. Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show.

[00:25:35] Alana Paulin: Thank you, Dahna, for having me.

[00:25:37] Thanks for listening to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. As always you’ll find the show Forward slash episode 39. Thanks for listening.

Dahna Borg

Author Dahna Borg

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