Ride Or Dye: Success Towards a Small Online Business by Catherine Hartono

To recall, it was around April-May.

I was laying on my bed, after doing a Chloe Ting workout. It really was an era of trending workouts and small businesses, especially thrift stores & cookie shops. I had never actually thought of starting one… like ever. Not to mention, Georgie tried convincing me to start a denim custom shop last summer and it never really worked out. From all the snaps that she has been sending me for those past weeks, I’ve laughed most at her 2pm phase selfies, of sitting on her balcony literally soaking in the sun, tie-dyeing her dad’s old clothes and revamping our friends’ hoodies. From that moment on, of course she wouldn’t not tell her own best friend that she’s insanely interested in starting a business, and of course, I myself would love to help!
A shared pinterest board, check. An instagram account, check. A bottle of bleach, check. What else? Right! The customers! Luckily, Georgie and I do have lots of amazing friends that supported us all the way from the start till today! Families and friends started ordering, everything was going so well so far. We were so overwhelmed by everyone’s love with our “Phase 1 color launch” and the amount of gained followers! Since it was quarantine, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere and it was disappointing that I couldn’t help G with the orders- instead, I just sat home and worked on our logo, card designs and posts. The first few weeks were predictable, it was the dream- we became the talk of the town… ish, I guess! All thanks to the power of TikTok, as some of our videos went viral and new influential faces began to order from us.

We’ve went through phases of long, painful and dreadful days and ones where it felt so quiet. After months of starting our small business, we were at 3000 followers – which was pretty HUGE for us. Both of us wanted to aim for more customers & for that we started sending influencers and paying them in return for so much people to come support! We encountered a lot of amazing people out there who were very encouraging and supportive. 

In October, we started expanding our team with more help from Georgie’s parents and her relatives – and even though both me and G had an insane ton of work to do, we still tried our best to spare some time replying to Instagram direct messages (orders) and creating 

content for our page! Since then, many organizations started to collaborate with us, started going to professional shoots (not Cath’s backyard anymore!) & also felt how big this business had impacted on both our lives today.

Still can’t believe we’d still be standing with 14K followers today and not giving up on this while having to manage our stressful school life at the age of 15. So proud of how this all turned out and we are more than excited to launch more items and collaboration with more organizations / businesses in the future!

Hi! I’m Cath & i’m turning 16 this year. I’m a student in Binus School Simprug and as of right now, I am currently enjoying my IB art classes and using my hobby, designing, as a way to spread awareness towards the many issues in the world today. Aside from this, I admire discovering new people, places and aesthetics!
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Catherine Hartono

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