Kim Jaewoo and Camille, the dynamic couple behind Kossalii Design, started their journey in Ballarat with a shared passion for forging their own path in the business world. Camille's expertise as a printmaker and Jaewoo's skill as a leather artisan allowed them to combine traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, creating hand-crafted leather accessories that embody their commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Their products are meticulously crafted using materials sourced from Germany, reflecting their dedication to responsible manufacturing. Drawing inspiration from their South Korean and French roots, Jaewoo and Camille infuse their designs with a fusion of cultural heritage and modern aesthetics, giving each piece a unique story to tell.
Despite their exceptional talents and small profits, Jaewoo and Camille faced challenges promoting their brand. Limited knowledge in marketing and networking, along with personal confidence and anxiety issues, became unexpected obstacles on their path to success. Recognising the need for guidance, Jaewoo enrolled in Asuria’s Self-Employment Assistance Program (formerly known as the NEIS Program), which provided him with the opportunity to receive expert business training, mentoring, and support.
Through the program, Jaewoo received tailored support in developing a comprehensive Business Plan, setting the foundation for success. Small Business Coaching with Asuria Business Mentor Leigh further guided Jaewoo in marketing strategies, confidence-building, and partnerships with potential retail outlets. Business Mentor Leigh recognised the importance of confidence in Jaewoo's journey and orchestrated an environment where Jaewoo could showcase and promote his products with increased self-assurance. Leigh also challenged him to expand his networking abilities and elevate his online presence.
The impact of the Self-Employment Assistance program on Jaewoo's confidence was profound. With newfound self-belief, he embraced new challenges and is currently revamping his business plan and customer base to pave the way for success. His website, Facebook page and Instagram page are undergoing transformation, strategically targeting the right customers, and Jaewoo is considering the inclusion of a social media influencer as part of his renewed marketing strategy.
Jaewoo says, “The benefits I got from this program are the possibility to get some guidance through the restructuring of my business, being able to present the new directions I took with it and exchanging with people with the will to help and support the best they can. Obviously, having financial support definitely helps me dedicate myself fully to this project and feel a bit less worried about the possible expenses and investments needed on top of the everyday costs of living.”
The changes implemented by Jaewoo and Camille have garnered recognition and acclaim for Kossalii Design. They were honoured as finalists in the 2022 Victorian Premier's Design Awards under the Fashion Design Category and received a nomination for the prestigious Melbourne Fashion Show 2023. Additionally, they were personally invited to showcase their products at local events in Ballarat, highlighting their growing prominence.
Jaewoo will remain in the Self-Employment Assistance program until September 2023, and Leigh is committed to extending her support beyond that. As Jaewoo continues to shape his entrepreneurial journey, Leigh eagerly looks forward to providing ongoing guidance and assistance, ensuring Jaewoo’s sustained success.
Leigh says, “Mentoring and coaching Jaewoo has been a great learning experience. Understanding his cultural background, how this is a main part of the creation and development of different products and how he has grown into the role of a business owner has been remarkable.”
The future is bright for Kossalii Design as they continue to captivate hearts and minds with their artistry. Each handcrafted piece represents a story, craftsmanship, and cultural fusion. With their passion, values, and commitment to ethical practices, Jaewoo and Camille have not only made a name for themselves in the design industry but also inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs to fearlessly pursue their dreams.
If you have a business idea or an existing small business and would like to learn more about how our Business Mentors can help turn your business dreams into a reality through the Self-Employment Assistance program, click here to learn more.