lady startup

'How I turned my side hustle into a multimillion-dollar business at 28.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Dynabook

Before Gabi Saper stumbled upon her multi-million-dollar business idea, CMY Cubes, the social media marketer had given a few side gigs a shot. 

“I had a handbag business. I made chopping boards. I tried different things for fun,” the 28-year-old Sydneysider says. “I just wanted to make some extra money on the side, save, and see if I could eventually do something that turned out to be bigger than I’d intended." 

The bigger-than-intended idea came during COVID lockdowns when Gabi asked her fiancé, Lorenzo Gonzalez, a question about how colour theory worked. With Lorenzo’s engineering background, he answered her by creating what would eventually become the prototype of their original CMY Cube. The cube – made up of primary colours cyan, magenta and yellow – created an ever-changing spectrum of colour.

Intrigued, Gabi tried to buy one online to find there was nothing like it. Spotting an opportunity, they spent the next six months prototyping the product, then launched their business on TikTok in January 2021 with a video that went viral with three million views and thousands of pre-orders in the first month. 


Three years later, CMY Cube is now a multimillion-dollar business with fans worldwide who rave about their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) and sensory toys. With such massive growth – which now includes a team of 10 who work remotely – Gabi has learnt A LOT about going from a side gig to running a mid-sized business. 

“Becoming a boss of a company was never something that I ever imagined or intended,” says Gabi. “In a regular job, you don't get taught how to be a boss or how to be a leader, so you kind of just have to... figure it out.”

Here, she shares the lessons that helped take her business to the next level.

The art of getting the right help at the right time

“Right after I went full time on CMY Cubes in September 2021, I realised the first person I needed in the team was an EA/customer service manager. She was the first person I hired and I've had her ever since,” Gabi says. “That was a game-changer for me.” 

As an entrepreneur, it’s natural to wear numerous hats, but as your business grows, freeing up your time so that you aren’t constantly weighed down by the day-to-day is important. So, when you’re starting small, how do you work out who needs to join your team next? 


This is what’s worked for Gabi: “In our regular huddles, Lorenzo and I outline the time-consuming tasks that neither of us wants to do. We'll talk about our roadblocks and where our bottlenecks are, and then we decide if we need to get help.”

Your choice of tech is everything

When you’re operating an e-commerce business with a remote team like Gabi, reliable, secure tech is essential. “Our laptops need to work really fast. We're all using platforms that take up a lot of RAM. For example, I use video editing apps, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator,” says Gabi. “It’s definitely a bonus if we're all using the same devices, too, then we can seamlessly connect.”

If you’re looking to get your team hooked up with new tech, Dynabook is an excellent option for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Powered by Intel Core Processors, these lightweight, ultra-thin, durable and reliable laptops also prioritise advanced data protection and privacy to safeguard your sensitive business information. The latter is especially important as “business owners in our field are getting hacked, left, right, and centre. It’s absolutely crazy, so setting yourself up with high quality equipment and software you trust can save so much future stress,” says Gabi.

“My partner is a stickler for security,” she continues. “We have password protection apps where we save all our passwords in the vault and we constantly change them. That's a non-negotiable. Everybody has to have two-factor authentication. We've got the security in place, which gives so much peace of mind.”

Keep in touch with your team (but don’t micromanage)

One of the hardest things to do when transitioning from worker to boss is learning to lead a team. It becomes even more of a challenge when everyone is remote, but as Gabi says, there are great platforms to make it easier. 


“I wish everybody could be together, but Enzo and I in our Sydney office, then we've got some of the team in Melbourne and Queensland, and we've also got an offshore team, and staff in the US,” says Gabi. 

Gabi and partner fiancé Lorenzo. Image: Supplied.

“So we’re on Slack or WhatsApp all the time. That’s how we communicate. We'll also have video calls at least once a week where I'll meet with my team to find out what's going on and give them new briefs. We also use a project management system called Asana.”

It helps that Gabi has intentionally hired people with whom she can collaborate rather than handhold. “I like working with people who come to the table with ideas, thoughts and plans because I'm just too busy wearing a million hats to micromanage,” she says.


“So when I hire someone, it has to be somebody who can really take the reins and work on their own, with guidance from me, to get the job done successfully.”

Make a daily 'proactive list'

“It can be so easy to get stuck in the day-to-day, and what I call stuck in a ‘reactive loop’, where we sit there and just put out fires, reply to emails,” says Gabi. “What I've been really focusing on lately, and how I guide others on working, is trying to be more proactive in the day-to-day.”

To do that, Gabi has a “proactive list”. “Every morning I'll look at my proactive list and see what are two or three things I can do today, so that at the end of the day I can feel like I've actually completed something, rather than just dealt with problems, which can be a lot.”

It’s a hard lesson she learnt in her first year of the business. “When it’s your own business, you’re constantly drained by the thought of ‘I need to work harder, I need to work harder, I need to work harder’.

“Unfortunately – and fortunately – I made big mistakes that have led me to realise that I should put boundaries in place.”

If that sounds hard to do, Gabi hears you, but she shares: “The minute you step back, you'll start to see that it's actually in your favour.”

Maximise your productivity at work with Dynabook's range of best-in-market quality and reliable laptops built for business.

Feature Image: Instagram/@cmycubes/@scalewithgabs

For more information about Dynabook laptops for your business, or call 1300 396 226.