Miyo Fallshaw was working hard on Christmas Day 2014 in preparation for her kids’ clothing brand’s Boxing Day sale when she had a revelation.
“I thought ‘this is ridiculous, this is not how I want to live life – to be so busy that I couldn’t actually enjoy Christmas. What’s the point?'” Miyo told Mamamia.
“The point of having your own business is to enable you to have flexibility and to have good choices, but then, in the end, it felt like a ball-and-chain.”
The business she had built up from a friend’s market stall to a thriving clothing empire was growing in a way she suddenly realised wasn’t working for anyone, including her or her two young daughters.
At the time Oishi-m had a physical store in the Victorian coastal town of Torquay, an online store and a wholesale branch that provided clothes to more than 100 stockists in Australia and internationally. Miyo realised something had to go.
That something, the Victorian mum soon decided with input from her fellow founder Fiona McPherson and staff, was to cut the wholesale arm of the business.
"We decided to focus on servicing on our consumer customers better, and I guess also not having to always make compromises with all the various stakeholders all the time," Miyo told Mamamia.
"Rather than working on three small businesses, we could really focus on our retail and web as one larger retail business."
While the change didn't immediately save Miyo time, it was a great boost to her mental health. Rather than trying to make three aspects of the business perfect, she could refocus all that energy and attention spent on wholesale to the online and physical store.
"It was really difficult though, we'd built great relationships with our retailers... but we realised we can't be everything to everyone and we couldn't spread ourselves thin and expect to grow in all these different areas as well."
From a marketing degree to marketing a brand new business.
Now, Oishi-m is a multi-million dollar clothing brand that has developed a cult following for its Australian-made kids' clothing and footwear. Runs of its stock regularly sell out and the business has customers in 37 countries.
But when Miyo joined Oishi-m in 2006, it was just her friend Fiona's market stall and a range of clothes she sold to family and friends.
Miyo, who was then studying a marketing degree, was examining the business Fiona, who has since left Oishi-m to pursue womenswear, had started, as a case study. It was then she decided to get involved and became a co-owner, taking over the marketing side of things.