It didn’t go to plan! Tenelle Bond from The Establishment Bar in Dubbo (for those international listeners, approximately 400km north west of Sydney) certainly has an interesting story to tell. Starting a bar was always the plan and having a background in hospitality and retail, it appeared to be a goal that Tenelle was about to proceed toward and conquer.
…then along came Joan.
Inspired by her late Grandmother, Joan is a vintage van that won the heart of Tenelle and launched a successful business called AuRevoir. A travelling hospitality events van that has complimented a countless number of weddings, engagements, community gatherings and much more, forming a fond memory to all of those who have utilised Joan’s services.
As the business grew and Joan’s reputation continued to travel around the area, Tenelle started to reflect and look back on her initial idea of starting her own bar. A concept that was always meant to come first but had to be placed on hold when Joan had come along and brought unexpected business success.
When I reached out to Tenelle over a year ago, it was to talk about AuRevoir – The vintage van business that seemed to be doing great things with an amazing story and persona attached to it. At the time Tenelle was not available to chat and had made mention of another project that was being worked on and in the midst of being launched. Little did I know that it would be The Establishment Bar. In fact, I didn’t completely understand the story until we started speaking in this very episode.
While AuRevoir is still being run by Tenelle and her family, there are plans to find Joan and the business a new home. Tenelle’s passion to run and now launch her own bar has meant that more time needs to be placed on The Establishment rather than AuRevoir. Luckily for Joan, all the hard work is done and shortly she will be able to embark on the next chapter of her life.
This was an incredibly fun chat where Tenelle’s story certainly surprised me along the way. While it didn’t all go according to plan, it has certainly worked out better than Tenelle would have ever expected.
To check out The Establishment Bar in Dubbo and their 1930’s Speakeasy vibe (right near the Dubbo goal mind you!), check out the links in the show notes. You can also say hello to Joan and Au Re Vior in the show notes also.
What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;
1. Personifying the product and creating an origin story – It all seems so natural and genuine when it comes to the story of Joan. I never got to meet Tenelle’s grandmother but when you learn of Joan the van’s story, you almost get a feeling of what kind of person her grandmother was. While I know that Tenelle’s story comes from the heart, from a business perspective, the personification and origin story that can be be created around a business is genius when it comes to tugging at the heart strings and connecting with the general public. If you can make whatever you are doing relatable to others then you’re half way there. As a result of the great story behind Joan, I now genuinely hope that she finds a great new home and continues to bring joy to others. Who would have thought, right?!
2. Reviews/feedback = currency – The secrets and value are in those comments. Having customer’s make the effort to express themselves both positively and otherwise uncovers many tips and answers to making your business succeed. Someone once told me that every complaint is a gift. You can extend this approach to any form of communication you receive from a customer. Take it seriously, thank them and interrogate it objectively to see how you can do better. The feedback can be priceless.
3. There’s always tomorrow. No matter how hard it gets. Don’t give up. – Living in North Western New South Wales, Tenelle used the current drought as an example of the hardships that many people have to go through. While the example is extreme when it comes to the every day self employed person, it teaches all of us that no matter how hard it gets, there is always tomorrow. We need to keep pushing through the tough times, be selfless to others and do all we can to keep our head up and not give up. Whether it be in business or in our general lives, it’s an important message that we should all be preaching and practising.
4. There’s enough to go around – Times are changing! With the connectivity of the internet, more knowledge and information, the old “dog eat dog” environment is drifting away to be nothing but a distant memory. We don’t have to stress as much about competition or holding onto knowledge. Many people are understanding that there is more than enough opportunities to go around and everyone has the opportunity to find their own place in the self employment world. Even I have started practising this when it comes to podcasting by launching a ‘how to start a podcast’ series on YouTube. Search for my name and have a squiz!
Location – Suite 2, Level , 88 Macquarie Street Dubbo, New South Wales 2830