Head along to our Brisbane Cloud St pop-up store in Queen St Mall, from October 29th – November 3rd, to meet Margie and test some amazing cheeses from around the world.
Margie Parsons loves everything about cheese. She turned her passion into a business, after graduating from the Adelaide-based Australian Artisan Cheese Making Academy. But it wasn’t until this year, that Margie took a big leap of faith, deciding to leave her corporate role and open her store, Woodblock Cheese, in her hometown of Brisbane.
What inspired you to open a cheese shop?
Cheesemaking was a hobby that I wanted to turn into a career. So I studied cheesemaking for a couple of years, and I just loved it. I also watched my husband open up his own business to follow his passion, and that inspired me to do the same.
What was it like leaving the safety of your full-time job?
It was very scary. I’ve always had a corporate role, and while I was getting into more senior positions, I wasn’t finding them fulfilling. I was getting calls all the time about other job opportunities and it would’ve been so easy just to take one. But when it came down to it, I didn’t want to live a life where I would regret not taking the chance to do something different. I’m proud that I’ve now done something that’s meaningful to me.
How did you adapt to learning new technology?
My previous role was supporting very large IT projects. This meant I was very comfortable setting up the website and learning new technologies such as Xero, Vend and Shopify. Even so, it was still nerve-wracking because I hadn’t done it before. However it was pretty easy once I got the hang of things. Back then, I wasn’t a big user of social media, but Instagram and Facebook are now two major channels for Woodblock. I’m becoming a convert!
What I’ve found through this process is that passion prevails. As long as I’m working on something that I’m really interested in, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know everything about running a business. I’ve learned that you can figure these things out.
What’s surprised you about starting your own business?
One of the things that I’ve been the most pleasantly surprised about is how everyone who walks into the shop wishes me well. There are lots of other shops in the local area that are really trying to support me and promote my stuff on their Facebook pages, and things like that. So I’ve been really happy about the enthusiasm and level of support people have shown towards me. They want to see me do well. There’s a lot of goodwill out there, which is great.
Would you encourage others to follow their passion?
Absolutely, but you’ve got to really work hard. It’s not easy, and each day brings a new set of challenges. But you get so much personally out of doing something you really love. If you’re not truly happy, it can impact you in all sorts of ways. I think everyone should consider finding something that they’re passionate about. And then make that investment to change their life, if they choose.