5 minutes with Karen Hellsten of Mountain Wine Tours
First up is Karen Hellsten of Mountain Wine Tours.
About Mountain Wine Tours
Karen and her husband Ray started Mountain Wine Tours in 2013 to support the Moreton Bay region and operate tours to wineries, microbreweries, and other local attractions in and around Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Somerset Valley, and the Scenic Rim region. They pride themselves on providing personalised, informative, and fun tours for small groups, while also supporting local businesses.
Prospa helped Karen with a small business loan to build their soon-to-be-launched new website and booking platform. Karen says: “For us to be able to go to the next step [in growing their business] we were in need of finance. I have tried dealing with bigger banking corporations to no avail, what I found is that Prospa are for small businesses.”
Read on to learn more about Karen and Mountain Wine Tours.
The challenge for the industry is… finance. Having no access to finance to get your business idea off the ground or to grow is a challenge.
The things I like about my business is… meeting and connecting with new people, you really get to know your guests, where they come from, likes, dislikes and much more. At the end of the day, you can see your guests have really enjoyed their day. It’s also about helping other small businesses and meeting with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
And the frustrations are… having funds to employ staff. In a small business, which is still building, having enough funds to employ staff is frustrating. At present, I am doing every role in my job, which is very exhausting.
If I didn’t own a business I would be… a house mum and volunteering. I like achieving things in life.
My proudest moments were… getting married, having my children, and seeing my business idea working.
The best thing I ever did was… getting married and having children.
I try to relax by… catching up with friends, having a few wines, and watching a good movie.
If I can, I always try to avoid… being negative or being with people who are negative.
I really wish I had… plenty of energy, lots of money, more time, and a duplicate of me!
The best business advice I’ve ever received was… ‘Believe and trust in yourself’.
My greatest weakness is… I’m quite self-critical, and I don’t delegate enough.
And my greatest strength is… I am a go-getter. I go into it whether I can do it and I learn along the way.
If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would… renovate my house.
If I could be someone else for one day I would be a… customer, so I could just sit back and enjoy one of our tours or someone else’s guided tour.
I’ve always wanted to travel to… Finland. This is my husband’s heritage so it would be good to explore and meet up with his family
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