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War on Imitation

By Mini Latif 3 Oct 2014 12:44:00 PM

Ottoman3 Brow Bar Watergardens

Ottoman3 | Watergardens

Small Business Lesson 362: Imitation is not the highest form of flattery, it's called stealing'.

A few years ago, l thought the 'feeling' of flattery would conjure up positive emotions, filled with endorphins that would elevate me to new heights. With the intent of not being a kill joy and having gratitude for the life l lead, there has been a significant amount of 'imitation' that in the world of business we once called ' healthy competition'. 

However, when did good ol' fashion competition in the market place become reminiscent of gangster imitation? 

When starting in your small business, it is wise of you to list down on your business plan who your competition is in the market place. It is imperative to know not only who is out there, but understanding what your point of difference is in a simple standard response. Trust me, this standard response will melt out of your mouth like honey over a hundred times in the first few weeks of opening your business, because people like nothing more than to 'compare' you with A,B & C, even if you think your incomparable. And if you truly believe you are incomparable, then this exercise should be very easy for you. 

Arrogance in small business is fine to an extent, but if you are busy doing your thang, then you will quickly see that arrogance is a time waste and a humbled approach to how you view yourself in your 'market' is necessary. The advocacy MUST be left to your customer. Just think of the last person who told you how fabulous they were and how much you wanted to punch them in the face! (Sorry, slightly sleep deprived and nearing the full extent of the flu - boo hooo me). Yet, when unexpectedly you are told by your Barista about that cool furniture store down Church Street in Richmond and you are in the market for a cool new buffet in your apartment, well l shall coin the Google term of 'relevancy' here. It simply means, you believe it more because the Barista gets nothing out of this statement, other than being the cool chick in the know! 

So in a time where l have found that my healthy competitors have turned Gangstar on me by either simply copying my brands look and feel, calling in local councils to find a flaw in my store set up, having my products smells, taste and colours copied & my latest greatest one of having a trade mark infridgement law suit delivered by what looked like a google searched letter head pretending to be a firm and serious matter.... l say to this my fellow Small Business FRIENDS - this will most likely happen to you at some point of your career, especially when you pass the 5 year mark. This anniversary date seems to give a statement that you are in it for the long haul and invested beyond that 'I have a dream' moment. In essence, at 5 years you win the award for TOP THREAT DUDETTE - so with your new title l knight you with strips to fight the war on copy cats from Ballarat and wish you happiness on this War on Imitation. After all, we have just been complemented right?

Has this happened to you?

Ottoman3 Brow Bar Mini

Ottoman3 | Mini Latif

Ottoman3 Brow Bar

Ottoman3 Brow Bar Melbourne Central

Ottoman3 Turkish Coffee

Mini Latif takes on the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

By Jess Ottoman3 HQ 29 Aug 2014 9:17:27 AM

The Ice Bucket Challenge seems to be sweeping the world and the interwebs. It was only a matter of time before the challenge was to hit Ottoman3. One of our talented Brow Artists took on the challenge and bravely nominated our Managing Director Mini Latif. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Mini accepted what had to be done. So here it is, the clip of our fearless leader drowning herself in ice cold water. Bravo Mini!

On a more serious note, the Ice Bucket Challenge is all about raising awareness and much needed funds for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or as it more commonly known in Australia MND (motor neurone disease). 

Facts about MND 

  • MND is a progressive, terminal neurological disease
  • There is no known cure and no effective treatment for MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people die from MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people are diagnosed with MND 
  • People with MND progressively lose the use of their limbs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe, whilst their mind and senses usually remain intact
  • Average life expectancy is 27 months 
  • An estimated 1,900 people have MND in Australia 
  • For every person diagnosed with MND it is estimated that a further 14 members of their family and their friends will live with the effect of MND forever 

Follow this link to see how you can get involved and donate. You can choose to donate to help support those living with the diesease or you can donate to the research institute to help find better treatment and potentially even cure MND. 

To Watergardens with Love

By Mini Latif 29 Jul 2014 9:52:42 AM

Mini Latif launches Brow Bar in Watergardens Town Centre

Ottoman3 Grand Opening | Watergardens

One piece of advice l give to a lot of people when they are in the conception stage of starting their own small business, is to take the time to VISUALISE. Some like to call it daydreaming, l like to call it 'planning'. This is the most risk free way of testing your ideas & concepts.... saying them out loud to the mirror works too!

I do not know if this is 'normal', but during my visualisation/planning sessions l even add in 'feelings' to the mix. I assume athletes must do this as well. You know that moment when they run over the finish line and hear the roar of the crowd, the flags flying high in the sky and the camera crews falling over each other to get that first sweaty shot? Yep - this is the level of visualisation l go to and yes l often take very long showers as l no longer have a bath to perform this tried and tested task.  

So it did come as a great surprise to me, when recently one of those visualisation sessions had became a reality & did not have the associated 'feelings' l had expected. 

On July 12th 2014, we officially launched our new Watergardens Brow Bar. This is a huge milestone in my career, as the shopping centre is bang in the middle of where l was raised. It is a testimony to those who have supported my ideas from inception and to those who have loyally followed our journey. 

The reality of running your own business is that the reward is not in completion of a goal and in this case being the official opening of our Watergardens Brow Bar, it is in the survival. As the queues began of people who had come to support my team and l, my body was screaming at me for wearing heels when all l could cope with was trainers, my brain exhausted by the 4 all nighters in a row l had to pull just to ensure the paint was dry in time, and my tummy was to be honest a little nauseous. 

So l took a step back and watched from a distance as our gorgeous Belly Dancer kicked off the celebrations, my Brows Artist twirled their thread to create symmetrical magic to Brows & my Maitre d's welcoming our special guest with Turkish Coffee & delights to say thank you for all the love and support. At that point l realised that this is the feeling of crossing the finish line. It does take blood, sweat and heels - but l would not change it for the world.  

Thank you for having us Watergardens Town Centre & to the communities that come from all over the West & North to experience what we dreamt up in the bath.

Mini Latif xoBLxo

xo Beauty Lover xo

Ottoman3 Brow Pencils

Ottoman3 | Brow Pencils 

Ottoman3 blue chairs

Ottoman3 | Blue Chairs

Ottoman3 Turkish Tile Design

Ottoman3| Turkish Tile Design & Lighting

Ottoman3 Belly Dancer

Ottoman3 | Desert Rose Belly Dancer

Ottoman3 curious little girl

Ottoman3 | Brow Threading

Eyebrow threading trim

Ottoman3 | Brow Trim

Sunrise at the launch

Ottoman3 | Sunrise on launch day

O3 kids

Ottoman3 Kids

Ottoman3 Brow Artists

Ottoman3 | Brow Artists

Ottoman3 team chats

Ottoman3 | Team Chats

Ottoman3 que

Ottoman3 | Amazing crowd at the launch

Brow threading in action

Ottoman3 | Brow Threading

Turkish Treats

Ottoman3 | Turkish Treats for all of our guests

But first let me take a selfie

Ottoman3 | #o3selfie

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