The story of Dual Nation started in early 2017, and was an offer made by the previous owner who had no time to put in in this aspect, and was looking to sell the designs. As with anyone who is taking the leap to become a business owner we all know there are so many aspects we need to take care of before we jump, feet first into this huge journey. Thus, in late October of 2017, the decision was made, and I became the owner of Dual Nation – it took me that long only because I wanted to make sure that my cash flow for the business was stable, and so was my family’s budget.

Dual Nation is a print-on-demand business model, where I create the designs and then outsource my printing to my favourite printers up in Brisbane. I live in regional Queensland and did a lot of research into keeping it local to my home – however keeping in mind pricing and postage prices – I decided to go with my current printers. I did not think, and I still don͛ t think that my customers should be paying huge prices for celebrating their pride. That was hurdle #1.

Hurdle #2 was learning how to create a new website – I wanted it to represent me and be able to control the back-end functions the way I understood them. Now, my background is that of a Coach, and my degree is in Marketing, Management and Business – so making a website was way out of my comfort zone. However – it did happen, and with the help of YouTube and a developer friend – I did learn all about website building – from a landing page, to a shopping cart, to create mock-ups, and pricing!! And what a journey this was and continues to be as I continue to add elements to my website.

Hurdle #3 was finding the right people to pitch to, and to find like minded people who were on the same wavelength as me –the wavelength being that of wanting to be celebratory of the ethnic background/s they had. Now, Australia being a hot pot of mixed cultures, with almost everyone coming here from a country outside of Australia – I honestly felt that this was a fait accompli. That is not the truth – because not everyone shares my sentiment. However, with a lot of emails, lots of research this too has happened. And this is a work-in-progress and will be for the duration of me having the business.

I launched Dual Nation, on the 10th of January, 2018 – and its been a roller coaster ride. There has been huge appreciation, huge well wishing and lots of sales too since then. There is always an ebb and flow of any product or service in any business, and the ebbs are where we as business owners have the chance to relook at our business, add new product lines, concentrate on advertising and so on.

In this journey, I’ve had my own personal ups and downs – some very hard-hitting truths, and some doubtful super late nights. I have doubted myself, doubted what I am doing and doubted each morning as I faced 0 orders, 0 reach on advertising and so on, on some days. And every time, I have bolstered my confidence by revisiting my, ‘why’. I am a huge believer in Simon Sinek’s Golden circle, and I follow that theory in practise – and my, ‘why’ are my kids.

See, I grew up travelling the world and with it came ostracization, with not being accepted, with being the object of ridicule, of bullying – only because I was from a different country and everything that goes with that. And I don’t want my kids to ever feel that they are any less just because they are from a different country. I want them to grow up proud of being Indians and be proud of being Australian citizens – and be able to love both countries equally.

And as I type this, I am working on getting an announcement ready to give my customers the option of being able to choose black coloured tees for the designs they choose. Along with this announcement is the availability of discounts on multiple purchases,and a flat postage rate. And this is what one does in the ebb and flow that I was talking about earlier – you re-centre, you add things, you change things — things that your customers will enjoy.

Do I want this business to succeed, yes – I want to make money from it too – however the base remains the main feeling behind this business. The idea of acceptance, the idea of tolerance, the idea of celebration, the pride that we get to show for our mixed lineages – because at the end of the day we all bleed red, we all have a voice, and we all are important.

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