I started Winmill Creative 2015

I had a very basic website, my degree in photography from Wintec and very little on the job experience.

What I did have was a fresh face and loads of enthusiasm. I knew I had a long tough road ahead and that I wanted to make photography work as a career, for me and my family.

I had vague notions of what I wanted my business to be,

when I stumbled across Network NZ on Facebook. I found my place in the community and thrived. I realised how much I loved the online space. My enthusiasm, helpfulness and skill was noticed by the admin, Michelle Goulevitch. She invited me to become the NNZ endorsed product photographer. It's been a huge honor to serve the members of NNZ and watch their business flourish and grow.

NNZ Has been my think tank, my cheer squad and where I have met amazing and wonderful friends. I found exactly where I belong - not in an office or working for a big agency.

I belong immersed in the grass roots of the New Zealand small business scene, helping where I can, to weave the threads together so we can all grow strong brands, support our families and our communities.

I had no idea just how hard growing my very own business would get, how dark some days would be, how the beauty of other days would make all the struggle fade away.

I would have been lost without NNZ.

I am still enthusiastic and passionate

I also wear the battle scars of my journey through setting up my small business. The late nights, the self doubt, the struggles with balancing my home life and work life.

I watch new people posting in business groups, SO excited, in their 2nd week running their very own business and watching them feel despondent that they aren't making very many sales.
I can sympathise, I thought it would be a breeze too! Christmas of 2016 I was ready to pack it in, I clearly wasn't out for this run your own business thing!

Growing your business is like birthing a baby.

It hurts.

It's hard.

There are long nights and stressful days.

Just when you think there is no way you can possibly go on, something happens and it all starts to fall into place.

It doesn't mean you magically have no more late nights ahead, but your effort starts getting results!

So there I was, about to give up, when my original vision popped back into my mind, "Winmill Creative". I chose that name specifically because I had a sense that my biz was not going to be one thing. It would lay its foundation with product photography, but I always had a sense it would evolve into something more.

I decided to step back and focus on up-skilling

my design and social media skills through watching, learning and practicing with my partners social media presence - Guitar Studio.

The moment I stepped back, I started getting regular work, not just photography either!

I was so flat out helping my partner prepping for the launch of his social media, and all this work started pouring in, and it hasn't stopped since.

My final words . . .

I care immensely about you and your business, I would love to help your brand thrive.

I know the pain and hardship that comes with building your business from the ground up.

I know how amazing every little victory feels and I want to be there, helping you along the way.

Danni Winmill - Director at Winmill Creative