24 hours with Caramelicious

Name: Breena Tremsal

Job title: director/accounting & marketing manager.

About the company: Caramelicious (a finalist in Food magazine's confectionery category for 2013!) is a French artisan caramel production outfit in Victoria. A family owned business, Caramelicious produces four varieties of caramel: Cocoa, Cocoa Hazelnut, Vanilla and of course the famous Salted Butter, all with no artificial flavours, no colouring, no preservatives and gluten free.

What are your primary roles and responsibilities in your job? Give us a day in your working life. 
I am involved in day-to-day running of all aspects of the business. Balancing the family life around Caramelicious is quite challenging; and not every day is the same.

My job mainly involves:

  • Processing and replying to emailed, posted, telephoned and faxed inquiries
  • Process orders
  • Organising promotional activities such as food fairs and expos
  • Contacting media to spread the love of Caramelicious
  • Doing lots of research, contacting other businesses which we can work with and send samples to
  • Improving business processes and production processes
  • Combining my photographic skills with illustration and design to create marketing flyers, recipes and promotional brochures.
  • Website editing and updating
  • Paperwork – accounting and bookkeeping, bills to be paid, money to be collected!!
  • Staying up-to-date with the social media platforms
  • The fun part: add and date the labels onto the jars
  • Business planning – keeping track of what we’ve been doing, and coming up with new ideas to develop the business

What training/education did you need for your job
My family runs their own business back in Mauritius, so from a young age I was learning how to start a business and develop it. Mainly I’ve gained my experience on the field, by sharing ideas with others, and doing lots of research. My motto is “learn as you go”, my vision is to produce a lifestyle where work and passion are practiced feasibly through my ‘can-do’ assertiveness. I’ve combined my creativity with a degree in multimedia design and business management.

How did you get to where you are today? Give us a bullet point career path.

  • Graduated from high school in 1999
  • Studied at Curtin, Perth in 2000
  • Back to Mauritius work and studied Business Management 2001-2002
  • France, School of Communication Design 2002-2003
  • Back to Melbourne Degree in Multimedia Design 2003-2005
  • Worked at P.I.C Management, looking after the design, Admin & Marketing 2005
  • Involvement in Volunteers Association Inc; Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Program Co-ordinator. 2005-2007

When my baby was on the way, I started working from home and started a new business, selling handmade paintings for kids’ room as well as wedding stationery.

In 2011 when Remi [husband] hurt his back I went back to the real world; worked for Sensis Pty Ltd, as Online Production Specialist in 2011.

At the same time we founded Caramelicious and since then I’ve concentrated all my energy into developing the new business. It’s been exciting!

What tools and/or software do you use on a daily basis?
Photoshop, excel, illustrator.

What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your professional life?
I'm most proud of being an entrepreneur and making it happen, by expressing respectful opinions, with a conscientious attitude, and being hard working. I have always remained true to who I am.

The fact that I have taken risks and have created a business that is aligned with who I am as an artist and being able to work alongside my husband to create a business we would gladly pass on to our boys.

Biggest daily challenge?
Feeling awkward about chasing an invoice! You feel like you’re the “rude” one when you have to call people who have to pay their bills. Getting the accounts up to date is a challenge.

Balancing the family and work life – it’s hard when working from home. For example, I’m on the phone with some clients, and might have my son dancing in front of me or asking a question just at that right moment! Or I might have to feed the baby! Having sleepless nights, but still needing to keep going.

What is your biggest frustration in your job?
Finding time to manage so many things at the same time. Getting my husband to do one task for me – he keeps postponing it!

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?
Our products are quite new to the Australian market. Because our product is a soft caramel in a jar, we have to increase the awareness of Caramelicious; educate the customers of our products and increase the demand among stockists and consumers.

Sustainable growth, meeting current demand and still having the capacity to greatly increase productivity.

Is there anything else about your job you want Australia to know about?
It’s rewarding to work with my husband, my best friend. We created Caramelicious together as a team. It’s important to acknowledge that not all your ideas will work and you need to be ready to let go and move on when it’s time.

I am the customer service rep, marketing manager, business development manager and my own cheerleader.

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