It’s not an easy or quick route to becoming a world-famous custom shoe designer; in fact, I would hazard a guess it is likely a long and possibly tortuous road – but then, I’m not into fashion in any way (just ask my kids!) so I will take Aileen Day at her word.
And her word is pretty good – while she’s building up to cult-footwear-designer status, Aileen runs Meraki Business Solutions, something a world away from footwear, but located in the heart of Cardinia Shire.
Named after a Greek verb meaning “To do something with love and creativity”, Meraki Business Solutions is all about working with other businesses to create an experience for their customers, which will result in customer loyalty and help keep the doors to their business open. Meraki Business Solutions aims to make those businesses “hero brands” to all of their customers, both internal and external.
Based in Pakenham, we’re lucky to have Aileen here, as her customers come from anywhere from locally to across south-east Asia. While she has no plans to expand at the moment, Aileen is increasing the number of business workshops she runs, as she transforms her own business from a one to one model. This means more opportunities for more businesses in Cardinia to benefit from her knowledge and years of experience as (former) Customer Service Manager for Bunnings and Officeworks, Australia and New Zealand.
While there aren’t many customer experience consultants around – the closest that’s more common would be (finance) industry consultants such as Deloitte Consultancy Group – but that works to our advantage given Aileen’s skill-set can be applied to a wide variety of businesses, from home builders through the beauty industry to event management and more. It also happens that not having close competitors means that services are often complementary, and collaborations are possible.
The part that I really like about what Aileen has to say about what she does with Meraki, is the no b.s. approach to most things. In her words, “I am highly skilled in what I affectionately call ‘pivoting’. I spent 20 years in a high-pressure environment where no sooner had you launched one thing you were running in a new direction creating opportunities in another. To some this can feel overwhelming, but I have learnt that if you are not continually pivoting, you are not innovating. You are not changing; you are not growing. So pivoting is pivotal. I understand how difficult this is so what makes Meraki Business Solutions different from many change makers is that we want to be there to walk you through your business changes. Not just spew some recommendations and take the money and run.”