Girl Founder Inspo: Rebecca Young, Capital Chemist Chisholm
We are excited to bring you a new series of interviews highlighting female entrepreneur role models in our communities!
Introducing Rebecca Young of Capital Chemist Chisholm
A bit about Capital Chemist Chisholm:
"At Capital Chemist Chisholm, we are committed to providing excellent health care in our community. We proudly offer professional advice and services that extend beyond the scope of traditional medicine and dispensing.
As the winners of Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Pharmacy of the Year 2020 and Capital Chemist Pharmacy of the Year for the past two years, we strive to uphold the Capital Chemist ambition of providing outstanding pharmaceutical health service and making real contributions to our community."
Question 1: Where did your idea (or interest in your industry) come from? Was it something you have always been passionate about?
I grew up working in my Dad’s pharmacy in New Zealand and was always interested in healthcare and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I originally wanted to do medicine and was on the waiting list after my first year of University but they didn’t take anyone in my year. I was devastated at the time as I thought medicine was the only option, however, my Dad convinced me to do pharmacy as he knew I also enjoyed the business aspect of pharmacy and I am very glad he did! I get to combine my love of healthcare and owning and operating my own business and haven’t looked back.
Question 2: What gave you the confidence to get started? Or the resilience to keep going?
Ownership wasn’t something I planned when I moved to Canberra but after I was asked if I would like to be the managing partner of Capital Chemist Chisholm, I seized the opportunity as I knew that opportunities like this don’t come along all the time.
Having grown up in community pharmacy, I understood the risks and commitment involved with running a small business and felt I had enough prior experience to utilise my knowledge and skills and run my own business.
There have been some exceptionally challenging times and when we have been faced with these situations, I know that my team and community rely on me and my business and this always helps give me the drive to keep going.
Question 3: What skills have you learned along the way as a Girl Founder (Female CEO / Founder) ?
- Always look after your team and develop your leadership skills – you can’t run a good business without them
- Always strive to give your customers the best customer service at all times and listen to their needs.
- You need to be prepared to change to continue to be at the forefront of your profession – learn from other industry leaders
- Look after yourself – take time to exercise, go on holiday and always make time for your family and friends. You still need to enjoy life.
- Triage – you won’t ever be able to achieve everything in one day so you have to learn to prioritise
- Form a support network and don’t be afraid to ask for help
Question 4: What did you learn from a hero or mentor? How did you find them?
I have a number of mentors but my first mentor was our group accountant. I wanted to do the bookkeeping for the business and asked for her help. 11 years later, I still call her and seek assistance. She has an incredible work ethic but always balances this with time away with family and friends which I think is very important as you need to be able to switch off from the business at times. She also taught me how to understand what the numbers mean and cash flow which I believe is critical for success.
Question 5: Why do you think more young women should consider becoming Girl Founders? Why do women make great business owners?
Being an owner gives you flexibility and satisfaction that you don’t achieve by working for someone else. I think women are often more empathetic which in turn makes us great leaders and business owners. After becoming a mother, I am able to juggle things even more and have become more compassionate and understanding which has further strengthened our team and my business.
Question 6: Any last advice to give to young girls ?
-Gain as much experience as possible and keep learning
-Always lead by example
-Learn from your mistakes
-Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions
-Always respect and look after your team – you can’t work solo
Question 7: How has your business pivoted during COVID?
Our business has changed significantly during COVID. We have had to review and develop roles, teamwork and communication has been more important than ever as we had to split our teams but it has highlighted to all our team why this is important. We have utilised automation where we can and online meetings.
We have also learnt that we can’t take anything for granted and must always be quick to adapt in order to survive and succeed. Many of the changes we implemented during this period will remain in place today and I think our business is better for it.
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