Megan Gale: ‘I trusted the wrong people’
Australian supermodel Megan Gale has revealed in a candid post on Instagram that she is closing down her start-up business after she "trusted the wrong people".
The natural skincare brand for babies and children, Mindful Life, was six years in the making from concept to reality, and was launched 18 months ago.
"After a lot of consideration, I am making the hard call to close my online store," she said in the long video post.
The news comes after she emerged on social media last week with an update of how she was coping after the death of her brother, Jason Gale.
"Last week I posted a video and I touched on that I have been going through a fair bit of stuff this year - aside from what had happened with my brother, that stuff I was referring to has to do with my business," she said.
The supermodel blamed the business troubles on an unrevealed "third party".
"When you are a very small basic start-up and you don't have a lot of infrastructure and you don't have a lot of things done in-house, you have to outsource certain responsibilities and tasks to third parties, other businesses, which is what I had to do," she said.
"In short, I trusted the wrong people … in some pretty major elements of the business."
The supermodel said she had been "super proud" of the business, which managed to withstand COVID as sales continued to come through.
"It's not been without its challenges, however. I knew going into a start-up it wouldn't be without its challenges. I was prepared for that. I was warned about that," she said.
"What I wasn't prepared for was that these teething issues would grow into big issues, that they would be ongoing and they would be just ceaseless, really.
"It's got to the point where these issues are quite insurmountable."
Gale said running the business solo has been "particularly challenging" and "a lonely path … not having someone there in the trenches with you".
A clinch point was when she realised that the business wouldn't be able to deliver stock in time to customers.
"It wasn't until I got to about June this year when I realised how much time I'd lost and how I couldn't come back from it," she said.
"So at that point I was completely spent. I mean, I'm a pretty tough chick, I've got a lot of fight in me. I had used up all of my reserves of resilience and tenacity and just sheer determination."
Ms Gale said she didn't want to outsource to other people and start again because she was "physically, mentally and emotionally spent".
"So I got to that point in June and said, 'That's it, I'm done'."
"If they were things that were in my control or stuff-ups that I had caused, I could at least own that and try to remedy it and fix it, but when it's something that someone else has done and it's out of your control, there's such an incredible amount of helplessness," she said.
Ms Gale spent two weeks in quarantine when she went to Perth for her brother's funeral after his sudden passing which she said gave her "a lot of time to think".
"There's nothing like the death of someone extremely close to you to make you stop and take stock and reassess what you're doing with your own life and underline the complete importance of how precious life is and what little time we really do have here."
Fans poured in heartfelt messages including Australian fashion designer Alex Perry who commented: "Family is everything my beautiful friend … EVERYTHING! The rest can wait."
Podcaster Samantha Gash wrote: "You have tenacity, strength and resilience in bucketloads - but I love how you know where you want to place it. Your self-awareness and reflection is extraordinary. Lots of hugs."
Founder and editor-in-chief of beauty site Gritty Pretty Eleanor Pendleton wrote: "Thank you for always being your most honest and authentic self, beautiful lady! You don't have to but we thank you - you're helping so many others going through the struggles of small business right now. Your decision would not have been easy to make - but you've made it with bravery, courage and learnings all the while experiencing deep loss and grief."
Ms Gale said she wants to focus her time on being around her children, River and Rosie, "rather than fighting and struggling and doing all this with the business".
"This is the first time that I've actually contemplated just stopping and just shutting one door and just leaving it open for whatever," she confided.
She said she is still going to continue to sell the stock that remains.
"It's a shame to close up the whole business, there is an online platform there, a very decent following and some amazing customers but I just need some time to sit," she said.
"Mindful Life 2.0 could come back in a different way, I don't know. If it doesn't I'm OK with that."
Originally published as Megan Gale: 'I trusted the wrong people'