Gai Williams supports newborn babies

We are on the quest to interview business owners over the age of 60. This week we head to Melbourne Australia and chat with Gai Williams founder of Willby Wind and Colic.


Can you tell us a little about your business and what you do?

After owning and operating pharmacies for over 25 years, I sold my pharmacy in 2016 and started a new business called Willby Wind and Colic. This business offers advice, support and natural solutions to new mums whose newborn babies are suffering from wind, colic and reflux. We have a free advice hotline 1300794232 and we manufacture a preservative free natural herbal mix that relieves the painful symptoms of Colic. 40 percent of newborn babies will suffer Colic symptoms in their first weeks of life and this increases to 70 percent after a Caesarian birth so there is a great need for our services as there are over 300,000 babies born in Australia each year.

What were some of the struggles you faced when you first started?

When I first entered the pharmacy ownership market in 1992 my biggest challenge was convincing a bank to lend me the money as women of child bearing age were still considered a risk then! I was lucky enough to have a male business partner which got us through in the end.
When Willby’s started in 2016 our biggest challenges were very little start-up capital and a virtually non existent database. We had to establish social media and online marketing in double quick time. We knew who our target market was but we had to figure out how to get to them. It turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks if you pick the right courses and business mentors to get you there! I learned an extraordinary amount of stuff very quickly simply through necessity and asking for help whenever I needed it which was often.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learnt in life?

The most important lessons I have learned in life are to grasp every opportunity with both hands and not to panic whenever you take a risk. A Cat Stevens song says that ‘Life is like a maze of doors and they all open from the side you’re on” and I believe that to be true. People often tell me that I am lucky to have always done what I love but I think I have made my own luck by always being willing to grow and learn. Change is constant and if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much room! I love to network and you don’t have to know all the answers – you just need to know where to find the answers. I am not a natural technology person but that is where the future lies so you just have to push yourself to try and learn by your mistakes. Someone once told me there are no failures-they are just opportunities to learn and improve.

What motivates you to keep working after 60?

I am motivated to keep working because I love the challenges and the people and I want to help those thousands of poor mums with screaming babies because why should they suffer when I know we can help them? Too many people I know retire and become lost souls because there is nothing to motivate them to get up in the morning. I still travel and love spending time with my beautiful family but I also want to be stimulated by business interests as well.

What do you like most about having your own business?

I love having my own business because I can take it wherever I want it to go. I don’t have to compromise on morals or ethics and I can design my own and my business destiny and if I succeed I celebrate and if there are problems I fix them.

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

My advice to the younger generation is to find a job or a business that you love and then give everything you can to make it a success. Do not work at something you hate because it will make you and everyone around you unhappy. Take reasonable risks and make sure that when opportunity knocks you open the door! Be prepared to push through the tough times – the world does not owe you a living – you need to contribute to the world. Just do what you love and love what you do.

If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why?

I think I would take a time machine back to the roaring twenties when post war it was time to dress up, be glamorous, take risks, celebrate life and I think it was the start of women spreading their cheeky wings and learning to fly. Swing the pearls and dance the Charleston.

Anything else you would like to add?

Finally, none of us last forever and you have this one chance to leave a legacy so just go for it and with hard work and dedication hopefully your world will be a better place when you leave it.