Inspirational Women: Kath Purkis
Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Kath Purkis, co-founder and CEO of global subscription fashion service Her Fashion Box
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
As co-founder of HFB, I created the business from the very beginning a little over a year ago. No two days are never the same at HFB and my day can switch from CEO mode to fashion buyer within hours. A typical day consists of early morning emails before the team arrive at the office, securing partnerships with fashion designers for collaborations, trend forecasting the latest fashion accessories, planning buying timelines, meeting other start-up founders who reach out, looking at the daily data behind our business with google analytics and our backend of the website. I also mentor new interns at HFB and introduce them to our big goals of being a leading subscription fashion service globally.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
I started my first business at 21 years old and always knew I wanted to be my own boss and build a passionate team around me. My first business, fast fashion e-tailer Le Black Book is now 8 years old and was better than a degree. Nothing beats just giving it a go and launching something, if you never try you just never know what’s possible. At 26 years old, I decided I wanted to launch a fashion subscription box and put my focus towards this. Our goal is to ship 1 million Her Fashion Boxes in the next two years. We deliver Christmas every month to women with our fashion subscription box and that is very exciting. I love seeing everyone post their HFB box shots on Instagram and Twitter as soon as they arrive.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I read a lot and draw inspiration from other entrepreneurs both start-up & highly successful. I spend at least 2 hours a week reading websites like Forbes, Tech Crunch, Startup Daily and other business sites. I also surround myself with likeminded people who are walking a similar path, I find these people incredibly inspiring too. I am also inspired by my HFB team, they are all amazing and hopefully I get to invest in their businesses one day. I know we have a few future entrepreneurs here.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
I’ve had a few mentors who have helped shape who I am today and been able to offer advice in both exciting and tough times. I feel it’s very important to have a mentor and someone who believes in you. It’s also fun sharing the journey with them and having your own mini cheerleading team. When I started my first business at 21, I was self motivated and wanted to launch my own fashion e-tail business when no one was doing e-tail well in Australia. Inner drive is very important and it means you will sit tight on the rollercoaster journey.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
I’ve been quite lucky and when I’ve had hurdles with each business I have been able to solve problems and move forward swiftly. It’s very important to have a solid team who have the same vision as you, with this you are unstoppable.
How did you overcome these?
Have great mentors, a great partner, an amazing A-team and surround yourself with great mentors.
What are your goals for the future?
We want Her Fashion Box to be a leading subscription fashion business bringing happiness to women all over the world each month. Personally, I will be an angel investor in other start-ups who have a passionate founder who has great ideas and a solid roadmap. Ultimately, I want to be happy and enjoy each day of my life. Professionally, I want to keep creating & growing businesses I am passionate about.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Just give it a go and don’t waste too much time thinking about the concept. So many people think far too much and delay a launch well beyond the MVP (minimum viable product) stage to the point they never launch. At least if you launch and makes some sales, you are able to validate the concept and then focus on amplifying the business.
If you are passionate about something, make sure you live it each day and don’t wait for tomorrow. Life is short and there’s never been a better time to start creating.