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.
Tell us about your role? What is it? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
My role as director of Beginning Boutique is non-stop. I start most days with exercise – whether it’s a run along the river in West End or boxing with friends. I then check social media and post something funny or inspirational on Beginning’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for our followers. Most days consist of organising social media content, replying to emails, phone calls then, of course, the fun stuff like buying and forward planning… and coffee. Always coffee!
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
The brand started when I visited an awesome store in Paris. I loved the experience that I got from the store and wanted to bring this back to Australia. I am passionate about creating an awesome experience for customers. My personal mission statement is to create a shopping experience that is awesome. BB is all about making online shopping fun.
I knew I always wanted to be in business – I remember doing my first cash flow when I was 10 to see how much I needed to earn to purchase the latest My Little Pony. From there my love of horses and business hasn’t stopped!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Michelle Bridges is one of my biggest inspirations after I lost 18kgs in the last year following her lifestyle plan. After seeing her speak at a conference, it has motivated me to share my knowledge and advice with other women when it comes to business and personal life. Building an awesome team of passionate staff that love what they do and have a desire to see BB grow also inspires me every day.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
Cameron Parker, former head of sales and marketing at Black Milk Clothing and owner of thedairy.com.au is a friend and mentor of mine. We have mentored each other over the past few years as our companies have so much in common and we have a lot we can learn from each other. I also am very lucky to be able to talk to Steven Baxter who is an amazing powerhouse. Trudi from Hard To Find is another amazing lovely lady that I get to speak to as well.
What were the stumbling blocks for Beginning Boutique initially and since then?
At one stage, BB was on the brink of collapse due to development of the first website running massively over time leaving me heavily overstocked and with a huge debt. I had to restructure all that I was doing and truly get the business back to making money. Cash flow is king and with a start-up that doesn’t have money poured into it means that you have to really pump hard and go hard.
How did you overcome these?
I now know to listen to the customer and buy for the customer, something that I learnt when I was given untrustworthy advice from wholesalers. Insanely good customer service is something BB invests a lot of time and energy into. Every garment that is sent to our customers is quality checked and hand wrapped with a personalized postcard. I think the amazing team work that goes into giving our customers the best online experience, is what makes BB such a loved and reliable brand. And honestly, never ever giving up.
What are your goals for the future?
There are always massive plans in the works for BB. This year we are focusing on world domination and this will be achieved by focusing on the things we already kill it at like customer service and social media, as well as things that we can improve on like our website. I want to see our business grow with in store experiences as well. And even more customer service!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
It’s going to be way harder than you think so get ready! You need to be super determined to get this working. Are you ready for that?
Check out Sarah’s store, Beginning Boutique at www.beginnningboutique.com.au