3 #GIRLBOSSES reveal birth of killer business

If there is one thing you read today, it has to be this. 3 inspiring business women have revealed their secrets to success and they’ve given the best damn advice…

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How did they do it? Were they always this successful and glamorous? When did they take the first step to kick start their career?

If you’ve been asking these questions about inspiring and influential entrepreneurs for some time now, know that you are not alone. Their lives may look ‘put together’but remember, people are praised in public for what they’ve practiced in private for years.

This month, we sat down with 3 successful #GIRLBOSSES and asked them 5 questions. To our delight, they’ve told us about their first job through to the light bulb moment where they came up with their killer business idea.

Keep reading if you’re ready to be inspired…


Lucy Glade-Wright: Hunting for George

Lucy Glade-Wright Hunting for George

Tell us about your very first job.

LGW: My very first job was in the food court at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast. I was 16 years old and for two horrific weeks they had me on cleaning duty, prepping food and unsuccessfully mastering the coffee machine. I quit after seeing the cook pick his nose during service. I got out of there, scored a job in retail and never looked back. To this day, food courts still give me chills.

Tell us about the moment you came up with your killer business idea.

LGW: About five years ago I designed a print for a friend’s birthday. It had the words of a Dr. Seuss novel typeset across the page. When I showed it to friends they really liked it and asked if I planned on selling it. I wasn’t planning on adding it to the Hunting for George website but eventually I thought ‘why not?’ and within a month it became our best selling product. This was the very first product we designed in-house and it kick started our own signature range of Hunting for George products. This was a defining moment for our business and to this day, that print still remains in our Top 10 best selling products.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?

LGW: We launched our debut bed linen collection in 2010 and the work behind the scenes to make that all happen was definitely the biggest challenge we’ve had to date. We threw ourselves into the deep end and had to navigate the many difficult pitfalls associated with manufacturing overseas. We worked things out the hard way but it was all worth it to see our collection succeed and quickly sell out.

What’s your secret to success?

LGW: Hard work and plenty of it.

What is one piece of advice you would give to encourage someone to pursue their dreams?

LGW: Don’t throw in the towel if you fall on your face. Shake it off and keep moving.

What’s next?

LGW: If I told you it would ruin the surprise.


Monica Phromsavanh: ModaBox

Monica PhromSavanh ModaBox

Tell us about your very first job.

MP: My first job was at an apparel wholesaler in Buenos Aires when I was 15. (I was born and raised in Argentina.) I was young and hungry (literally!); I saw a sign in the window, walked into the shop and got the job.

I started in sales at a very young age and the skills I began developing from that first day formed the foundation of my career as I continue to grow as an entrepreneur.

Tell us about the moment you came up with your killer business idea.

MP: When I decided to launch ModaBox, the business model already existed in the marketplace. I knew I could create something better than what was out there but it wasn’t until I realised that simply being in New York gave us access to designers and stylists that our competitors did not have. When we began to pitch our concept to the designers with whom we wanted to form exclusive partnerships, I knew we had our true differentiator – and had found the thing that would truly set ModaBox apart.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?

MP: The biggest challenge to any start-up is convincing the right people that your idea is a great one. Timing is a key element in getting funded, and right now the retail industry is in flux – scaring off many investors. But people will never stop shopping so it is only a matter of how and not if. The challenge is to continuously refine the plan and message and making sure to never miss an opportunity to add the right strategic partners.

What’s your secret to success?

MP: Never stop no matter what lies in front of me. I have faced long odds my entire life and I would never have made it this far if I let seemingly insurmountable obstacles deter me from my goals.

What is one piece of advice you would give to encourage someone to pursue their dreams?

MP: Your confidence will be the thing that lets you achieve anything you dream of. Have a plan and prepare for all possibilities, but most importantly know always that you will succeed. If you have a bad day and you carry it over to the next, all of a sudden you are having a bad week that can turn in a bad month. Wake up every day with a clean slate and the confidence that yesterday’s struggles won’t affect what happens today. I would tell them to surround themselves with a community of inspirational and intelligent friends and mentors. Being an entrepreneur isn’t the easiest career path, but if you pursue your goals with passion and integrity, you’ll attract a support system that will become one of your greatest assets.

What’s Next?

MP: Continue to grow and learn everyday personally and professionally.

One day invest my time and money in other female entrepreneurs.

I’d love to someday be able to focus all of my time and energy toward philanthropy and giving everything back. I want to change people’s lives, especially those of underprivileged women whose stories might be similar to mine.


Lana Hopkins: Mon Purse

Lana Hopkins Mon Purse

Tell us about your very first job.

LH: I started the first baby sitters club in Armadale. I recruited local babysitters and we would babysit for the community, I loved it!

Tell us about the moment you came up with your killer business idea.

LH: In late 2013, I realised that I simply spent far too many hours pounding the pavement, looking for the perfect handbag. Yet, nothing was perfect, and I wanted perfect. Why pay premium prices if it isn’t exactly what you want? I remember sitting in my car in the Westfield Bondi Junction car park, and thinking that there simply had to be a better way. I realised, if it was possible for kids to build their own teddy bears, people to create their own custom Nike shoes … there simply had to be a way to create high quality, luxury, bespoke handbags. I had a vision… to create an elegant, state of the art bag builder, and then follow this up with high quality, customisable and bespoke creations, delivered to your door. So, during 2013 and 2014, I travelled the world looking for the best tanneries and ateliers, we hand selected quality leathers and raw materials, and employed incredibly skilled craftsmen. I also found some great software engineers to turn our vision into reality.

What’s your secret to success?

LH: People- nothing happens without the right team.

What is one piece of advice you would give to encourage someone to pursue their dreams?

LH: 1. Just go for it and back yourself. 2. Stay focused on one thing at a time. 3. Build an amazing team of talented people around you. 4. When you feel like giving up, don’t.

What’s next?

LH: Mon Purse have immediate international expansion plans; the northern hemisphere is our main focus. We are finalising a Myers-style distribution deal in the UK, and plan to launch into US department stores in late-2016 via a collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar US Executive Editor (and fellow Australian), Laura Brown. Brown will be designing a capsule range of bags that will become permanent customisable stock.

 

This Article was Publish in Fashion Weekly Written by Stacey O’Keeffe

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