Cardi lovers unite! If there was ever a need for a cardigan revolution it is NOW! What with global warming wrecking havoc with our seasons and jet setting around the world, we couldn’t be more prepared than with a beautiful cardi.
Those who know me personally will think of me as a cardi addict – I have one in every colour, shape, length, size. From oversize and chunky to crop and bright – you name it, I have it.
It’s fitting then that I should find the Caridganstore.com – a place where cardi-thusiasts go to shop.
- Occupation: Founder/Buyer
- Company: Cardigan Store
- Place of residence: Melbourne
- Website: http://www.cardiganstore.com
- Facebook page: Cardigan store
- Twitter: Cardigan store
Tell us a little about yourself
Well I am born and bred in lovely Melbourne… perfect cardi weather!
My background is in the retail sales side of Fashion. I did the whole study/work part time in retail when I was younger and now as an Area Manager for one of Australia’s biggest retailers as my ‘day job’!
My cardigan business suits me perfectly as I’ve always been an avid cardi wearer and a bit of a nanna! Now I’m trying to start a cardi revolution!
How did you get your start in fashion?
I have worked my way up from a Casual to Area Manager to Business Owner over many years! The idea for my own fashion business came to me after years of serving customers in store and finding a niche in the market. I talked about it for years with friends and my partner before giving it a go!
Why did you choose fashion?
I’ve always felt a connection and understanding to that world, I guess it has always been an interest… early on in magazines, dress ups, helping in my parents’ business on weekends.
Retail is basically in my blood! There is a long line of family that have influenced me growing up, both creatively and guiding my ‘business/sales’ brain.
Is the fashion industry what you expected it to be?
Yes, I have never been under any illusions about the hard work required in fashion! Having your own small business is A LOT of work, but extremely rewarding when you succeed in your own right!
I always thought going ‘online’ with my business would be easier in many ways… but it has also been more difficult in many ways!
I thought I could save on normal shop overheads such as staff, rent, fitout etc… But gained many long hours photographing product for the site, writing descriptions and content, updating and uploading stock to our back end system. The list goes on!
What does your job consist of?
Day to day my role changes… with any small business you are CEO, COO, CFO, BUYER, PR/MARKETING!
I spend a lot of my time photographing for the site, meeting with suppliers and labels for next season’s stock, getting my head around admin and financials for the site (my amazing partner Alex does most of this), creating graphics and emails for our database, packing and sending parcels to our lovely customers! Plus much more!
Describe your week
This changes day to day, week to week… As my partner and I both still have ‘day jobs’ we work on the business when we come home each night for about an hour or so, we try to structure our weeks.
- Monday might be sending an update to our database, planning our week ahead, pack and send parcels.
- Through the week might be updating our financials, spreadsheets, stock control, pack and send parcels, liaise with suppliers etc…
- Weekend we block out a mainly a Saturday morning to photograph new stock, update the site, re-group and assess how we are tracking
- Sunday is my day off! Running the business from home means sometimes you just have to shut the door! Or leave the house for a few hours!
Roughly how many hours do you work per week?
Well! This is the first time I’ve actually thought about it… day job maybe 55 hrs and Cardiganstore 20 hrs a week! I know I’m a crazy lady but I really love what I do and enjoy the challenge both roles give me.
No matter how crazy your day has been, you can rarely take a night off with your own business and its needs!
What are the key skills you need for your role?
Time management, Sales skills, Photographic skills… the list is endless!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The flexibility of hours, learning new skills, all the cardies!!!
What do you find challenging?
Learning about retailing online. It’s a constant challenge to compete with really players both in Australia and O.S, our nice strong Aussie dollar at the moment means shoppers can get a bargain from O.S!
Trying to fit everything into a 24hr day!
What do you do in your time off?
Hang out with my partner Alex and our very spoilt and crazy ‘child’ Fred the Shitszu! Catch up with girlfriends for brekkie or coffee on the weekend. We also head down to Lorne to get away or just couch time at home!
What’s the highlight of your career so far?
Highlights would have to be, being nominated for COSMOPOLITAN Magazines Fun & Fearless Entrepreneur Award! Voting is still live till Sunday May 8th!
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in fashion?
I love this quote: “Don’t undertake a project unless it’s manifestly important & nearly impossible” (Edwin Land)
You have to love what you do! If you believe in something take it as far as you can! Ask for help too, I don’t know any one that can do it all on their own.
Finish this sentence: Fashion is…
… lots of fun and hard work!