It seems Natasha Jovanovic and Aisha Jacobs were simply meant to have a business. Friends since their early teens, the two future entrepreneurs talked constantly about making a business. It was a dream. It became a reality.
One of the many late-night phone chats between the friends brought up an issue that would spawn their business plan: a gap in the market for clothing online that was both affordable and stylish.
“It was like a light bulb, we realised that this would be our business,” Natasha tells Dynamic Business.
“We knew it was now or never so we just jumped right in and launched Miss Holly – in our lounge rooms!”
The girls self-funded Miss Holly without outside investments, using their own savings and credits to get stock and to create the website. Establishing themselves in Natasha’s lounge room, the girls made daily trips to the post office to deliver orders made. Two months in, they realised the rapidly increasing demand would make it impossible for them to conduct business in the same way.
“At first we went into a shared office, but we outgrew that within months,” Natasha says.
“We ended up moving to a much larger office near the Sydney CBD, which we renovated and have been working within for the last couple of months. Right now we employee 6 staff and are looking to employ more over the coming months.”
Miss Holly has been experiencing rapid growth since launching in June 2015. The business is registering an average monthly growth of 30 per cent, with international sales making up for 50 per cent of revenue. Aisha says they are expecting the upcoming summer season in the U.S. to boost sales even higher.
When asked what makes Miss Holly different to other brands, Aisha is adamant that it’s the company’s focus on quality, customer service and affordable unique styles.
“Our quality is something we will simply not compromise on. For the price you pay the quality is very high. Customer satisfaction is also very important to us. We always reply to emails from our customers as fast as we can.”
An active social media campaign has been key to the company’s quick rise. Within 6 months, Miss Holly had accumulated over 1 million followers across a variety of social media platforms, a factor they attribute to the constant interaction they have with their customers.
“Content has been our key to rapid growth,” says Natasha.
“We started a ‘Talk to Miss Holly’ program on our social media that allows our customers to ask for advice and tips – on styling, makeup, relationships, anything – in real-time. We love this program, it creates great buzz for us and direct consumer engagement for the brand.”
“Social media allows you to reach a large audience and creates a buzz around your products,” Aisha says.
“Customers can talk to each other and will often encourage each other to make a purchase if they like the product. Our advice is to offer unique content, competitions, talk to your customers and listen to what they want.”
To the many young Australians hesitating to tackle that entrepreneurial dream, Natasha has the following words of wisdom:
“Don’t wait because you are scared of it not working. You have youth on your side and if it doesn’t work then you can pick yourself up and try again. Plan ahead for growth and listen to your customers. Most importantly, do something you love!”