Wish you could afford that designer dress? Well thanks to 20-year-old Briella Brown, your wish has been granted! This savvy, young entrepreneur is the brains behind dress hire business, Your Closet, which delivers Australian designer dresses and accessories from the likes of Camilla & Marc and Josh Goot, straight to your door but without the designer price tag. We caught up with Briella to find out more about her motivation and work ethic behind growing what she describes as a “clothing revolution”.
1. How did the idea for ‘Your Closet’ come about?
I was at school preparing for my school formal and like most girls, I was keen to look special but also had a limited budget. My dad questioned why women spend so much money on a dress that we’ll “probably only wear once”, and that was the light bulb moment! I've been running Your Closet for two years now.
2. What motivated you to go on Shark Tank?
It scared the hell out of me, but it was a brilliant opportunity to share my brand with a national TV audience and the thought of gaining financial and intellectual capital was also immensely appealing.
3. Talk us through your typical day
My days differ depending on whether we are doing photoshoots for the website, but on a typical day I arrive at the office around 7am. I spend some time going through the website, sending emails and packaging deliveries. I then start making phone calls to suppliers and our new and existing customers. Because we are in the business of helping customers feel wonderful and special, I like to speak to our customers and find out a bit about their features and what style of dress they want. This allows me to make suggestions on the style of dress, shoes, jewellery and clutch that will best work for them. After the event, I’m always keen to find out how the night went! I put aside at least one hour a day to read and learn about running a business and stories from other entrepreneurs. Not only is this something I enjoy, I also find it immensely energising. Generally I leave the office around 6.30pm, have some time to relax and then put in a couple more hours from 8pm to 10pm.
4. What has been the most thrilling moment since starting Your Closet?
The moment I realised we had a customer from every state in Australia. This is so important when you are an online business.
5. What’s been the most challenging thing about running your own business?
Every day is a challenge but I’ve learnt that running a quality business is so much more than a product or a service. It requires understanding business relationships, cashflow, negotiating, marketing, staffing, time management, business planning and so much more. I’m very lucky because I’m learning every single day and have had so many wonderful people in the business community assist me.
6. What do you think is the secret behind your growing success?
This sounds a little weird, but I see my business as a clothing revolution! Being able to wear a designer dress, and feel incredibly special, have the dress delivered to your door (regardless of where you live), and all at a fraction of the cost of buying - I think Australian women are catching on! I also have creative and wonderful interns who help me out with the many things that I am less gifted at.
7. What are your short and long term goals for Your Closet?
Short term, I’m passionate about sharing the concept of making women feel special and beautiful in Australia. Long term, we aspire to design a purpose built warehouse to control all phases of the dress hire cycle including the hygienic dry cleaning service. We want our range of products to be strategically enhanced, and intend to align with a range of service and product suppliers, including international designers and eventually expand internationally. That should keep me busy for the time being!
To find out more visit, Your Closet
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