Building a fashion boutique from scratch

On this episode of the podcast, we had the pleasure of chatting with Tahlia Cooper, a local fashionista and entrepreneur who founded the wildly successful Jaeke collection in 2017. 

Despite her initial reservations about starting a fashion label with no previous industry experience, it took Tahlia less than a year after starting her company to get her pieces into the hands of some of Australia’s biggest socialites and on the red carpet of the 2018 ARIA awards. Throughout the episode, Tahlia talks about how she overcame the steep learning curve associated with starting an online retail business and some of the critical mistakes she made along the way. She also highlights how the digital marketing skills she developed when starting the Jaeke Collection helped her find lucrative job opportunities later in life. The show then concludes with Tahlia discussing the importance of entrepreneurial groups centred around empowering women, as well as the future of her boutique.

What we talk about
  • Differentiation in crowded industries
  • The learning curve associated with starting an online business from scratch
  • Leveraging the skills you develop when starting a business into future job opportunities
  • Female-led entrepreneurial groups
Links from this episode
Transcript

 

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. On this episode, I’ve got Tahlia Cooper from Jaeke collective. Did I get that right? Or collections? All right.
[00:00:59] Tahlia: [00:00:59] You did you did it is Jaeke. Jaeke? . Kind of like, cause you
[00:01:09] look like my middle name’s Jae. So it’s spelled J a e it’s yeah, it’s a little bit different to, you know, classic J a Y. but when I started the business, because it’s a Parisian themed boutique, I kind of wanted something that sounded a little bit, you know, unique, and also a little bit more premium.
[00:01:27] And I guess Jaeke kind of just like came into the mix. So that’s yeah.
[00:01:35] Germaine: [00:01:35] Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to, I guess it goes to show, you got to think a little bit more about your name than just sort of coming up with something it’s got to like, like you’ve touched on, it’s got to have that sort of Persian sort of European flavor to
[00:01:50] Tahlia: [00:01:50] it.
[00:01:52] Germaine: [00:01:52] Hey, I mean, that’s all part of sort of the vibe that you’re going for and not bougie, but the sort of premium, aesthetic. We, we sort of jumped right into it on, on this episode so far, but give me an idea of, what you guys do first for those who don’t
[00:02:08] Tahlia: [00:02:08] know. Yeah. Yeah. So basically we are an Australian online boutique.
[00:02:12]we specialize in both men’s and women’s fashion and. Essentially the collection is sort of tailored around what I touched on earlier. Australian and Parisien is Parisian fashion trends. and I’d like to think that we’re quite affordable and we’re quite unique in market at the moment as well.
[00:02:31] Germaine: [00:02:31] Okay.
[00:02:31] And, when did you start the business?
[00:02:33] So I started this a little over two and a half years ago. Now I was working in hospitality at the time. I had a budding career in hotel management and I was thinking to myself, you know, do I really want to be in hospitality for the rest of my life? No offense. I love everyone in hospital, but I just felt really uninspired.
[00:02:53] And I thought, you know, I’ve done. I had a degree in entrepreneurial management. I managed people for a living as well, so I figured, you know, why not fuse those two together and come up with something creative that I can call my own. And it was kind of like, I try to think back about like when, when it started or why I did it.
[00:03:11] And it was one of those things that just sort of. Jumped out of nowhere, I guess I kind of went home and started doing all this research. And, you know, if I look back on what my first website looked like, Oh my God, that thing was horrendous. And pretty sure it has like type of background, but, you know, we all start somewhere and yeah, I couldn’t think of that, that I was just really uninspired and it just, just started the business out of nowhere.
[00:03:35] Yeah,
[00:03:36] right. I mean, it’s, I guess it just goes to show sort of, I believe that businesses started out of an out of a need and a passion and not, not sort of, I know a lot of people who spend time trying to work out, you know, I want to start a business, what’s the business going to be in. And then they do all this research.
[00:03:51] And what you end up with, I believe is sort of, you get into business because you want to. You want to get into business? Not necessarily because your, you have a passion or you have some need that you see you’re solving. I mean, you’ve mentioned you guys are sort of unique in the market. so I would assume that you felt like there was a need for, for that sort of solution or that sort of product.
[00:04:12] And then just sort of
[00:04:13] Tahlia: [00:04:13] same time. I have a really unhealthy obsession with clothes. So I mean like most. Girls my age as well. and I think when I started it, one of the big things that I thought about was, you know, spending all this money, giving to other online retailers and I had this light bulb moment was like, you know, if I have my own business, I’ll have my own clothes that I can access little.
[00:04:38] Did I know there’s so much more work that goes into running a business and then just having a couple of blows on the side. yeah, that’s kind of what fueled a little bit of, the business journey and start and just not wanting to do the nine to five grind as well with big, big factor there too.
[00:04:55] Germaine: [00:04:55] Yeah, especially in hospitality, I assume that can be very tiring, very on your fate and managing people in hospitality. It’s a, it’s sort of a wild ride. I, I, I was thinking about it, like in the restaurant or hospitality space, you don’t really. Ever know what’s going to happen. When you, when you open, you don’t know how many customers are gonna have it, or know how many orders are you going to have?
[00:05:14] You sort of, it’s like every day you just take upon and just go, okay, we’re going to open up and then just go where it takes us. There’s no, there’s no real predictability. At least in a lot of other businesses, you can book in appointments. You can book in meetings. You can book in work. Hospitality is nothing like that.
[00:05:30] So I’m sure there’s an element of when you. Got into your own thing of having a bit more control and arguably a little bit easier. Even you talked about, you know, girls.
[00:05:41]Tahlia: [00:05:41] so 25, almost 26 now, but when I thought a Jaeke, I would have been like 2017, maybe 22, 23, I think. Yeah. Okay.
[00:05:52] Germaine: [00:05:52] So you were in hospitality at the time.
[00:05:54] So you would have had a degree under your belt, sort of finished that up and then gone into full-time work at that
[00:06:01] Tahlia: [00:06:01] stage. So, because I’m in the hospitality industry or in hotel management, I was working nights. So that meant that I could go to uni during the day. So I would always work full time and I would always go to uni during the day.
[00:06:13]but once that finished, I didn’t really. Have anything else to do? I was just working and I was like, well, got to, I’ve got to do something with my degree. And I have got all these skills. and I had a, you know, full French, schooling as well since kindergarten. So I was fluent in French, for 10 years and thought maybe I should do something with my French language and my business acumen and make something of it.
[00:06:39] Germaine: [00:06:39] Yeah. And so you’re based in Canberra or
[00:06:42] Tahlia: [00:06:42] I was when I initially first started the online store, but that’s the beauty of being online. Right. I can take it anywhere. I still have a lot of stocks still down there, but I’m now currently in Sydney and this is purely have a lot more suppliers up here. It’s easier to have those day to day interactions with them.
[00:07:00] Germaine: [00:07:00] Yeah. Yeah. So let’s go. I, I’m definitely gonna get into, sort of suppliers and how you made that happen, but let’s go rewind a little bit. So you, you were in hospitality, you decide that you want to try this business. What, what was the next step for you? Did you. Quit. And then just start the business from, from day one or what was your approach there?
[00:07:24]Tahlia: [00:07:24] well, I couldn’t quit straight away. I mean, if there’s one takeaway, you can’t just quit your day job, you know, you still, unfortunately still, you still need that capital. We still need to be working. but I did go home and after every shift and I would sit there and I would just research because, you know, it’s so hard to find suppliers nowadays.
[00:07:43] And no one, it’s not just a simple, quick Google search either. I really had to do some digging through my socials. And then there’s of course, you know, things I’d never done before, like setting up a website or, you know, getting into digital ads and it was all a really self learning. Journey. so I did that for a while, but the next big step that I took, which is what led me to live in Sydney was I just applied for a social media manager role in Sydney, mind you, like my only experience at this point was creating my own Myron things.
[00:08:16] So I was really going out on a whim and trying to sell myself. Into something bigger than what I was and Hey, it turned out for the best. And I landed a job in Sydney and I learnt a lot on the job there and just building up my own store at the same time.
[00:08:30] Germaine: [00:08:30] Yeah. Well, I mean the saying sort of goes that if you want to do, do something.
[00:08:36]sort of mind blowing. You’ve got to put in the work to get there. Right? You’ve got to put in, you’ve got to do what, what other people don’t want to do or don’t think you should do. And part of that is definitely going out on a bit of a lamp sort of taking a bit of a chance and pushing yourself because if you’re not going to push yourself like.
[00:08:54] Who who’s going to do that for you, obviously, you know, no one’s going to come knocking on your shoulder and go, listen, you know, there’s this job that we don’t feel like you really know much about. And John really qualified for, do you want to come do it? You have to sort of put yourself in that position.
[00:09:07] And, what it sounds to me like is you’re you, you, you’re a bit of a sort of go getter sort of thinking, okay. Like I have to take these steps. I have to take these actions to sort of push myself to the next level. So I you’re, you started your, you moved to Sydney, you’ve got this. Business going, how did you, like, what were the first steps?
[00:09:26] What did you do? Did you, did you sort of work out suppliers first? Actually, even before we get to that, in terms of the pieces that you sell is are those. Custom paces that you design and make more of a retailer than necessarily like a designer.
[00:09:43] Tahlia: [00:09:43] Yeah. So, currently at the moment, I’m definitely just a retailer.
[00:09:47] So everything that falls under the Jaeke umbrella brand, I guess you say, can come from different suppliers that I have. I have a majority of the Marin Sydney, but you know, I’ve got a really niche brand that I work with from Byron Bay. Got a few in puff and Melbourne as well. it just depends. Where I get the stock from, but yeah, I guess when I first started, I was definitely on the phone a lot.
[00:10:10] I was really putting myself out there and, you know, you, you have to, because suppliers, they have their, clothes to sell. Like they’re not going to say no, they want your money. but yeah, I just put myself out there to have a little bit of money saved on the side just to buy the first few bits of stock.
[00:10:27] But yeah, I just. I’ve run everything myself. I did the website, myself, all my socials run myself. and that’s kind of what you have to do when you first starting out as well. Like you don’t have much capital to play with. and yeah, that’s
[00:10:40] Germaine: [00:10:40] well, you’re going to see if it sort of flies and if it gets traction first, especially if you’re doing it, you know, Based off your savings and not like some huge cash infusion from a big sort of investor or something like that.
[00:10:53] You’ve got to work within your limits. There’s no point hiring a whole team. If you’ve got to fire them three months down the line, because your idea didn’t even pan out, you know? so. Did you then source those supplies. So did you have an idea of what you were going to sell then build the website and then get on socials?
[00:11:08] Or did you just start building the website, get on social and start creating a buzz while you worked out what pieces you were going to stop and what pieces you were going to sell?
[00:11:17] Tahlia: [00:11:17] Yeah, I mean, I definitely looked at, you know, you have to think about what kind of, what stays and wherein. So I think when I first started, I was.
[00:11:24] It was spring summer. I found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, and also just looking around the market kind of what my competitors or who I would consider competitors are putting out. and then just tailoring sort of a collection around that at the same time, because I am Parisien. Like themed.
[00:11:42] I definitely took on a lot of Paris trends as well at the time. And tried to fuse that into what, the first collection or first drop was going to be. but yeah, it was just more, you just got to start really, like, I’m not a big planner, as much as they say, you know, you need to work everything out. You really don’t.
[00:12:00] You just need to put yourself out there. I had a really nice beautician at the time. This is actually a really nice story. And she, she runs her own businesses. Well, and I remember talking to her, she’s doing my eyelashes at the same time and she goes, you know, totally, you just need to start posting pictures.
[00:12:16] Like, honestly, you can’t just sit there and mull over what you’re going to do. And when you going to post, just, just start. And I was like, you know what? You’re so you’re so right. And I just did, I just, I got a few models together, some of my friends, and we just took some photos and away we went.
[00:12:32] Germaine: [00:12:32] Yeah. Yeah. It’s so true. Right. You, you just got to start and. Cause people try and get it right the first time. Like, I can’t think of anyone who’s gotten it right the first time. I’m sure. Like you, you think back to even like your photos when you were like 15, you always, you always look back and go, you know, what was I doing at my hair?
[00:12:52] What was I wearing at the time? Yeah. And that’s all to say that you can’t add the very least you’re gonna, you’re gonna look back at yourself and go, like I was young and silly and then like I was doing like trends change. I mean, I had the, you know, Justin Bieber, emo haircut at one point,
[00:13:07] Tahlia: [00:13:07] it’s trending.
[00:13:08] Right?
[00:13:09] Germaine: [00:13:09] Exactly. It was trending. So you look back and you go, I was very stupid to do that or that, that looked ridiculous. But at the time, That, that wasn’t the case and a business is the same thing you just got to start and I’m sure you’ll go back on your Instagram feed and think, ah, like what was I really thinking at that point?
[00:13:24] Like it’s not on brand or it’s not, it’s not what it is now, but then that’s what it takes to mature. Like you, you, you have to do those things to understand what you should and shouldn’t do what what’s gonna work and what’s not gonna work. You can, you can do all the research in the world, but until you actually start doing it, like it doesn’t matter.
[00:13:42] And then yeah. Yeah. You talked about getting your friends on board. I love that. Cause it’s, to me that’s like actually gathering and looking at the resources that you can tap into that you’ve got right there with you because another person would have said, Oh, I don’t have the budget to hire models. Or I don’t know any models or do it for cheap and come up with all these excuses.
[00:14:02] Like, well, just, just get your friends. Like I’m sure if it’s asked your friends, come around, guys, I’ll give you some outfits. We’ll just have fun. Take a few photos. And then you could even ask them to post and tag your tag, your brand in, in those, and sort of start to look at how you can get traction in that space.
[00:14:19] Tahlia: [00:14:19] That’s right. Yeah. Really a network is, there’s the saying? I think your network is your net worth and yeah, definitely. It’s kind of like an unplanned pregnancy, right? I haven’t had, I haven’t had a baby
[00:14:37] I promise I’m not pregnant guys. but no, you’re never going to be the most financially or emotionally ready. as you want to be. And, you know, things are definitely just not going to be perfect or you just really have to roll with it. and you’ve got to let go of the pressure. And, perception of what you think others might think of you as well.
[00:14:56] There’s a lot of stigma around that. People don’t want to go for their dreams just because they think, you know, X, Y, Z is going to think I’m weird for putting myself out there on video, or, you know, you just got to not sweat the small stuff and just take, you know, take it one step at a time and have small incremental goals.
[00:15:12] Germaine: [00:15:12] That’s it. And one thing I’ve also realized is that. If you think that, you know, the pressure of starting and, and all, that’s going to be really difficult and you know, you’re worried about failure. It’s the other side is true as well. Right? If you think that business is going to be easy, once you start doing really well, you then have another, like, you still have the same amount of problems, probably even more problems when your business is going well.
[00:15:37]you know, how do you, like, let’s say you guys just started selling like crazy tomorrow. How do you make that happen? How do you track? Or how do you get the shipping out in time? Because people aren’t going to wait for a week for you to dispatch something. How do you handle any issues that there might be?
[00:15:52] How do you source all the clothes from suppliers? How do you find those things? Like people forget that it’s not, it’s not just. Failure. That’s, that’s going to be challenging, even if you do well, it’s going to be challenging. Like, I think there’s this general idea that, you know, our business, like as long as I do well, like, it’ll be fine.
[00:16:08] It’ll be easy, but it’s never going to be easy. So you might as well, you know, you might as well just try and just accept that this is, this is going to be sort of your life. If that’s the road you want to head down,
[00:16:19]
[00:16:19] Like it’s. Yeah. It’s, it’s just something that I guess comes up more and more for, for sort of even running my business.
[00:16:26]seeing that, seeing that like doing well isn’t isn’t yeah. Gonna make it any, any, any easier, you talked about drops and we’ve talked to other sort of, People before that do sort of that drop model, where basically, this is just for the listeners who don’t understand it is, is I guess it was really pioneered by like sneaker heads and sneakers where, you know, you waited for a certain time and then all the stock just sort of released at that point.
[00:16:54] And then you’d have to wait for a little while longer again, till the next drop. Do you still sort of follow that drop model or now are you more of a. Oh like a retailer, where at any point you can just buy a different, items of clothing.
[00:17:08]Tahlia: [00:17:08] look, I’d say that we are a little bit of both. we still, you know, if I ever do a shoot, everything gets done at the one time and then that will all drop on a specific day.
[00:17:19]I also like to take a little bit of time and he sort of dropped, I do has a accompanying, like campaign with it. just to give. my audience, a bit more of a, you know, personalized field and they can see a video of models wearing the clothing. And it’s, it’s just a little bit better than just, you know, putting things up on the website.
[00:17:36]COVID unfortunately has been really, just a bit of a, you know, a mess, I guess I would say for businesses everywhere, which is that, which has meant that we can’t. do as many photo shoots as we’ve wanted to. not only that, you know, freight prices have gone up, you know, my wholesalers and suppliers, they didn’t have as many stock at the beginning of the, so it really just put a little bit of a stopper on what we could do, but no, still definitely dropping clothing as they come.
[00:18:05] And then also if we have a big range that we want to promote, I’m actually going up to Byron Bay soon. So. Hopefully we will have a campaign come out of that as well. And
[00:18:16] Germaine: [00:18:16] yeah. Wow. that’s a good segue into my next question around, so you’re a retailer and that means that someone else produces the items of clothing and then you use sell it and make you Mark up those items.
[00:18:30] Right. And this is more for the listeners, obviously I’m not trying to your business model. but, but to me, the biggest risk there is. Getting inferior products that don’t quite live up to, to what you’re aiming to do, because you’re sort of relying on someone else to really push through good quality and enough volume.
[00:18:51] How did you handle that? Did you, did you, I mean, you can’t really? Or can you take just their word for it? If they go yeah. Italia, you know, we can definitely make that happen and you just go, okay. I believe you. Or did you have to put in a lot more work than that?
[00:19:07] Tahlia: [00:19:07] Yeah. I think that’s one of my, core values is definitely that any of the clothing that I sell on my website is, a hundred percent quality assured As much as we are fast fashion, we’re not, we’re still slow fashion in a sense.
[00:19:24] Everything’s checked. I try to make sure that all the material that we’ve got, that we use without, it’s, high quality. just because I personally don’t like things that are gonna break in, you know, two minutes, you want something that’s durable and it’s going to last. the whole process of me moving up to Sydney meant that I could go into the showrooms and check things for myself, just because you can’t really tell too much from an image on a computer, or as we said, like taking the supplier’s word for it.
[00:19:49]at the end of the day, they still wanting to push their products out. But I guess that’s a massive learning curve for me as well. you know, buying a, a pack that just didn’t sell that that sucks, but you just, you roll with it and you let take a learning from it, I guess.
[00:20:03] Germaine: [00:20:03] Yeah, it’s, it’s, you’re going to always have things that don’t, don’t sort of fly or take off.
[00:20:10] So it’s, again, it’s just a reality of business. Like you can’t always, you can’t be perfect all the time. You’re you’re, especially when you’re saying it’s selling fashion, online, your. Sort of putting a lot of pressure on yourself. If you think that it’s all just going to work, because people have to look at, look at images, make, you know, make an educated guess on how it’s going to fit on them and then decide if there’s just so many layers.
[00:20:33] It’s not like buying a new phone or something like that, where it doesn’t matter so much. Like, but everybody’s body types are different. How do you, how do you allow for that? Like, do you have a good, like a pretty solid return policy or how do you tackle that side of things?
[00:20:50] Tahlia: [00:20:50] Yeah. we definitely do have a returns policy.
[00:20:52] I think it’s one to 30 days. so it’s definitely, you can try on the product just as long as, you know, your standard tags and things aren’t removed. but to kind of avoid this and alleviate this problem, influences have been an integral part of. My branding as well. and this has just been, I try to get a whole range of sizes and goals, just so that they can test the product for themselves.
[00:21:13] And if they like the product, they’ll post it up on their social media. And it just gives some my audience, a little bit of reassurance and social proof that, you know, we are here for the consumer at the end of the day. And what we’re putting out is, trendy affordable, and hopefully something that they loved would purchase and enjoy it.
[00:21:33] Germaine: [00:21:33] Yeah. How do you tackle that? So do you, do you sort of go out and buy a whole, say know, jackets? Do you buy a whole shipment or a whole lot of jackets at first and then start handing them out to influencers? Or do you buy a small batch sort of tested? See if that’s going to get traction, how do you handle that?
[00:21:50] Because it’s a bit of a chicken or the egg at that point, isn’t it? Because you can. You don’t want to have it on social media everywhere. And then someone clicks through onto your website and sees that it’s not in stock, but you don’t necessarily want to take all the pressure of, you know, buying a huge shipment and then hoping that it’ll sell as well.
[00:22:10] How do you, how do you
[00:22:11] Tahlia: [00:22:11] tackle that? I mean, the, it depends on the supply. You can get some clothing on consignment, which means that, you know, you don’t pay for the goods until they sell. that is really, that’s just been crazy for me because. we don’t have much capital to start off with when you first starting.
[00:22:30] So inventory and your marketing will definitely eat at your wallet. so having, you know, clothing on consignment really helps. but also it’s just, you know, with businesses just about taking a risk, you’ve just gotta monitor fashion trends and you know, what, other girls, the competition of putting out there, what they’re liking to wear.
[00:22:49] And then also tying that back into, why we started in the first place, I guess.
[00:23:36] Germaine: [00:23:36] What’s your competition like, and like, How did they sort of position themselves? How do you see yourself, in the market? Like, are there really big sort of giants that, that, are very much within sort of a similar market to you? Or is it fairly, you know, smaller boutiques, in terms of, and also you only sell in Australia?
[00:23:59]Tahlia: [00:23:59] so we actually shipped worldwide. that was really exciting when I got a few, worldly orders, I guess I got one from the U S which ship to New Zealand and also the UK now, which is fantastic. But yeah, I mean, it’s the digital age, right? You’ve just got to grow with the trends and. new things pop up all the time.
[00:24:19] You just gotta be on top of them. I’m a huge advocate for Tik TOK. I just think that you can learn so much off of that platform and really just, you’ve just got to grow with the market, I guess. And otherwise you’ll be left behind. but in terms of competence, On competition, the market’s always going to be saturated.
[00:24:37] You’ve just got to find your unique selling point or the USP to stand out. When I first started as well, it was all in Canberra. So I had quite this quite a dreaming, you know, the women in business down there as well. And you know, they’re quite supportive. And I think that really helped us grow in the beginning.
[00:24:56] Germaine: [00:24:56] Yeah. So you tapped into, I guess, tapped into that network, as much as you, you could there.
[00:25:02] Tahlia: [00:25:02] Yeah, definitely. you know, there’s heaps of, pages or social social platforms. Now it’s all about women in business and you know, it’s a girl sharing their knowledge and empowering others to, you know, start the, start them entrepreneurial journey, like no more glass ceiling.
[00:25:19] Right. We can do whatever. Oh, we want, and yeah, just, I think that’s what you need to grow the community first. And I’m coming from a small, I guess not country town, Canberra, but we’re small. I could definitely look around and grow that way. And then since moving to Sydney, it’s only gotten bigger. and so I’m pretty excited to see where it goes.
[00:25:38] Germaine: [00:25:38] Yeah, that that’s awesome. That’s really exciting. what sort of marketing, so you’ve talked about influencer marketing or using influencers. Has that really been your, your main way of marketing? No. Have you spent money on say Instagram? Facebook? What, what, what’s your approach been to marketing?
[00:25:55] Tahlia: [00:25:55] Yeah. well basically, you know, since I had started, I had to learn a lot of skills for myself.
[00:26:01]influencer marketing is one thing. don’t take them for granted. You know, we really need influencers these days. They are selling our product and. They are doing it well, and they also have a reliable that loved them and love what they have to say. So I definitely think that is key and very integral to be.
[00:26:20] Yeah. but of course the other one and the big one yeah. Is, digital paid ads. So, you know, Facebook and Instagram, now you need to learn Facebook business manager. You should not be boosting your posts. I don’t know if anyone still does that, but please don’t boost your posts. You need to get Facebook business manager.
[00:26:39] And I think Facebook business manager has a, a free course now as well. So you can just go on there and learn as much as, as possible.
[00:26:48] Germaine: [00:26:48] Yeah. There’s so many, so many places, so many resources that you can access nowadays to just learn whether it’s directly from Facebook or, and I don’t think you should necessarily have to pay people.
[00:26:59] I think, a lot of people make not the mistake, but think that. Paying for courses, is going to get them results. But in reality, it’s the execution. And you’ve touched on that. A number of times, it’s actually the doing and how you do it. that’s going to get you results and not necessarily the feeling that you’re doing it.
[00:27:18]which I think some people just. Trick themselves into thinking, Oh, I’m spending a lot of money on these courses. I’m doing well. You’re not really, you’re just sort of paying people to ingest some information and it’s more important what you do with that information than necessarily, the fact that you got the new information in the first place.
[00:27:35] What do you think about that comment? Do you
[00:27:37] Tahlia: [00:27:37] agree? Yeah, no, it definitely, I think, you know, you have the power to learn just as much as any agency or digital ad agency can do for you and they will charge you so much more of that. if you have the right mindset, you can definitely learn all these skills and upskill and you know, it could lead you to future opportunities as well.
[00:28:01]I love learning personally, and I thought that. If and someone else can do it. Why can’t I, and yeah, I’ve done Ronald that myself. I think I met a guy who showed me a couple of things on the site and it’s just all gone well from there. Really
[00:28:16] Germaine: [00:28:16] what’s your website based on what platform
[00:28:19] Tahlia: [00:28:19] Shopify, which is super, super easy to use.
[00:28:22] And it’s also, it can link, you know, your PayPal and if you have an Afterpay integration, it’s quite seamless. Plus they have a variety of apps, which are super for any sort of retargeting or remarketing. and they can just slip right into your Shopify store. If you use sort of, I think there’s like a Magento platform that’s quite difficult to use.
[00:28:43]Shopify, I don’t know what they’ve done over there, but it’s, it’s really easy to use.
[00:28:48] Germaine: [00:28:48] Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, we, at future theory, we build websites for clients. but for any client who can’t necessarily afford to pay us to build something completely custom for them, Shopify is definitely something that we push them to because.
[00:29:03] Yeah, I don’t know what they’ve done, but they’ve really, really honed in, on sort of setting up a website and they’re setting up a platform that’s quite good, quite easy to manage, but still powerful enough, that people like you can, you know, it’s not going to hinder or limit your business. working with Shopify, We’ve talked about, you know, your, your successes and what’s worked out for you.
[00:29:23]do any sort of things come to mind that, you would avoid next time around not mistakes per se, but things that, things that you can sort of, point out to someone listening, thinking of doing something similar to you? just tips that you’ve learned, the hard way.
[00:29:36] Tahlia: [00:29:36] Yeah. I guess just you need money.
[00:29:41] You need a little bit of capital to start. Just have a little bit of an emergency fund. maybe don’t put all your eggs in one basket. So I guess, you know, sometimes things won’t sell and that’s just, that’s just business. I definitely found that learnt that the hard way buying a lot of stock that didn’t, that didn’t sell and it just sat there for ages.
[00:30:01] And I was like, wow, great. How am I going to get rid of this now? but you know, it’s all learning processes and I think I’m still learning. And you know, when you’re in the thick of it, moving forward is. so challenging, but when you look back, you’re like, Oh yes, I did that step, which led me to this step.
[00:30:16] And it all kind of works out and balances out in the end. I don’t think anything’s a failure.
[00:30:22] Germaine: [00:30:22] Yeah. None of that stuff. Let’s put it this way. If you learn from it and move forward from it. You’re never gonna turn back and look at those opportunities as things that brought you down, it’s where you look at it and, you know, take it too hard.
[00:30:36] Take it too personally is where you can, you would turn back and sort of think about it as, as, as something that really affected you. But as long as you move forward and sort of learn and apply those learnings. At least that’s what I have found. You just look back at those things as little things that, you know, next time around, I won’t buy as much stock, or remember that time that I bought way too much stock and struggled to sell it.
[00:30:58] It becomes more of a, more of a, sort of a talking point than necessarily a point of inflection that, that, had you sort of trending trending downwards? no, I that’s. Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. What, what are you hoping to do moving forward? Looking at the business.
[00:31:16] Tahlia: [00:31:16] Yeah. Yeah. I always have so many plans, you know?
[00:31:19]I definitely think we’re still going to be, growing the community a little bit more. I I’m currently in the works of designing a couple of, Clothing items as well. However, I’ve been saying that for about a year now, but it is coming it’s coming soon. so that’s all just sort of on the back burner, but you know, new campaigns should hopefully be launching once they get up to Byron Bay.
[00:31:44] I’ve also got. You know, I social media girl, who’s going to be sitting down with me and helping me through some of my social tasks, just because it’s so hard to manage these days as well. and keeping yourself accountable for posting every day. it does turn into a bit of a chore, but, yeah, it, I think the future for Jaeke is just to keep the traction, keep going, where we’re going.
[00:32:05]and hopefully just launch more and more clothing.
[00:32:09] Germaine: [00:32:09] Yeah, that’s very exciting. you talked about your community. What platforms are you on and are you using specific platforms in, in sort of certain ways to, to sort of tap into those strengths?
[00:32:21] Tahlia: [00:32:21] Yeah. Yeah. So as it, like I said before, Tik TOK, I take talks only been around for, I don’t even know if it’s been a year, but.
[00:32:31] I love tech talk, but the platform’s gray. Once you get past all the silly dances and the memes and you know, all that kind of stuff, you actually get into an algorithm. And I found myself on business talk. It’s a thing that business talk and this stock talk. So people talking about stocks, there’s all these crazy talks, but I’ve found it super informative.
[00:32:52] And there’s some really, you know, you’re just your everyday people putting up. tips and tricks and I’ve learnt so much from there just in really small digestible pieces of information. so I highly highly recommend lining anything for your Tik TOK community. plus there’s Instagram is my main platform.
[00:33:11]there’s a lot of, like I said, there’s the Canberra based community of entrepreneurs, but there’s also. Facebook pages, and just everywhere around you really, like, I think COVID has really brought out that drive in people to start something of their own. And yeah, you can find it. You can find inspiration wherever you want.
[00:33:30] Germaine: [00:33:30] Yeah. Yeah. And there’s like, like we’ve touched on this, just so many resources out there. There’s so much information that, You almost don’t have a reason not to do what you’re trying to do, but, you know, keeping it mind the realities of like, it doesn’t have to have to quit your job to stop this. It can all, it can be a side hustle that, that you then use to replace your, your main source of income.
[00:33:52] It doesn’t have to be sort of an all or nothing. there’s no reason why you can’t do sort of what you were touching on working nights, studying during the day, and then fitting into business around it and seeing sort of how you can go from there. You you and the J collection and yeah. More about what to buy and what you guys sell as
[00:34:12] Tahlia: [00:34:12] well.
[00:34:12]well with main sources on Instagram, we do have a Facebook page as well. Our handle is at Jaeke dot collection, spelled J a K E. You got to say it with the correct tone. but we’ve also on Pinterest. We’ve got a Tik TOK account now. we do have a YouTube, but nothing much has been posted on there yet.
[00:34:32]so any social channel, just search for Jacob collection and you’ll find that
[00:34:36] Germaine: [00:34:36] and your website.
[00:34:37] Tahlia: [00:34:37] So www Jaeke and it’s hyphened color section.com.
[00:34:42] Germaine: [00:34:42] Nice. Awesome. are you ready for the top 12?
[00:34:45] Tahlia: [00:34:45] Yeah, let’s do it.
[00:34:46] Germaine: [00:34:46] Yeah. AK. So top three books or podcasts that you recommend.
[00:34:51] Tahlia: [00:34:51] Yeah. So I, if I’m completely honest, I used to love writing.
[00:34:55] Don’t get me wrong, but in racing he is, I haven’t really read all that much. in saying that I did read so fear, I’m a Rosso, she’s the founder of nasty Galvin dige. she’s kind of similar, you know, similar to most people, I guess she was a college, not similar to everyone, but she was a college dropout.
[00:35:13] Didn’t really know what to do with her life. She had a knack for thrifting and, this was kind of back in the, I think it was the eBay and my space age. She was uploading photos and now she’s sort of running two really successful businesses. And her book was just all about the highs and lows and, you know, not being this.
[00:35:32] Entrepreneur that people might think that you should be when you first started was she just started from the bottom. another one that I will, that I’ve read as well is just the fashion manual by fashion airy. it’s basically like a visual guide on how to start your own business, from a. Sort of product and branding perspective.
[00:35:56]so if anyone’s ever interested in that, I definitely recommend reading that one. It will say all the people you can meet in the industry, as well as you know, how to, find suppliers or, you know, set the tone for your website. And it’s all in a visual guide. It’s really quite nice.
[00:36:12] Germaine: [00:36:12] Yeah, that’s really interesting.
[00:36:15] Is there a third? Is there a
[00:36:16] Tahlia: [00:36:16] thing one again is tick-tock that drain bull? There’s not much to read, but you just learn information from that. I’m quite a visual learner as well. I can’t sit and don’t really have the patience to read books these days, but anything that’s quick, easy digestible that will sit in my brain.
[00:36:33] Germaine: [00:36:33] Yeah. Awesome. top three software tools that you can’t live without.
[00:36:37] Tahlia: [00:36:37] Can’t live with that. Clavio. so for those who don’t know what it is, it’s a email and SMS remarketing platform. and basically it makes it easy to send out daily ABMS, to your client list. I guess, and you can send out, you know, discounts, vouchers, you can do a and B testing on there.
[00:36:58] See what images work, what don’t. and it really just brings back those people that you might’ve lost business with back onto the store. And it’s highly, highly, highly recommend that one. another one would be of course, Facebook business manager. This is all your digital marketing tool and where you can do all your paid ads.
[00:37:17] You definitely need this when you’re first starting out. even if you don’t put too much money in, you need to have that presence, that presence, to, you know, go out to like a core, a cold audience, essentially. so they know about your business. and then thirdly, I use a lot of apps apps on my phone.
[00:37:32] I’d love to do everything on my phone. So I have an app called iconic square, which is a post scheduling, tool. So if you’re very time poor, you can actually, the week before plan out what you’re going to do. I use an app called preview to do that. You can move around, you know, how your. Social feed is going to look upload that onto iconic square.
[00:37:53]and they also give you a bunch of metrics as well. You can spy on competitors. What the best hashtags are. You can see, your own metrics, what people are liking, how many views, et cetera, et cetera. Hashtag expert is a great app as well. If you’re time poor for hashtags, just download that type in your niche.
[00:38:12] Whatever it is, it could be women in business and it will come up with a thousand hashtags that you can use and you just click them all save, upload onto your post. Easy.
[00:38:22] Germaine: [00:38:22] I feel like those last two, like I’ve heard of both of those before, but I feel like you’re like talking directly to me because, I’ve been, yeah.
[00:38:31] Meaning to like really kickstart my, Instagram presence, again, my, my personal social presence. but it’s always a time thing. I do a lot of photography and I have so many, I have thousands of photos that I want to share, but I always get to this point where I’m like, you know, I’ve, it is a chore, especially when there’s just so many other things there’s clients that, you know, need to hear back from us partners that we need to talk to.
[00:38:53]so yeah, I I’m definitely, I think this long weekend though, silly me. I, I booked in some, a few things on the Mondays. I don’t have the long weekend properly, but it’s an opportunity to download icon lately
[00:39:06] Tahlia: [00:39:06] a hundred previous. Yeah. Great. Just because you can customize how you want the feed to look.
[00:39:12]what else do I use? I use quite a few things for making your stories as well. I think there’s an app called what’s called Margo and it like, you know, didn’t not digitalize, it kind of animates everything that you want to put on your story and they have heaps of templates and things that you can scroll through and add your own posts and photos.
[00:39:33]I definitely use. All of these apps at once. You know, there’s so many, I think that just go through your app store, if there’s some sort of, you know, thing that you’re lacking or you’d like to learn more about, or you need help with there’s an app, right?
[00:39:47] Germaine: [00:39:47] Yeah. Yeah. It’s such a good tip. Such a good tip.
[00:39:50]top three mantras, you try and live by.
[00:39:52] Tahlia: [00:39:52] Yeah. So this was, this was a hard one, but there was one that I, that I heard recently where it was, if you achieve all your goals, you’re not being ambitious enough. So you should always dream big. And that really stood out to me. I was like, Damn, you know, that surgery, there’s always room for improvement.
[00:40:11] And I think that you, like, you should be more ambitious and you shouldn’t have all your goals met and there’s always something bigger and better to achieve. another one that I, feel very connected to is your, you are the most valuable, investment you’ll ever make. So that’s, you know, whether that’s knowledge that you’re acquiring or.
[00:40:31] You know, upskilling yourself on something. The more that you do to invest in yourself, the better the outcome for yourself later on will be. And then one that I’ve read on the internet, it’s you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. And I think that resonated quite well with me.
[00:40:50] Germaine: [00:40:50] Yeah. Yeah, there’s a whole, yeah, those hot hitting, but true, true mantras and things that I, this is a thing I’m not a very, you know, sort of, I’m not the kind of person to rely on mantras, but it, but it’s sort of something to remember something to tell yourself when things get a little bit difficult or even when you know your, your.
[00:41:11] On Instagram, about to post, but second guessing yourself, or she’s got to remember, you just got to do this now you got to start. and it’s more important that you start then, then, necessarily get the perfect photo with the perfect filter up on, on your Instagram. It’s just so crucial. top three people you follow.
[00:41:29] Why?
[00:41:30] Tahlia: [00:41:30] So the main person that I don’t really idolize too many people, but this girl stands out to me just because she is in a very similar Bart to how I would say my entrepreneurial journey started out as, so it’s Jane leu and she is the founder of Showpo. she. Back in the day, started her business in 2010 and she was, you know, working for KPMG.
[00:41:54] She was a financial analyst or something like that. And, she decided to quit her job in the middle of the fight, the financial crisis. And just start up a online store and mind you back then. people weren’t essentially buying online. It was a new thing. She was kind of a. She had a first movers advantage when you paid the ads on Facebook, it was showing it to everyone.
[00:42:17] There was no cap. And so she really tapped into that market. and I just find her so inspiring, because she’s exactly like me. She just started from nowhere and he, she is, she’s turning into revenue of over $60 million a year. No, I think that’s even an old figure now she’s probably doing more, and yeah, find inspirational.
[00:42:36]other people that I follow, again, these are all tick-tock based people, your everyday people, but there is a handle there called small business advice. there’s this lady called Koch, K O H and M. She’s an ex Google employee, and she kind of gives a little tips and tricks on how to run, learn website or how to reach out to customers and just little business advice tips, which I found quite useful.
[00:43:02]and then another one, which I just liked to follow is a handle called product design. I think I’m not entirely sure what this lady’s name is, but she just goes on about UX designs and customer experience, which, plays a huge pot for us. And, you know, you essentially want someone to buy something off your website within three clicks, and she kind of delves into, the science behind all that and where you should be positioning things on your website.
[00:43:27] So definitely, quite inspiring to watch her.
[00:43:33] Germaine: [00:43:33] Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. I think the biggest thing, the takeaway from this episode for me is, just your sort of belief and, and, you know, I, I believe in that as well is, is one is just getting all this knowledge as much as possible and always sort of be, be learning and tapping into like using social media.
[00:43:51] I think. People think social media is just like a blanket, bad thing. When in reality it’s a good thing. If you know what to look for and follow the right people. and then the other thing is just like knowing and having the right mindset of you just gotta, you just gotta learn, you sort of push through and you just got to go through and you’ll be fine.
[00:44:10] Tahlia: [00:44:10] Yeah. I mean, people are consuming content so differently these days, just when you think. Oh, you know, that per there’s so many people doing, you know, having a business of fashion business, or I’ve seen that so many times, you’d be surprised that no one’s consuming content the way you are. And it might be the first time they’ve ever seen something that you come up with and, you know, you.
[00:44:32] You can be your worst critique, but there’s definitely people watching you that are cheering you on, or maybe they’re even sights slightly, a little bit jealous, but you just need to push on. And, my biggest piece of advice is learn as much as you can, and go for it.
[00:44:47] Germaine: [00:44:47] What a great, great note to finish on.
[00:44:50]thank you for your time Italia. really enjoyed our conversation.

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