Tell us a little about yourself and Ginger Spice.
Where do I start, I love being creative and I try to incorporate that into all aspects of my life. Ginger Spice started from a life long dream. My parents have always been involved in the retail and fashion industry so having my own business was definitely something I always wanted. The fact that I can showcase products that I love and incorporate my own designs is just perfect. I like to think outside the box and my store reflects that. My family is definitely a priority so having a business where they are always welcome is essential to me.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you:
Creative, Laughter, Family, Conversation, Home
What was your past career before Ginger Spice?
I have had a vast arrary of jobs, Going from a retail assistant to managing my parents store to now owning my own. Also inbetween all of that just for something different I trained to be a swim instructor which I loved, such a rewarding job. I also studied fashion design at TAFE on the Gold Coast and then designed a small range of my own. I love to sew, so getting back into that side of it is fantastic.
Amanda interview with ArtSHINE at Life InStyle Sydney 2014
What was the purpose on starting Ginger Spice and how has the concept come about?
Ginger Spice started based on Textiles that my partner was bringing back from Indonesia for me. He spent two years working in Borneo, so I had gorgeous authentic batiks to work with. As well as providing unique furnishings I wanted to be able to showcase unique homewares. There are so many products that we just don’t get on offer to us in Yeppoon. It was so nice to be able to stock products that I loved and were totally unique to the area. I like to think outside the box and my store definitely showcases that. I then incorporated a couple of clothing ranges. This completed my goal of a total lifestyle store with a twist.
What are your business goals for Ginger Spice?
My business goal for Ginger Spice is to support more and more Australian made products, and expand on my own designs. I have now brought my machines in store so I can be more productive and hands on. People love seeing you being creative. It definately creates conversation. I am also in the process of setting up my website which is very exciting, I already have my facebook page which is proving to be a success.
What motivates you to do your best in your business?
What motivates me is the love for what I do. I love the fact that I can get up each day and be me. My shop is definitely an extension of myself. Also my business would be nothing without my fantastic customers, the feedback I get makes it all worth while, especially when I get told how refreshing it is to see something different. The companies I deal with are just fantastic and very supportive so all these things combined are great motivation.
What are top 3 skills as a Retail business owner?
Top 3 skills would be:
Know your product inside out, people love to hear about where its made, by who and the story behind it, etc
Good communication with your customers, cementing a good relationship. This applies to your suppliers also.
Networking, this is so important. Whether it be talking to people in the industry or social media. Getting yourself out there is key to business.
As a business owner what is your biggest frustration?
My biggest frustration would be the battle with online shopping and how it affects small business. It is a battle as it is when you have a business, you have a limited budget in which we have for promotions, overheads etc.. Sometimes you just can’t compete. Where companies offer free freight, as a small business we just can’t compete. At least there are still the customers out there that do still like to see the product and feel it. I still think you can’t beat the whole retail therapy experience.
So will keep fighting!!
Tell us about how you prioritise your personal and work?
My business does play a hugh part in my life, luckily my two boys Byron aged 18 and Jake aged 14 and my partner Allen are all very supportive of what I do. My shop as well as being an extension of me is also an extension of home. Wether it be my partner dropping in for coffee, the after school hangout or my eldest dropping in for a chat and to see what might have arrived that could suit him. Sundays are my family day I still have the late nights sewing but you definitely need a healthy balance and I think working for yourself makes it a lot more flexible for everybody.
How do you connect with other creative people, and your customers(i.e. How do you network?)
I network via social media on my Facebook page constantly. My customers like to see whats arrived or what might be happening.
I still like to communicate face to face. I love talking to my customers. In a small town word of mouth is huge. It is amazing how many like minded people are out there.
You also have to keep in touch with fellow retailers. This lets you know how business is generally going. Also for me it was great going to the Lifeinstyle. It gets you known to a wider audience.
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
My advice is that you need to love and believe what you do. Research the market to find out where your niche. There is a hugh market out there waiting to embrace all things different. And take the plunge. It is very scary when first starting out but it all pays off in the end. I found that you need to commit and the rest follows.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I would love to expand more into the Interior Design side of the business. With this I would like to incorporate the Australian made and designed theme. There is so much talent here that goes un noticed.
What is your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment for me happens everyday. The feedback I get from customers and also the satisfaction I get within myself when I come to work each day. I am proud of what I have achieved.
Where do we find you and your product?
You can find Ginger Spice in Yeppoon, Queensland,
Shop 2, 9-11 Normanby Street
07 4939 1550
And on facebook: www.facebook.com/GingerSpiceCQ
In the process of my website.
Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org