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Kristy Withers

City: Millthorpe

Business: Incy Interiors

What: Incy Interiors specialise in designer bedroom furniture for the entire family.

What was the catalyst for you launching your business?

The Incy story began when my son (now 8) was 2 and was ready to move into a big boy bed. At the time I was working at eBay Australia managing their marketing team and I was travelling regularly to the US/Europe and seeing all the amazing products available there. I had an image in my mind of a dark brown iron bed. I searched high and low for it. I tried to get one made, I tried to buy old ones off eBay but they had lead paint and I tried to import one but I just kept coming up with barriers. I harped on and on at anyone who would listen about my quest for this bed. Finally my husband said to me one day ‘for god sake stop talking about it and you just doing it’. This was the push I needed and from then Incy was born!

What do you love most about what you do now?

I know it sounds cliched but I do really love all aspects of the business. I am such a nerd so I love looking at spreadsheets, gaining insights and testing new things. Bizarrely, I also have a real creative side so I love nothing more than designing new ranges, photoshoots and redesigning the store. The one thing I love above all is chatting to our customers.

Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?

The biggest set back I faced to date was launching our Chatswood Chase store. I completely underestimated the amount of time, money and energy that it would take to get the store open. We just faced hurdle after hurdle with the shopping centre and tradespeople and to be brutally honest it almost broke me. The thing that got me through was my little team who all pitched together, we even grouted the 17m shop front with cake piping bags to get open. Thankfully I can look back now and laugh but at the time I was awfully close to being checked into an institution.

Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired - do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?

Luckily my days of feeling flat or uninspired are rare but they do happen. When I am having one of those days I generally get everyone together for a brainstorm to try to pep me up. I am an extreme extrovert and feed off other peoples energy so a creative brainstorm generally gets me back on track and feeling inspired again. The other thing that I have started doing which is so out of character because I love intense exercise is yoga. I cannot believe how calm I am which in turn allows me to think clearly and not get to the flat and uninspired stage.

What has been your most effective marketing tactic or strategy?

Incy was born in the boom times of Facebook and we had enormous growth as a result of Facebook in our first few years. All of the algorithm changes to Facebook have changed that and now we rely heavily on Instagram and our own e-mail database as our primary forms of marketing.

What is the most courageous thing you've done in business?

The most courageous thing I have ever done in business was to start. I left a very well paid job, working for a company I loved with incredibly smart people to start a business that I had absolutely no experience in.

Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote

Work hard, stay humble