Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Liberty Watson, co-founder of online fashion label Watson X Watson.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
We set out to create a locally made Australian fashion label that makes the kind of pieces that become the core and backbone of a woman’s wardrobe. Timeless elegant pieces that are effortless and easy to style back with each other with a quality that is built to last.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We are growing our retail stores as well as focussing on our online store. Instagram is helping us create instant sales through images and we find that fashion bloggers are contacting us to shoot our brand. Sales snowball from good images and good quality product. Products like Optus Loop allow us to give better service to all our customers who reach out to us via the phone. For high end clothing customers really Expect a high level of service.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenge facing our business used to be cash flow but with two watson x watson retail stores and third one on the way cash flow is no longer an issue. When we were wholesaling and had cash flow issues we found sending posh boxes of chocolates with a note saying ‘It would be sweet if you could pay us’ rather than an angry phone call from a debt collector worked wonders. People really react to kindness.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Our product is wholeheartedly Australian made. That in itself in the fashion industry is rare these days. I think style wise what differentiates us is that we don’t overdo the styling. Our pieces are classics, staple items, investment pieces. They have a timelessness to them it’s not loud fast fashion it’s sophisticated and special.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Instagram, for us is huge it’s the new way women shop and a fun way for people to stay updated with what’s landing in store with a quick visual image. Even if they don’t buy in that moment they might pop into one of our stores over the weekend hunting for a particular item they saw on instagram.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Someone once said to me if it was easy everyone would do it they also said where they thought they’d be with their business in 2 years it took 5 and where they thought they’d be in 10 it took 15. It definitely hasn’t been an easy ride. We risked everything to start our label and poured all our finances and time into it but eventually all the hard work and dedication had paid off.
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