This is Jane Lu for Female Startup Club
Hi everyone and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl! If you’ve just found us - welcome welcome welcome. Every week we’re learning from some of the world’s most brilliant minds in business.
Like Jane Lu, the founder of Showpo. Jane’s story is so inspiring and full of ups and downs and what really stood out to me was her sheer determination to succeed and the absolute resilience to keep going no matter what because failure just wasn’t an option. I came off this episode feeling so inspired and I know you will too. Jane is the queen of building a business while having some serious fun along the way and she shares so many gems to building her biz to $100m in revenue in this episode! Stick around to the end where she shares some of her crazy stories!
A great piece of advice in this episode came down to putting in place systems and processes that will mean that you can then start hiring people to work in the business, so you can start working on the business; it’s the first step. It’s so hard for an entrepreneur because you’re so busy doing it that you don’t want to slow down and think about systems, but you’ve got to think about the bigger picture. Build that foundation. From there on, you can start hiring for your weaknesses. Hiring people to work on the business, people to bounce ideas off. Understanding what you don’t like and what your blind spots are. A bit of outsourcing but also in-housing.
Before we jump in a quick reminder on the girl codeeee - you know we love it! And I’m doing a call out for our loyal listeners to be involved in our new content series where you DM me a voice note or a question about anything across business, life, or relationships to feature on the show! You can send it to me personally on Instagram or through Female Startup Club’s Instagram - I’m so excited about this one!
Please note, this transcript has been copy-pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Thank you for having me. I'm so excited. I love the sign in the background. I feel like for anyone who's not watching this on youtube, the Lazy ceo, where did you come up with that? So, uh it was, well, first of all Jane Lee was taken, so I was like, um what do I do? Um No I honestly was just like, I need a um I feel like I got on Instagram quite late and the, yeah, the show Instagram account at the very start and now we've got 1.8 million followers humble brag. Um we, it started off being an account full of like my travel pics, photos of me and my boyfriend now husband, you know, um with the vignette framing, you know, I for so long it was just the same account because I thought everything was still on Facebook and it was just like, oh I might as well start this Instagram account. And then very I think it was 2015, which I think is like for Instagram because I, I felt like some of our competitors already had 2 300,000 followers. And then I was like, I should probably create my own Instagram account was I call it the lazy. Anyway, I thought of the lazy co but now, so now after the fact I'm piecing it together to be like, oh, you know, love what you do and you never have to work. So you know, I'm lazy because I never work. Also. I love the I think is that Bill Gates? That's like if you want something done efficiently, give it to a lazy person. Oh my God, I love that. Yeah. So key, how's your day going? Have you had any wins or? Oh shit moments to share about vent about rather Oh God, today started pretty well. I had a, um, mum's group dinner and drank a lot and I woke up without a hangover. I'm like, thank God I've got this podcast today, but I feel great. So, I think that's a win. Um, it's Friday. That's exciting. And Friday's always fun at work. We get a bit silly. We start drinking at three o'clock. Ok. I, I'm not an alcoholic. This is too well. And how's your day? My day is so great. Now I'm talking with you. These are easily the best moments of my day when I get to have these fun conversations. So I'm excited to get into it. I feel like I know a lot about your story. I've heard you speak, I've heard you on podcasts. I've known you for a very long time. Love your story. And I'm really excited for anyone who might not have heard it yet, especially our listeners who are kind of overseas in the US. Where do you like to start your entrepreneurial story? Oh, I know sometimes I can get really deep really early. So you just give me this, wind it up too, you know, let's do deep, let's not wind it up. Ok? Because I think to give it context, I do need to go back quite a bit. Yeah. So I, I had no fashion retail experience. I was an accountant working so straight out of high school, I got jobs working for the big four. So, working at KPMG. And then, um, after that went to Ernst and Young and I honestly, I didn't, didn't even realize early enough that I actually hate accounting because even when I went for the job, I didn't even know what accounting was. I was just like, oh, my God, corporate job wear a suit salary to high rise buildings, men in suits. This is so exciting. Anyway, so I did at some point realize, oh, wow, accounting sucks. It's so boring. And then at that time, a friend came to me and was like, let's start a business. And I was like, oh, that's so exciting, blah, blah, blah, like I don't care, whatever it is. Let's just do it. So she had a finance background but for some reason, she was like, let's start this start a pop up store. So we started these pop up stores, selling products from emerging designers. Um And it was literally like going around to like, you know, markets handing out these fake, not, not, not fake business cars but like without, you know, where you have title CEO of like um we and then pretend trying to pretend it's like a much bigger business getting people to stock with us anyway. So we started running these pop up stores. It was just so much manual work, it wasn't um the stores were breaking even. And then she, my friend was like, oh, you should quit your job. So we can work on it full time. And then I was just really hating my job. So it wasn't like that I was so passionate about the business. I just really kind of hated my job. So I think I was like, using it on the one hand I felt, I was like, oh, she convinced me to quit. But I think I just really wanted to get out and I think it was the start of the, of the middle of the global financial crisis. People were starting to get me redundant. So I was like, oh, I don't wanna like get fired, maybe I'll quit first. Which is stupid because I should have like, waited for, I should have waited for that redundancy package that could have been capital. But anyway, never mind live and learn. So I quit my job and I started in that first month building a website because I'm like, this pop up store was so much work because it's not a regular pop up store that could run for a few weeks or like a few months. We were popping up on the daily inside a bar because they were not using because we were like, ok, this is a high foot traffic area next to the main shopping center in Sydney, like Pitt Street Mall. And so it was getting high for traffic and then we were able to get cheap rent because they weren't using it during the day because it's only popular at night. So, and we would bring them people, you know, we were actually bringing people into the bar. So it was a win-win, but we were physically setting up all the racks, all the clothes just to sell for that day. Um, how much money would you make? Like on a day? Maybe like 2 $3000. It was just breaking even. Um, and so which is not, and, you know, at that stage, you also don't take a salary. So it's um it's not profitable when you actually factor in all the labor. And were you buying the stock up front or? No? So because we were um approaching emerging designers, we approached them with a consignment model which meant that we took all of their stock and we only paid them after it's sold. And I'm glad you asked because this is important because actually then helped me with the show pro business. Um And so it was great because we had this like, I guess because they were emerging designers, they were just looking for new ways to get stock us because they couldn't just easily get stock and we didn't have any money. So it was a win win. So anyway, when I quit my job, I spent the whole month building a website because I was like, this pop up model is not sustainable. If we actually built it online, then we could stock so many people, more people. Um a lot of people, we were getting a lot of, um, I guess travelers that were like popping in, um, to, you know, shopping the CBD. I'm like, well, they can still keep shopping from us when they go home. This is back in 2010, by the way. Yeah, this is early eco, early Australia was like, I feel like 2012 is when, you know, people started to even learn about ecommerce. The website took me like a month to build, took photos of everything. It was built on Wix, which isn't even mobile compatible. Like I didn't think about this at the time. It was on flash. I didn't think about those things at the time. Anyway. So coincidentally this business partner went overseas for a holiday. So when she came home, I was like, oh my God, I can't wait to show you what I've been doing. I've been building this website where like, this is gonna be like a game changer. And she was like, actually, you know, I've been thinking, I don't wanna do it anymore. And she had actually been secretly job hunting. I just, I, I know, I, meanwhile I've just quit my job anyway. And then she, I was like, just look at the website, let's just give it a go. And she's like, no, I'm done. Refused to look at the website told me that no one shops online, like no one shops online. I was like, oh my God, I was so devastated. So, so, so devastated because I've just like given up everything because I've been really academic at school. My parents, you know, we immigrated from China when I was eight. So there's that immigrant philosophy of like all you want is job security, financial security. And to do that, you work as a doctor, lawyer accountant, like to have a big four accounting job is everything that we wanted as a family, I guess. And to so anyway, I couldn't tell them that I had quit my job and I had to throw in the way and I never told them when I quit thinking that, oh, well, I'll just tell them when I'm successful and then when that business failed, I was like, holy shit, what do I do? So I kept pretending to go to work. So at this point I am putting on a suit every day, getting up early, um like a full corporate suit, having breakfast with my parents and my mum worked in a bank in the city at the time. So we would get the bus into the city together. Like I would actually have nowhere to go. But I get the bus into the city and I'm just like, what the hell do I do? And so because it was in the middle of the global financial crisis, no one was hiring. So I couldn't even get another job even if I wanted to. So out of sheer desperation. Out of like, just like, by default, my only option was to start another business and because I have no other skills, it's not like I'm gonna go and like, be an accountant as a business or like anything like that. I had to start an online store. And so I, which is like how I just fell into online retail. Um I was very lucky that I got, I got introduced to another girl that also wanted to start the store because I didn't have the confidence to start a business by myself, which is why, sorry, when that first business partner said that she didn't want to do it anymore. I was like, oh, ok, at the end I there, it didn't even cross my mind to continue doing that by myself at the time because it seems just so crazy to start a business by yourself. And also, but like, I mean, yes, you're breaking even fine, but like $3000 a day, that's still serious. Like, that's amazing to be getting to that point even when you're kind of like just trying something out. Like that's a signal that you are doing something, right? You're making sales, you know how to sell, I guess. I was surprised that like, oh, you can just like, if you have a product, I mean, not that it's profitable like it can sell. I didn't realize it was so easy just to start trading. Yeah. Even if, yeah, so that. I guess that, that, that did kind of like, surprise me. Yeah, out of desperation I went, I turned to, like, the only friend that I knew who had a business because back in 2010 all my friends were corporate. This one guy, I think he was selling like baby formula back into China or something like that. I, I don't remember but he, he was really successful and I was like, maybe I'll get a job working for him and I can learn from him. And then he was like, oh, you should go talk to my other friend like she was sort of on a, a, an online fashion store as well. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, I, I don't wanna do online retail. Like I'm obviously really bad at online retail. Let me and I, I was kinda trying to ask for a job without asking and then he, you know, and then he was like, no, go meet her cause and that was my mental my mentality back then that one like, you know, not too scared to start a business by myself, but also like I just failed at that. Why would I do that again? Not realize now I look back, I'm like, no, you've just failed and you've learned so many things. This is the best time to try and do it again and do it better, which is what I did. Luckily. And so we this girl and like we've only met a couple of times by this stage. We got drunk one night. I am sounding like an alcoholic. Sorry. Were you thinking like fashion sta like same kind of concept but instead of pop-ups online? And was it like show already or was it something different back then as a concept? Yeah, it was this concept. It was uh we were called show. We came up, we got joked on that. We came up with the name a concept for Show Pony, which is what we were called. We, um, we didn't even think it was gonna take off because we didn't even check the trademarks for the day. Um, which is why we're now called Show. Um, but yeah, we, at the time we thought that yes, it was gonna be an online store, but we still thought bricks and mortar was really important. So we did at some point have up to three little bricks and mortar stores. Ah, I didn't, yeah, but they were, um, the most successful one was like in the middle kiosk of a westfield with just three racks of clothes. So, um, but we eventually, uh, um, closed all of them down because we wanted to focus on the online business and we actually saw just online, just take off as part of that. So I want to stick around this area because I feel like this time in your story is still really critical and I wanna know like if we can paint a bit of the picture. When did you tell your parents, like when you like, are you still riding this bus every day with your mum? Like at this time or have you announced by this time that you're kind of so ok, this is a bit of a long story, but I'll try and get there in a succinct way. But we basically for the first six months of show, I was still pretending to um I, yeah, I was, I was still just pretending to go to work. And so, oh, I'll circle back to why consignment was important because I, at this point when I started the show had no money. I was in debt. I had um my university debt which is $30,000 which in Australia, at least you don't have to pay it back until you have an income. So I didn't have an income. So it's there. But I didn't have to pay for it. I um when I quit my corporate job, I had to pay back this allowance that they gave you. It's like a scholarship fund, but only if you return to work with them. But I had already spent it and then I lost money in the first business. So I was in a lot, a lot of debt. But, and then with starting a business, your two main costs are marketing and inventory. And so without having any money, I was like Well, why don't we try and do consignment again? So we tried to find a supplier on consignment and lucky for me, my new business partner had a connection. She found us a supplier that was able to work with us on consignment. So every day, yeah. So every day I would go into that supplier's office and pick up stock to send out for that day. But at that time I had, you know, time, I had plenty of money. I didn't. So it was fine to do all that manual, extra, manual work. So for the first six months, I was just doing that. So my business partner at the time had a her successful business. So I was using her office as well to pack the orders. And then after a few months, we opened a little store in Broadway in Sydney. So I was like working the store there, fulfilling out of there still to go to work. But then my husband, boyfriend and time husband, now he moved from Brisbane to Sydney to start a graduate job. So we never had a conversation about whether we should move in together. As soon as he got an apartment in Sydney, I just showed up with all of my stock. He's like, Jay, stop telling everyone your business started in your parents' garage because it was my apartment. I'm like, ah, um, but yeah, so that's when I had, at least for the next year I didn't have to keep pretending to my parents because I was just, like, kind of, like, avoided them a little bit and just like, worked out of his apartment, slashed the store that we had. But in that first year and a half, at our peak, we were maybe making $22,000 a month, which is pretty good. But then we got to a point where we had a plateau and then the business started like declining and they got to a point where the business was only making $5000 that month, which is like one or two orders a day, which is not a sustainable like business to not be working a job and having enough salary. So my business partner actually decided to opt out of the business. At that time, she wanted to leave the business because she had her own successful business and her business was actually growing. Um So she got out of the business and I was like, oh sh excited to have the business myself. But again, I'm still scared and I was like, this business isn't actually doing that well. And if, if it failed and the last business failed, both of those failures will be attributed to me. Like I would be the common threat and I would be the failure. And I had such a big fear of failing. But then the next month I started, I actually then moved the operations into my parents' garage and I wish I could tell you what I did because I said that made a difference, but I did everything better. Um I started running Google ads, which I wasn't doing before. I spent way more time on Facebook ads and understanding it better. I did way more frequent social media posts, quicker customers service gave away free shipping, bought more stock, just did everything I think better. Like you as a solo person. It was just me. I may have had a va I'm not sure if I did at this point, but definitely like just me and I also had the store in the city as well to manage, but the store was doing alright. I was making $10,000 a week at sales. So that was giving me the a bit of confidence, a bit of cash to invest. But my business partner didn't want to do the store in the city because our Broadway store wasn't doing well. So she's like if you want to do it, you can do it by yourself. So then that gave me the cash to invest into the online store now that the online store is online. So the next month from that, that I had the store by myself, it went from 5000 to $9000 and then it went to $40,000 and then 75 and then 1 40 it just grew. And so at this point, I was in my parents garage and it was getting bigger and bigger. And I like, and I told my parents at this point I was on unpaid leave from as a young, like the, as a young job was still there waiting for me. But at this point, I was also asking my mum to chuck chuck stickies with her job to help me like pack orders on Sunday that I couldn't keep up. So it was really growing. Um I, oh my God, I still remember like, my mum spent this whole day writing like, thank you notes and then it's like an hour before dispatch. I'm like, mum. It's all broken English. You're missing a word. And we had to like, like, and I'm such a perfectionist. I'm like, no, we're rewriting all of them. Rip it apart anyway. That's so cute that your mom was involved. I love that. I always see your mum and your socials doing her thing. Yeah. So it wasn't until September that year. So two years after I saw the show that I actually told, decided to tell my parents at this point. I already have had an office in the city as well. I, I wonder, I'm like, they must have had an inkling, but I was like, I'm gonna officially tell them, I feel confident to tell them. So when I did tell them they were like, oh my God, like, first of all, I couldn't believe I did this because we have no one in our family that's entrepreneurial and then spent maybe like 10 minutes trying to explain to them. No, no, no, not last year, two years ago. They're like, but how can it be two years ago? How could you have done like, they couldn't believe that it was two years. They were like, but you were going to work like, no, no, no, I was pretending like I actually had to, like, convince them that it's legit, that, you know, I was lying to them the whole time and they just couldn't believe it. It's such a crazy story because like for you, especially having that fear of failure being your like absolute driving motivation not to fail. Just like un wavered dedication to not letting your parents know has been kind of like an attribute to your major success, I guess. Yeah, it's, it's like it made me have to make it work. So that yeah, it was like a driver. So those early kind of years, obviously you're growing, you're doing all the social stuff, you're doing everything better. You're, it's obviously got word of mouth built into it. You're at a time where like this is really fun. People are learning about shopping online in Australia. What were the kind of big leaps forward? Because now, you know, you do $100 million revenue in a year. How do you get from that to like here if we're talking about the big leaps forward, what are the things that changed the game for you. Yes. OK. I actually thought about this. I have this like, because I, you know, I just recently did my business course. So it made me actually like think about this because, you know, normally I used to be like, oh yeah, you know, you just grow, grow, grow. But I actually thought about the stages. So the first one I think is like putting insistence on processes that doesn't sound sexy. But that means that you can then start hiring people to work in the business so that you can then work on the business and not in the business. So that sounds really obvious and not sexy. But that is definitely like the first step, which is so hard for an entrepreneur because you're also like, so you're like, I'm so busy doing it. I'm trying, I'm making money chasing money. Like I'm not going to sit slow down and think about systems. And the only reason I even hired my first person to work for the online business was because I was going, I booked this holiday um to go to Ultra Music Festival in Miami when the online store wasn't doing that well. And I just, I, I just had the one store anyway. So the business was that somebody at this point, we were like making all of a sudden, I'm making like $40,000 in, in February. And this is like the holidays in March and I'm trying to get, telling my friend I gotta get out of, I can't go and, but I have a really, like, twisty arm, Rubby elbow. What's the thing? Yeah. Yeah. And so anyway, they convinced me to go. I'm, like, fine, I'll get someone from the store to, to work on an online business. And when I came back to the business, yes, she made me, I learned something really important there. Like, yes, she made mistakes and yes, she actually did. She kind of like um fuck me a little in that. She was. So she was coming into my parents' garage to work in my parents garage. And then she was like, I was like, just tell me how many hours you worked. I'll pay you for it. And she actually wasn't working for like she was, she kept saying she was working till 9 p.m. and I can see the emails have stopped at 3 p.m. and you can only dispatch to a certain time. And my mum was making her dinner because she was like, oh, she's so nice. She's working so late. She was using my internet because her internet, she because she used to talk about how she has bad internet at home. She was doing a uni assignment in my parents garage while my mum is cooking for her and billing me for it. But and that's I'm saying this is important because I think a lot of people when they start businesses. They're like, oh, but what if this happens? What if this person screws me? But the greater good was the business kept growing. Yes, she did that to me. Yes, she made mistakes. But that month we made 100 and $40,000 and I'm in Miami having the best time of my life. So you gotta think about the greater good, the bigger picture, right? So, and that, and then that made me go, ok, I'm ready to, to hire more people. So the next stage is also to hire people that can work on the business with you. I think that really helps. So for me, I hired an operations manager slash general manager type of person and I really like having people to bounce ideas off. I like working with people. So I think that's really important for me. The next stage is to hire for people who are like better at things than you. You it's about understanding what you don't like, but also what your blind spots are. And then also concurrently, there's a bit of outsourcing but also in housing. So certain functions, it's better to outsource at some point for someone else, especially digital marketing, it's like a false economy to think you're gonna save money by doing right? Because you won't be doing it as efficiently um at a certain threshold depending on how good you are. Totally, totally. When you're in that hiring phase, I just want to ask you a quick question here and, and this even still applies to like, how you hire today, how do you find the people who kind of like have the same values that you do in building a business? And I mean that in that sense of like, scrappy, get your hands dirty, just get shit done, work really hard, but also have a lot of fun while doing it and kind of like finding the people that match that culture versus, like, hiring someone that comes in and is like, mm, that's not my role. I'm not gonna do that, you know. Yeah. Ah, God. I think that that's really interesting question because I really admire when I see you at your place of work, like, when you hosted your LMBDW event a couple of months ago, looking at the people who work for you who embody you can just feel that everyone embodies the same spirit, you know. Yeah. No, thank you. Um, I think, I think it gets easier with time because you can just read people. I've definitely still made mistakes. I think about the people that I've hired that. I think ultimately hiring is almost like dating, right? You have to, like, do it and make mistakes to learn. So, and I think almost sometimes you need to be burnt to know otherwise. And so I think for like, people who are listening, who are, like, thinking about hiring being like, oh, I'm scared just like, uh, it's part of the process in a way and you just get better at reading people and then just being really up front in that early stage, you know, I, I think some people might, yeah, like, do, do some people might think they get, well, they get their hands dirty and then they don't. But, um, I guess, yeah, I cut you a little bit off there but, like, you were talking about the systems and processes and then the hiring, what have those other kind of big leaps been forward when you've gone through this business course and kind of reflected another big one is product um growing your inventory. So holding more skews, um it's, which is a tricky one, right? So because you also your money gets tied up in stock. So, and I feel like a lot of times people, businesses get stuck because their money is sitting all in stock and they don't have the money then to buy more other stock and, or to actually spend on marketing to sell the stock. Um But definitely product expansion is a big one. So we started purely by retailing. So it, it so um so we started, you know, getting in more skews, getting more color ways of our best sellers, understanding what sells better, you know, and then start to get more accessories and that kind of stuff. And then the next stage, we started doing our own product development, which meant like, ok, we know this sells, we're working with our suppliers to let's make it like this because we know this is what our customers want. Um because I have no design skills but product development is, I guess a lot easier you just, if you're working with the right suppliers um who are patient with you. Yeah, you have the vision. Exactly. And then we started, as we got bigger, we started hiring designers and people, you know, hiring people who are, who do know what they're doing, who also then brought in new suppliers as well. So it kind of like snowballs in the way. And then we started doing our own new categories. We started, I, you know, I, me having a corporate background, I spent so much money off my salary of my, of my paycheck on these expensive suits. I'm like, let's do affordable work wear. And then we started doing affordable occasion wear, formal dresses. And then we were like a big challenge for us. We wanted to cater for more sizes, which is just not done for a business like us at this stage. So that took a couple of years to actually for that to come to life, um, to extend our sizes. And then we started doing just more categories, uh, affordable wedding dresses, wedding dresses, under $200 300 dollars. I love that one. Yeah. Um, so product is a big one and having good merchandise planning and then I think it's also, of course, like my, you know, opening up to new new marketing channels and then also opening up more on a global scale. I mean, I obviously, I think any online business already can sell globally. Surprisingly, some businesses don't because sometimes I buy things and I'm trying to ship it to internationally as presents and they don't ship internationally. I'm like, why the hell? No, I understand certain types of products. But if I'm trying to send a little like baby girl dress to the UK, I don't understand why that does not anyway. So that's pretty much it. Like, that's that in a nutshell. That's amazing. And it's, it's so like when you say it, you're like, yeah, yeah, like that will make sense. But then you think about the scale that you've built and, and it's just so, um, so exciting and huge and it's been such this big journey for you. We've covered a lot of, kind of like the highlights of getting to that kind of level. What have been some of the hard things that you've faced in building this business. What's like really the shit stuff that you would want to share for other people listening to know that it's not all rosy, good highlights, real kind of thing. Well, there, I mean, there's a few, like COVID was definitely tough for us because, and I know that everyone's like, oh, but you sell online, I mean, we still, like, we still, we were still selling quite a lot. But given that we are the size of the business that we are, we have a lot of fixed costs. It was a really tough time and to be, and we were like overstocked. Um, you know, some people, because people come to our warehouse and they're like, wow, it's so big. And I was like, are you still look at it as like, wow, it's so big during COVID. I was, like, far out. That's a lot of stock just sitting there. Um, so that was not only tough, like, financially, but then also we were, we had staff that we had to look after, right. We had a bit of a stand down period, like a lot of business did and having that conversation getting on Zoom and saying that to all staff was so hard. We luckily we didn't have to make anyone redundant, which is great. I, I think that to have that come out of it and that was part of everyone being part of that stand down and we, what does stand down mean kind of like pause salaries and you stop working. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Cool. And like, I think maybe people had to use that. I don't know if you use that. I don't actually remember what we did. But, um, it wasn't long but it was a really difficult conversation, conversation for people to have. Um, and then, you know, Yeah. So, I think those are the times where you're like, because you're thinking because part of why you love the business is like, you have all that respon you. It's, it's all yours, you have control, you have responsibility. But when you think you are actually responsible for the livelihood of those many, that many people, when times got tough, like, that is really scary at the time. I was also, like, pregnant. So I'm like, trying to not stress but then I'm stressing about trying to not stress. Um, so that, yeah, so things like that, it's tough and I think I tend to not dwell on things that much and I think I get over things crazy and I can switch off, which I think really helps me overcome some of those tougher times. Um, yeah, I think a lot of times the toughest is dealing with people issues and I think that no matter what because I think you, you do try and be the best employer and person that you can be. But for every, like how many happy staff members there's always gonna be one that's not and that just, it's really, that's really hard and it really sucks. But it's not possible as a business for everyone, I guess, to be happy. You read about all these other great businesses that, you know, I, you know, you, you, sometimes you read about other great businesses that, like, do so much for their team like Mecca, for example, I know it's a great business I have. So people that work there that tell me it's the best business ever. And then you read one thing about this one disgruntled person you're like, is it just you, it's just part of the game, I guess, right? Part of part and is it part and parcel the saying of just building a business um and managing relationships on different levels. I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about you and your kind of transition into uh investor and being an investor. I know that you are the new season of Shark Tank is about to come out. Congratulations. Love that for you. You're one of the sharks. I'm so excited to watch. Yeah, so exciting. I wanna kind of like understand what your journey as an investor has been. Like, what kind of businesses are you investing in? What do you look for? What's exciting to you in categories or companies or founders that are getting you kind of excited to put your money into? Well as an investor, my journey is very brief because this is kind of the start of my invest, invest the journey. Um I like other, I've only like ever put in. It's, it's been very small, not at that early stage. It's this early stage. Angel investing is very exciting. I like businesses that I understand as a consumer that get me excited and what gets me really excited is businesses that I can see like what gets me excited about. Show pro is seeing other people wear it and tell me that they love it. They wore it for this occasion and how we make them feel. So, I it's that products that do that, that gets me really excited and emotional pull and that kind of like physical representation of something out in the world. Yeah or just yeah, stuff that like people, people love um that are part of the everyday things that I you can see everywhere that has that mass global like that has to be global but like it has that, you know, if it's like, if, if I can see one of my investor businesses in like a retailer or like being used out on the street, like that would get me really excited. Yeah, I love that. So when does the, when does Shark Tank Air? Uh I honestly don't even know it yet, even if I did have a little bit to say, but I don't, no, but I actually don't, they haven't told us yet. It'll be later this year. Oh, ok. Right. Right. Right. Oh my gosh. I'm so excited. And so for you like now that you've kind of kicked off this journey, are you like, are you out there being like, send me your deal flow, send me, send me your decks. I wanna see stuff now and sort of take on more of a role as an investor or is it kind of like just here and there if you hear about something, I wish I could have the capacity like I in my head, it's like if gets repeated. Um For season two, I wanna maybe like, it might make sense to build up a structure where I could do more of that at the time at the moment. I'm just so stretched as it is. Um Please don't send me your picture for anyone who's listening. Not now, maybe next year when you say like your stretch something I also think about. And I, and I was wondering for you specifically, you know, you work with your husband, you're, you're very kind of aligned in business, personal goals, you're both parents now. You've got a lot going on. How do you keep your relationship spicy? Like how do you keep things like good, healthy, balanced? You know, I work with my husband too and, and we're often like, fuck, this is hard, like it's hard being 24 7 kind of trying to strive for these goals that you have, especially business goals and financial goals and things like that. But like, you've also got to really work on the relationship side of things and, and I often wonder about couples that work together, how, how they're keeping it together. Yeah, I mean, I it was definitely tougher during tough times like COVID where we're also working from home, just like kind of, um, we couldn't even have a drink together and switch off because I was pregnant. Right. It was just, you couldn't really get away from it. I think having, and I, I can, you know, like I said, I switch off quite easily but he, he doesn't as much. So, I think it is harder for him. Um, but I think w where we've kept our relationship so great so we can just laugh off every situation. I feel like even when things are tough, we, we always have a laugh and um we don't take ourselves too seriously and I think that's great. And I think it's also like, yes, things might be like if even when you going through a tough time, you look, you, you just have to still take a moment to look at what you have achieved together. And I think that that really helps and yeah, I think we, you know, making time for each other. Um And we do really respect each other in the workplace. I think that that really helps. We don't actually work that much together because he's essentially taken on all the boring bits of work that I don't enjoy doing. Um And so which is why I'm also so like, nice to him because I'm like, you're doing my homework. Love that. What do you think your superpower is? Oh What is my superpower? Maybe I'm just like a cult leader that has like brought in all these other talented people to work at show and I have no real skill, but I've got all these great people working for me. I love that Jane, the cult leader, the lazy cult leader, Ceo, the show Kool Aid. No, I'm not a cult leader just in case anyone. Just kidding. Just kidding. Um I want to shout out your podcast. You recently just launched the new show. I'm so excited for you. What have been the highlights so far? I just, you must be the same. It's just so fun to like, chat to people and learn from people. And I, because I'm not, I probably don't even have that many, still like friends with businesses. So it's actually great to not that like, just, just by the way it happens, you know, I guess. Um, and there's lots of people that I'm like, friends with everyone that's been on the show. I'm kind of like friends, acquaintances with, but I guess everyone's so busy, you know, like now it's like a really great opportunity to just like, actually chat and to really get to know them. Um, so it's been a great, like a relationship building thing as well to actually take this, the relationships I've had with these amazing entrepreneurs like that next level, which has been exciting. I've just really been having a lot of fun chatting. Yeah, it is fun. It's so like, and learning, yes, 100%. The learning I, I learned so much through the show. Yeah, love it. I want to ask you your final kind of key piece of advice that you give to other founders and entrepreneurs, small business owners when they're building businesses in 2023. So I feel like, you know, there's so much content out there to help you build a business, but the only way and this isn't just like a just do it because I know, I know everyone says just do it, but it's like everyone will tell you this. Is that ok? Sorry. I don't know why I'm grabbing a pen. Um, I always keep grabbing the pen. Everyone has their way of like building a business but you still just need to try it all for yourself because it just differs from person to person, business to business and then from time to time what worked for me before might not be working now. And I think it's all about like, it's just testing everything and like, I honestly, it's like you, what's that saying? If you're not risking, if you're not, um, failing enough, you're not taking enough risks, right? So, I think it's just about getting out there and doing it and never, never risking too much that you don't have the opportunity to do it again and learn from it, especially when it comes to things like buying stock. Mm. Oh, that's a good one. That's a really good one. Love that.
So question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you waking up every day and building show? I am doing it. Oh I because I just love it. You know, I wanted to create a, a career for myself up. I remember like the first moment that I thought I was successful was when I, this is so stupid, but when I looked at the business and I was like, if things fail again, having a big fear of failure, right? I thought if I failed, I could go and get a job working for another retailer. Maybe I could go work for at the iconic, they'll hire me because I, I'm a, I'm an entrepreneur and I've, I have experience in retail businesses. Maybe I can go work at a marketing company. I thought that I have now successfully changed my career trajectory from accounting into doing what I love. And I thought for me that was um achieving success. And so now that I every day doing what I love. Um Yeah, that's what gets me up in the morning. So cool. Amazing question. Number two. This is a fun one. What's been your favorite marketing moment so far in building the business? Oh, favorite marketing moment. Oh my God. Oh, I mean we were, we were one of the earlier brands to go to Coachella, take, take people to Coachella and go on these influencer trips um and be part of that girl like take this girl game um to Coachella back in the days. I and that was just so impactful um and just so fun. Yeah, so fun. Are you still doing that as a? No, I feel like the business has evolved from Festival where our customer isn't, our demographic has kind of shifted and I feel like everyone's doing it now. It's kind of like not having that impact anymore. And so now I'm like, oh do I really want to pay for everyone else to go to Coachella? Totally. I didn't ask you this before. So I'm gonna squeeze it in now. But like, what are the things that you're doing now that are really working as kind of like cool, fun marketing initiatives and moments that are kind of shifting the needle like that. Um I think just a lot of like content marketing, producing the right content that people want to see. And you know, you'll, you'll see that we're still testing like we still have, we you gotta constantly test cos things, things fail and things that work might die off as well. So it's just, it's a constant battle but it's so fun. It is so fun. Question. Number three. What is your go to business resource if you have to think about like a podcast or a newsletter or a book that is worthwhile reading, consuming, talking about, I was gonna say chat GP t no, no, that kind of thing. No, but that's true. It's so valuable. Oh, I honestly, I, this, this is probably why I'm loving doing the podcast because I actually don't have time to absorb other content. So I feel like I'm learning by like, you know, before I interview people for the podcast, I'll quickly listen to a couple of the other podcast appearances and that's when I kind of learn a bit and then I'll like, learn from them in person. So that's, I love that. My podcast is your podcast gonna say that. Love, love, love that for us. Oh, oh All my business calls the lazy co dot com. Oh, yeah, everyone go and check that out immediately. We're also gonna link that in the show notes. If anyone wants to, to get on that question, number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM? Rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? So I like to sleep in, I get up like, if I'm working from home, I'll get up at like nine o'clock. And I think not having to wake up early and be like stressed is a great way for me to start the day. Um My husband takes the, takes the kids, which is so good. Um, and then coffee. I, I honestly I don't have good routines. I um I'm very, I put in my entire life on my Google calendar. Like every task is in Google calendar. And that really helps me um prioritize things because you, you know, I feel like sometimes people can be floundering when like, and you get overwhelmed by how much you have to do. But you, if you actually just go, ok, you look at your tasks and you go, this, this can get moved, moved to next week. This doesn't need to get done. Now that I'm running out of time, say something blows out in time. You're like, ok, this help, uh maybe I'll get someone else to do this. I don't need to do it. Like having that like, visibility of your week and your calendar I think really helps me like, um, stay organized and, um, and I think also before going to bed, I watched like an hour or so of like really trashy reality TV. And that helps me unwind. Like, what, what are you watching at the moment? Oh my God. It's so bad. I'm watching Island. I haven't seen that yet. I've seen it on social though. It's so bad that it's good and I'm like, I'm to selling sunset. Oh, yeah. I don't know. It's not bitchy enough. I like Pump Ros and maths. I've only just moved back to Australia so I feel like I need to get into like the Australian reality TV scene. I'm not there yet. I'm not there, but I need to be question number five is what's been your worst money mistake in the business? And how much did it cost you? Oh. Um This isn't the worst, but it's a funny story, love story we gave away this, this company came to us and they have, it's like one of those, it's like a luxe version of Groupon almost. They have these like deals and they had this package that was flying on a private jet to go to the Melbourne Cup um VIP bird cage um area. Um And so it was worth worth like $13,000 or something for two people. And so we were gonna give that away with them and I was like, oh my God, this is so cool. This is when like influencers were like just posting private jet. It was like, so in I was like, this is sick. Um And I'm like, I've never been on a private jet myself, you know. Um and then so we get, we gave it away, but there was some kind of some kind of miscommunication with who was going to announce it. And so that company announced a winner and then at that time, their founder was going on a plane to Miami for Bucks it was like the longest plane ride from Sydney. Possible. I don't know. And then we were like, announced it. We both announced winners. Oh, like separate winners. Yes. So then I was like, we need to honor this and I had to buy an extra $13,000 of this thing with this company. Oh, shit. And I was like, for absolutely no re that's, oh my God, so much money. And then the worst part is then we looked on the insta stories of the people that went, they didn't care about the private jet. All they posted was the actual like the bird cage of the Melbourne Cup. So we could have been like if we don't give you a private jet, what if we gave you like $500 1000 dollars? They would have taken it. Oh I can't have a think about this. Damn. That sucks. That's a, that's a, that's a good story. I mean it's a shit story but it's a good one. Last one. You've already shared a couple but maybe you've got another one in the bank. What is just a crazy story? Good or bad from your journey building show. So this is a while ago but this is like it's a it's a um we did this prank for April fools that we launched um show, bro, which is like because people are always like, why don't you do a Menswear range? We're like, alright, we'll launch we launched show, bro. And the website, like it was, it didn't even like it, you couldn't even check out on it. But, and I had, like, it was so funny. Something like when we launched it, we had a male model and a male influencer and it looked so it looked really legit. It looked exactly like the show website. We had things, um, like all the products had names as well. Like how show the like a boss shirt, you know, like, um and then I had some of my business friends message me to tell me like, oh, this is a bit broken in the UX. This is wrong with the website. I'm like, yeah, thanks. Um And then we go, we um got business insider to actually announce that it was a hoax. So that was, I thought that was pretty cool. Did you get like a lot of traffic? Did it make you be like, should we actually launch this? Um Yeah. Well, I mean, no, definitely I'm never gonna do men's wear because I think what we're good at besides making great clothes. But it's, it's also the fact that we know how to market to women as opposed to like, so I'd rather I'd rather sell a different product to women than ever do men's wear. Um, I love that as an idea. Do you do pranks every year? We do a lot of work. Oh, here's another one. I, when I was pregnant. I actually pretended that my water broke at work. Oh my God. I saw that video and sent everyone to a frenzy and only the girl who filmed it knew even my husband thought it was he wasn't in on it. Oh My God. I love that. That's so lo Jane. This was so fun. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Loved chatting with you, love your story, love everything that you do. I'm such a hype girl. Thanks for coming on the show. Yes, I love that.