Anak & Co

Name: Laura Garcia
Position: Director
Location: Queensland, Australia

Anak & Co sell baby and children’s clothes that are made of 100% cotton, not ‘on-trend’ clothes that will last through the latest clothing crazes, playable’ clothes – get dirty, get muddy without permanently damaging the clothes, high quality clothing without the price tag.

What products/services do you offer?

  • Baby and children up to 10 years clothes
  • Baby Shoes
  • Prints and Cards from Brisbane Graphic Designer

Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?

Started in March 2019 with 4 high school friends. We found we couldn’t find clothing that wasn’t cheap fabrics, yet high quality but didn’t without the high price tag. One of the business partners had been purchasing this brand every time they visited the Philippines and requested sole distributorship for Australia.

What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?

The market is saturated with baby and children’s clothing, trying to break through all the ‘noise’ and make an impact/be seen by potential customers is very challenging. Also being able to break through all the cheaper brands such as Kmart, Big W, Zara is challenging – trying to prove that our brand is superior is difficult if no one has seen the brand before.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?

We have just signed a contract to have a small stand at Vend Marketplace in Brisbane, where we will be showcasing our products for the next 12 weeks. This a huge accomplishment for us as it has solved a big issue for us: we are unable to always get to markets due to family commitments so with the marketplace, we are a constant presence.

What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?

Judging the needs of the Australian clothing market, timing our orders in line with the seasons.

What do you love most about your business?

The clothes! We have not seen such beautiful clothes without paying a high price. The quality is second-to-none and each item can easily be mixed and matched.

What do you find most challenging?

  • Educating consumers that are our products are not your typical low quality, and that purchasing from those larger chains is not sustainable and in the long run, much more expensive.
  • Driving more consumers to our website/website awareness
  • Lack of understanding as to why we have many ‘abandon carts’

How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?

  • We have a website
  • Two social media accounts – Instagram and Facebook and are working on Pinterest.  We post daily on each account, and twice a day on the weekends.  We post to Instagram and Facebook Stories
  • We support a local PT business, ‘The Bod Squad’ by sharing their posts and also a local charity called ‘Braille House’.
  • We offer a discount to all The Bod Squad members
  • Have a market stand ‘Vend Marketplace’ in Brisbane
  • Have previously attended Kelvin Grove Markets, Brisbane Riverside Markets and Coorparoo Markets and will continue in the future
  • Sharing: Friends word of mouth, friends sharing our social media posts
  • Email Marketing
  • We are in discussion with a local café to have our clothing available to purchase within a section of their café (they will have other quirky items as well in a separate room, like a small store within the café)
  • We are looking into having a social media Influencer produce a set number of posts/stories in exchange for an out.

What business skills do you have (eg. graphic design, customer service)?

Combined we have the following experience: High end luxury brand retail experience, social media, marketing, business consulting (IT), customer service, social psychology.

What software did you/your designer use to create your website (eg. WordPress, Wix)?

We have used Shopify to set up our website

What are some of your favourite business tools and apps?

  • Shopify app to track visitors/sales
  • Canva
  • Google Analytics
  • Video Boost app to make small videos of our items

What do you like about your website and what’s not working for you?

  • We feel our website reflects us perfectly: the colours represent what has brought has together (purple: the colour of our school uniform); our children in the photoshoot – multi-cultural children which we feel represents Australia (Combined we are from Philippines, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Pacific Islands); the website is easy to navigate; we don’t have a huge amount of clothing so it’s not overwhelming
  • I would like the check-out process to be much easier: a one click process however I believe it is part of the security process.
  • We are struggling to see what the problem with our site is, as feedback so far from a wide variety of social media marketers (we put out the call to social media groups, so not just ‘friends’). We are constantly seeking advice on how to make the site more appealing.

What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?

You will go through small successes which will make you feel like you be successful, and then a situation will change your mindset and make you doubt yourself and why you started. It is a rollercoaster of emotions and takes a lot of backing yourself to keep moving forward.

It’s not just a matter of setting up a website and social media page. It takes a great deal of research to understand your consumer and tap into their needs and desires, and then you need to build their trust that your product is for them – this takes a LONG time

What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to ask the stupid questions, seek advice, attend local council seminars on small business, and ultimately, make mistakes because there is always an invaluable lesson in every mistake you make.

What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?

Back yourself

Surround yourself with people who will support and mentor you; whether it’s industry professional, friends, etc. Someone in your circle can always be there for you, in ways that you may not realise.

Take every opportunity you feel will help your business: some will work, some won’t.

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