At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
I was working as a project coordinator for a steel company when I got the idea for my business.
I was working in a male dominated industry and I found myself drawn to wearing a french cuff business shirt because it provided me with added courage and confidence.
In trying to source these shirts I realised they lacked femininity, range and they were pricey.
This is when it dawned on me that I could start my own shirt business specifically for women.
It took a further 2 years thinking about the concept before I made any real attempt at starting the business.
I then worked on it in the evenings for 6 months before really committing and quitting the safety of my corporate job.
I studied Business Management so I had a vague idea of what was involved but in reality my project management skills and gut instinct were the only ones I relied upon.
As for fashion, apart from loving fashion I had no idea about the industry.
I think this is both good and bad, it's good because you can make sure you do things differently and therefore stand out, and bad because fashion is actually very structured, planned and everyone works to a seasonal deadline, so you have to be ahead of the game.
When I started my business online shopping was only just becoming popular, it's crazy to think how fast the industry has moved over the last 4 years.
Social media was only just taking off and building e commerce websites were an expensive task and not many people specialised in it.
Now there are companies that have e commerce website templates to make it dead easy to start an online shop, there's Paypal so no merchant banking is required, there's all sorts of social media and FASHION BLOGGERS!
I think if I started my business today in 2015, it would have cost me 1/3 of the amount that it did in 2011.
In saying all that, I have learnt more over the past 4 years running my own business than 10 years in the corporate world and studying business management.
Hands on experience is priceless.
2015 brings a new chapter to my journey as I hope to open my first retail store.
Every year I'm in business I'm one step closer to seeing the geisker brand evolve to how I envisioned it all those years ago.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
The day the online shop went live is still the greatest achievement.
It took many years and lots of hard work, and even though I only had 2 sales that day, it could have been 2000 sales and I still would have felt the same amount of pride.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Having the stamina and self belief to constantly pick yourself up, there's no one patting you on the back or giving you bonuses when you are an entrepreneur - it's just you.
The other thing is Reach! Getting your brand out there in front of the millions on a limited budget.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Hindsight is a wonderful yet annoying thing. I would change a few things, mainly how I allocated my start up budget.
I should have invested 70% into marketing, and 30% into product, because the other way around means you have lots of product and no buyers. Yep that was me.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Great question - must go read all the other responses to this!
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I'm inspired by Victoria Beckham, she has absolutely brilliant designs, she's quirky and she's different in how she's running her fashion empire.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Research, have a different perspective, focus on marketing and don't buy/make to much product initially, and social media will be your savour.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I decided to give it everything I've got regardless of limitations, I'm sticking to my vision and going full steam ahead.