Bio The path that led her to this point
Having worked in fashion both in Australia and the UK, most-notably with Paul Smith, I went on the inevitable 'parental sabbatical' after the birth of my first child Milla, now 5.
My husband is English, and we would often head back to the UK and Europe for holidays, where I would find the most amazing, cool and functional clothes for the girls (Yvie, 3), which just weren't available here in Australia.
I would consequently get TONS of comments from parents back home and i guess that was my ‘aha’ moment; there was a serious lack of cool but wearable, gender-neutral clothing for kids here.
I'm really not into tizzy, cutesy, girly clothes, and I just couldn't fathom why these amazing brands, mainly from Scandinavia, were not filtering through.
So after 2 + years, much procrastination and a ton of research and sourcing, I finally took the plunge.
Working in concert with my incredible business partner Bec Cunnington, who brings to Hipkin a strong background in finance, we launched the site in January 2013.
We've been totally overwhelmed by the response; we knew the niche existed but we had no idea it would be so readily filled.
We are really proud to be the exclusive stockists for some of our brands and our Vintage collection from LA is hugely popular too.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Turning the germ of the idea into a living, breathing business.
We couldn't have done it without the unending support of our families and friends, some of whom are in the fashion industry and have been just so invaluable to us in terms of building the brand.
Securing the amazing Swedish label I Dig Denim was personally gratifying, as it just such a great brand and Australians now love it too.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Learning on the job has been the biggest challenge for us.
We are essentially total newbies to online retail, so knowing what to order and in what quantities, coming to grips with the design, set up and maintenance for an e-commerce equipped website, reaching out to the target market; these have all been great challenges.
Essentially my drive has been a creative one, so overlaying that with the required level of business acumen has been a challenge, but one that I’ve relished and been really proud to overcome.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
I wouldn't do that much differently. I've learnt a lot about myself through realising this little pipe dream and it's been a really edifying experience.
I think that trusting in my vision and capabilities has proven to be really beneficial. And, ultimately, accepting help and advice from those around you who know better!
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
You simply cannot underestimate the power of Social Networking. For Hipkin this has been our main and most cost-effective marketing tool.
It requires vigilance and a lot of time, you really need to keep up with your followers and those who inspire you, but as a marketing tool it is just indispensable.
Take inspiration from the sources you follow and use it to create a brand you can be proud of.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
My very good friend Sarah Gilsenen of Rolla's has been a huge inspiration to me, both personally and professionally. Her example propelled me to launch HIPKIN.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Research, research and courage. Have a clear vision and work diligently towards it by keeping yourself fully aware of what's out there, what the market needs and where the gaps are.
There's no point re-inventing the wheel, you need to be unique but in a way that is going to speak to your target market.
And take the plunge, it's so worth it.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I started listening to everybody who knew that HIPKIN was real, even before I did.