April 8, 2015
At a Glance
Kate owns Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily, a website established in 2007 that publishes the best fashion & beauty finds from in-house editors & the community.
Bio The path that led her to this point
I am a born and bred Melbournite who has been treating shopping as an Olympic sports since birth.
It wasn’t until I saw the movie ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ though that I decided I wanted to turn my life long hobby into a career in women’s magazines (free clothes, very little actual work being done, and motorcycle rides with Matthew McConaughey - who didn’t want that job?!).
Sadly my careers counsellor at high school seemed to think that getting into magazines was “very hard”, and they suggested I try for something a bit more achievable.
I studied Business and Marketing at Swinburne University instead (and I am glad I did actually, because the one journalism subject I tried at Uni was probably my worst subject… and it was boring!).
Straight after finishing my last exam I jumped on a plane and headed to the UK where I landed a role in a marketing company, and that was that.
Or so I thought.
After about 12 months I was bored - I hated dealing with clients, and I was dying to do something more creative.
I came up with an idea for a features article one day, and it really stuck with me, so I thought ‘What the hell’ and I decided to pitch it to some magazines.
I emailed every publication I could think of, both in Australian and the UK. Everything from the local council newsletter, to Vogue.
I got over 40 knock backs. And then finally it was picked up by Cosmopolitan UK.
Writing that article (and then seeing my name in print), was the most fun I had had in a long time, and I just knew that that was what I was supposed to be doing (not proof reading Mobile phone ads!!).
I decided to leave the UK and come home to Australia to try and make it in magazines (via a 3 month internship at a television station in Florence, I needed some CV fodder after all… I also needed a tan!)
To get my foot in the door I decided to set up a monthly online fashion magazine with a friend. It was very rough (we did all the web design in Microsoft Publisher!), this was before “blogging” and it really helped me make an impression - eventually landing me a role as Sub-Editor at New Woman magazine.
For almost four years I worked in/for various women’s glossies in Sydney (including Shop Til You Drop, New Woman (RIP), Grazia.com.au (also RIP) and FHM (… maybe I am a jinx?)), and then in 2007 I decided to take a punt on this whole new-fangled online shopping thing.
I set up DDGdaily.com (an online magazine dedicated to all the gorgeous things you can do and buy online) – and haven’t looked back since.
I was even crowned as one of Anthill's 30 under 30 entrepreneurs for my efforts in 2010.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Growing a website from 0 to over 100K visitors a month (and still growing) with no outside funding.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Learning to make sales something I enjoy doing!
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
There are 3 -
1 - You can't and shouldn't do everything yourself (outsource, outsource, outsource!)
2 - Small thinking = small business
3 - You have to be a little bit nuts to start a small business (but it's a good thing!) ... oh and never, ever pay for social media likes/fans etc.. you should never buy something that you can't actually own.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I am getting very inspired by Marie Forleo at the moment, I am currently half way through B School and it's been both amazingly inspiring and really beneficial as well.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
There are so many, who isn't impressed by Richard Branson...Sara Blakely (the lady who started Spanx) and about 100 others.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
You have to really love it (I mean really, really eat, sleep and breathe your topic), because it is a lot of hard work, and it's also a really crowded space. Also stay true to yourself, don't try to copy anyone else, the only way to stand out in this market is to be authentic and unique (and there is no one more you, than you!)
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I flipped my thinking.
Imagine a gold fish in a teeny tiny bowl of water, it can't grow in that space. That was me.
Before I was looking at how much I was currently earning, and how I could best use that small pot of money to do things to grow the business. Then I sat down and said to myself, 'What does the business I want to run look like, how much will that cost, and how can I get there?'
So I upscaled to a much bigger tank (both physically... new office space, yay... and mentally) and that is when I started to really grow.