Sydney-based friends and entrepreneurs Natasha Jovanovic and Aisha Jacobs launched Miss Holly from their lounge room floors in June 2014. Since then, the growth of the company has been remarkable. Their broad range of fabulous clothing consistently sells out within days of launch and with over one million fans on social media (and rising!) they are well situated to ignite the world of fashion both online and offline. Smart Healthy Women recently caught up with Natasha and Aisha to find out more:
1. Tell us about yourselves ? your background, influences and strengths:
We are both born and bred Sydney girls that grew up loving the beach, sun and the outdoors. We also have always had a lifelong interest and passion with styling and fashion; since first becoming friends in our early teens.
We are influenced by many different successful business people, artists, models etc. However we both are truly inspired and have the highest respect for Sophia Amoruso (founder of NastyGal). The obstacles she has overcome to become one of the industry?s most revered business women is incredible.
I think our strengths would be our passion for success. We do have a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed; and we have a love for what we do.
2. Tell us about Miss Holly:
? when did you come up with the concept;
Since becoming friends in our teens it has been our dream to start a business together, but both of us we were really busy with our day to day lives and we couldn’t seem to find a way to make it work with our commitments at the time. During a late night phone call we realised that there was a gap in the market for quality affordable styles online and realised we simply couldn’t wait any longer or we would miss the boat.
? what was your main inspiration for the brand;
Our main inspiration was to develop runway looks for an affordable price ? without compromising on quality! Something that we (as fashion lovers) have struggled to find.
3. What is you core biz philosophy?
To combine exceptional customer service with top quality affordable styles; to create a unique and stylish design label that is consistent for the customer.
We want to see the Miss Holly label in every girls wardrobe!
4. How do you measure your success?
We measure our success by our customer satisfaction levels and our social media engagement. We absolutely LOVE when people tag or hashtag us (#Misshollyxox) while wearing our outfits. We love that we are able to help girls look and feel great about themselves ? through their fashion.
5. Who are your role models or mentors in life and biz?
As mentioned before someone we have a lot of respect for and admire deeply is Sophia Amoruso. She is a woman that has inspired us and we see as a key role model for us in this industry.
However we find inspiration with stories of other powerful fashion leaders such as Miuccia Prada (taking her family luggage range into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate), Natalie Massenet (Net-a-Porter), Jin Sook Chang (Forever21) and Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss (Rent-the Runway).
6. What have been the main challenges in setting up your biz?
Our biggest struggle has been trying to keep up with the demand. Finding a quality manufacture you can trust can be daunting and costly. We have had to send a lot of samples back and forth until we were happy and this takes time and can be a disaster if you end up with 2000 pieces that are made incorrectly.
7. What has been the most significant accomplishment you can lay claim to since the biz?s inception?
Our social media growth and being able to work alongside each other in an office we have personally designed to be like our home.
8. Describe a typical day on the job.
LAUGHTER! We laugh from the minute we walk in the door with each other. We spend a lot of time working on upcoming trends, designs and how we can improve customer satisfaction levels and increasing our engagement in social media.
9. I know that running a fledgling biz can take a huge toll on, not just yourself, but all areas of your life. How do you balance your work schedule with motherhood and other areas of life like relationships, social life and health?
Right now because the business is so young, it can be really hard. We work long hours, so our social life has taken a backwards step, but we are happy to compensate that to fit in our family life. We jog down to the harbour together at lunch daily to keep up with our fitness and clear our heads.
Social media has been the key to our growth and we started as the USA peak summer period was approaching and due to this 50% of our sales are from the USA. Timing has played a significant part to our success.
11. You started this biz as an online point of sale but quickly moved into designing the clothing according to trends and customer demand. How has that benefited the bottom line?
We are able to reduce our costs because we can manufacture rather than buying at wholesale prices. This has increased our bottom line significantly as the savings are more than 50%. Not having the same product as everyone else also increases our demand by offering something different.
12. What advice would you give someone starting out in a similar biz?
Plan ahead for growth and listen to your customers and do something you love! Time it right!
13. And finally, where do you see your biz in 10 year?s time?
In major retail department stores locally and internationally! We want to see every girl have a Miss Holly outfit in their wardrobe!
Want more? You can find Miss Holly online here: