In 2002 Nicole Jureidini went shopping, tried on some clothes and noticed unpleasant makeup stains left by other customers who had tried on the same items.
It turns out those stains are the bane of fashion retailers as marked clothes have to be dry cleaned or discounted.
Jureidin’s answer is the Face-It, a disposable scarf fashion retailers can make available in change rooms.
Ten years later, Jureidinihas a thriving business selling Face-It Scarves around Australia and numbers Max Mara and Hugo Boss among her clients. In this Q&A, she shares some of her experiences and advice for other entrepreneurs.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?
A: Starting with a business idea, turning it into a product and then taking it to market needs a great deal of commitment and time. Success doesn’t just happen overnight, and it often means working 24/7 to turn a dream into reality.
Q: What’s the best business decision you’ve ever made?
A: Never give up on yourself or your dreams. Starting and running a successful business is all about persistence – if you try something and it doesn’t work then move on and tackle it from another perspective. One of my favourite mottos is: “One door closes and another opens.”
Q: How do you delight customers?
A: People love good old-fashion service and attention to detail, so it always pays to add a personal touch in your dealings with customers. For example I like to add that element of surprise by adding bonus bundles of scarves for new customers and existing customers who refer new clients. This helps to build solid and enduring business relationships.
Q: Share your number one sales technique with us.
A: The key is listening to customers and delivering exactly what they need on time, every time. It is so important to consider the feedback of fashion retailers who use our product, as well as their customers. If it weren’t for this, Face-it Scarves would not be planning to develop a new product line – home packs for personal use.
Q: Favourite piece of business technology? Why?
A: My iPhone – its multifunction capabilities means I have everything I need including a diary, contacts, email and access to the internet. I take it everywhere so that I am always accessible.
Q: What’s more important in business: passion or preparation? Why?
A: Definitely passion. If you believe in your product passionately, then your ability to sell it is enhanced immensely.
Q: How do you relax?
A: Meditation is the most effective form of true relaxation for me and I’ve found that it brings inner peace, balance and clarity – which helps with making good business decisions.
Q: If someone gave you $100,000 and said “invest this in your business by the end of the week – or lose it” what would you do?
A: Of course I would invest it in my business! But before investing the $100,000 I would determine the expectations of the investor.
I would be keen to invest the money into further product development – we have a great track record in aligning supply of a product with market demand.
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