With a passion for colourful, ethically-produced Scandinavian clothing, Stephanie White set out to open her own store, Scandi Down Under. Over time she has built up a steady flow of customers, whilst at the same time balancing work and family life. Here she talks about how business is going and her dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My own love for the gorgeously colourful and ethically-produced Scandinavian clothing brands that I stock was the main driver for setting up my business. I had been out of the paid workforce for several years after having my two children, and had just started dipping my toe back in with casual work in a children’s toy/clothing shop. One night I had an incredibly vivid dream that I opened my own Scandi store – this was very unusual for me as I’m not usually someone who remembers their dreams. It struck a real chord with me, and after discussing it at length with my partner, I decided to see where it took me.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I launched in October 2017, so had the benefit of the run up to Christmas. It was a fairly soft launch, not being very business-minded it hadn’t even occurred to me to try to build a following on social media before the launch! There was (and is) an existing lovely Scandi-loving Facebook community so I advertised my existence to them and went from there.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I wouldn’t say there has been any single big break-through, it’s been rather a process of steady, slow growth. Being able to build relationships with suppliers and therefore have a good selection of stock to offer my customers has been crucial, along with doing my utmost to ensure a pleasant customer experience. Positive word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers has been, and continues to be, hugely important for me.