HOW I MAKE IT WORK...

AS SHE EX­PANDS INTO AUS­TRALIA WITH HER FIRST FRA­GRANCE, THE FASH­ION DE­SIGNER EX­PLAINS HOW SHE BUILT A GLOBAL BIL­LION-DOL­LAR EM­PIRE FROM SCRATCH

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - as told to Cleo Glyde Tory Burch EDP is in stores now; David Jones and Myer

Tory Burch on jug­gling fash­ion with fam­ily.

When I was cre­at­ing my com­pany, I had to pull from what I knew be­cause I didn’t go to de­sign or busi­ness school. I wanted to build a life­style brand, in­spired by my coun­try child­hood in Val­ley Forge, Penn­syl­va­nia, with very stylish par­ents.

My view of busi­ness is that you have to find your in­spi­ra­tion first. Meet a need with your own point of view; pro­vide some­thing unique that sets you apart. I came up with the con­cept of the com­pany when I took four years off [from fash­ion PR] and was rais­ing three ba­bies un­der the age of four at home. It was post-9/11 – a hard time to start a fash­ion com­pany. But I be­came ad­dicted to watch­ing CNN and kept see­ing this com­mer­cial about fol­low­ing your dream, and start­ing a busi­ness.

I thought, “I can work from home for the first cou­ple of years.” It was re­ally in­tense tak­ing my chil­dren to Asia and In­dia for fac­tory meet­ings in the first eight months to set up the com­pany.

Life­style was not an overused term back then. Our clas­sic yet bo­hemian aes­thetic and pri­ce­point were dif­fer­ent; I chal­lenged my­self to de­liver chic cloth­ing with beau­ti­ful de­tail­ing and fab­rics that didn’t cost a for­tune. That def­i­nitely struck a chord.

I learnt how to be a boss on the job. I wanted a great work cul­ture. I was raised to be re­spect­ful to every­one, and ex­pect the same in re­turn. I have a lot of pa­tience and don’t get sick at sea in the midst of chaos. I’m good at del­e­gat­ing and have faith in my team. The big­gest chal­lenge of a macro en­vi­ron­ment is keep­ing a team that has of­fices around the world as a co­he­sive unit – and em­brac­ing in­no­va­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, gen­der does come into busi­ness cul­ture far too of­ten. Both fe­male en­trepreneurs and men need to be part of the same con­ver­sa­tion. There’s va­lid­ity to hav­ing women on boards and in the work­force; they think dif­fer­ently and are as valid as any man. You can’t dis­count 50 per cent of the tal­ent pool!

I have a strong work ethic and have to be care­ful my team and I don’t work too much – it’s not sus­tain­able.

I have cre­ated a line in the sand: fam­ily and chil­dren come first. I love be­ing with them in South Hamp­ton and An­tigua – with pri­vacy and fresh air. I’m a coun­try girl at heart.

STYLE MAVEN Tory Burch grew her thriv­ing fash­ion and life­style brand while bring­ing up three small chil­dren.

Iden­tify the “white space” op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket – what’s miss­ing? Be pre­pared for mea­sured risk. It’s hard to put your­self out there but if you re­ally be­lieve in your­self, tak­ing that jump is nec­es­sary. Don’t over­think it. Pay it for­ward. Our foun­da­tion of­fers fe­male en­trepreneurs loans and men­tor­ing. Never waste knowl­edge. 1. 2. 3.

Tory’s tips for busi­ness

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