How we got here: From BFFs to busi­ness part­ners

High school besties Is­abelle Miller and Chloe Kim tell Cosmo how they launched their frozen al­co­holic pop­si­cle busi­ness from the fam­ily kitchen at just 23

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

How did you come up with the idea for IYC Pop? CHLOE: Af­ter school we both trav­elled a lot and saw that places like Mi­ami and Lon­don had these fun al­co­holic pop­si­cles. Given Aus­tralia has some of the best weather in the world, we thought we should have our own ver­sion.

You launched in late 2016. How has your tar­get mar­ket changed since then?

C: We thought our tar­get mar­ket would be young women aged 18­25, but through word of mouth, we’ve gained busi­ness at 30th birth­day par­ties, music fes­ti­vals and lots of wed­dings. One of our best busi­ness de­ci­sions was align­ing our­selves with pop­u­lar Aus­tralian brands such as West­field and Sun­nylife. It opened up a whole new range of cus­tomers for us.

How did you fund it?

C: We both moved back home and pooled all of our sav­ings. We also did a bit of crowd­fund­ing with our fam­ily and friends, which was a big help. IS­ABELLE: We’ve had a lot of in­vestors ap­proach us, but we’ve al­ways de­cided against it. We have such a great working re­la­tion­ship that we didn’t want to bring on any­one who wasn’t on the same page as us. We also didn’t want to sell eq­uity for too low a cost, but rather build up mo­men­tum and then de­cide where we want the busi­ness to go. When we need more fund­ing, then we’ll con­sider in­vestors.

How in­te­gral is so­cial me­dia to your busi­ness?

I: We knew from the start it would be such an im­por­tant tool for us. Be­ing com­pletely self­funded, we didn’t have any budget for tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing. So we needed to de­sign pack­ag­ing pretty enough that peo­ple will take photos of it and put it on their Instagram and es­sen­tially do our mar­ket­ing for us.

C: Last win­ter, we rein­vested all the money we’d made from the previous sum­mer into re­ally strong brand­ing. We got pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy done, which re­ally boosted our so­cial me­dia pres­ence. Have you been dis­crim­i­nated against be­cause of your age? C: Peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate us be­cause of it. They’re al­ways a lit­tle bit shocked when they re­alise we’re not only young, but women, be­cause the liquor in­dus­try is very male­dom­i­nated.

I: Chloe once went to a meet­ing and took one of our in­terns, who is male and younger than us, with her. When she got there they went to shake the in­tern’s hand and blanked Chloe, think­ing he was the founder.

The best part about working with a busi­ness part­ner?

I: Peo­ple think run­ning your own busi­ness is glam­orous, but that’s only five per cent of it. The rest is hard work and long hours, so it’s good to have some­one to sup­port you when you’re sleep­de­prived and hav­ing a tough week.




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