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
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.
COCKTAILS ON THE ROCKS. GETTING TO WORK WITH YOUR BESTIE? HELL YES!
WE’LL TAKE THE WHOLE BOX, THANKS!
PRETTY IN PINK.