06. Talking Business with Kristy from Incy Interiors .

06. Talking Business with Kristy from Incy Interiors .

Filename: Episode5_Mixed   


Duration: 45:01 


Rebecca: Hello and welcome to the Know Better, Be Better podcast. We are a podcast that is committed to learning and educating others about the lifestyle and commitment of running a small business. We started our own business Miann and Co in 2011 after our second child was born and we saw a gap in the market for natural fiber products. We are lifelong learners on an incredible journey, making a conscious effort to appreciate and enjoy every single moment of it. Join us in an unscripted conversation about our business journey, mindful thinking, ethics, business tips and tricks, travel, self-care and creativity. Gaining insight from our own experience and endeavors as well as reaching out to other amazing experts in the field, we would love to offer a deeper understanding into our business journey and the business and lifestyle realm. 

Welcome back to another episode of Know Better, Be Better. Today we've got an exciting episode as we are chatting with the gorgeous Kristy from Incy Interiors. People don't really get more inspirational than Kristy. She is a huge inspiration to me, both as a mother and also a working entrepreneur. I cannot wait to share this episode with you. Kristy goes into great detail about their business journey, some of the obstacles they've overcome and what she does for self-care. So this is a great episode and I hope you love it as much as I did chatting to Kristy. 

Rebecca: Our first ever interview podcast. 

Kristy: Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. 

Rebecca: Alright, I'm going to kick it off with if you want to tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Kristy: Yes, sure. Look, I'm 40 next year. I'm very much looking forward to it. I'm counting down to my year 40. I'm a mom. I've got two beautiful children. I've got Oscar who is 11 and Pol who is eight, Polly and my lovely husband Simon, who is very patient. I’m the sole director of Incy Interiors, which is the designer children's furniture company. 

Rebecca: That leads me into my next question. How long have you been running Incy for? 

Kristy: I've been solely working on Incy for nine years now and we launched in the February, so we are coming up to our ninth birthday. But I started working on it in the August before the February. 

Rebecca: Yeah. Okay. So tell us a bit about that journey. Nine years seems like such a long time. 

Kristy: God, where do I start? Nine years, the condensed version is that I was working for corporate. I was working at eBay at the time, traveling all the time, seeing all these amazing products that were available overseas. My son turned two. It was time for him to go into his first big boy bed and I couldn't find anything that I loved in Australia. I was looking everywhere. I was trying to import things. I was trying to... Basically, all I wanted was our typical style, like that hospital looking bed in a brown, a dark brown. I could find them everywhere. I could buy them on eBay, but they are all finished in led paint and I just couldn't get anything anywhere that I liked.

I was literally harping on to anyone who would listen. So everyone at work, my husband, my friends, they were all sick and tired of me talking about it. And then I was actually on holidays with my husband and he just said to me one day, we were laying by the pool in Fiji, I'm still talking about this bed and how hard it is. And he just said to me, he was like, "Would you shut up about it and just do it? You do it. Stop talking about it". So that's how we started. I don't know how much detail you want me to go into. I could sit here for hours telling you about it. 

Rebecca: We went through our business journey and it was a two... It ended up being a 60 minute podcast when you start listing things out. 

Kristy: Yeah. So look then we... I was really lucky. There was most definitely a gap in the market. We had massive growth. So the day that we launched, I had, because coming from a marketing background, I've negotiated like these 12 months marketing program. I remember going to people like Babyology and My Child at the time and saying to them, “Alright, I want to negotiate a 12 month buyout and I want freebies”. They were like "What? We've never done this before. People normally just contact us the day before and want an email the next day". 

I had spent a lot of time and energy making sure the marketing was right. So when we launched, we launched with a bang and we were contacted that day by four different stores who wanted to stock our product. And that was just something I hadn't even anticipated. I didn't even know that there really was a wholesale market. I had only ever worked from eBay, which I get that that is a wholesaler. But it never really occurred to me that I could be a wholesale as well. The business was purely set up to just sell online. So that was a big change. And look, then we had rapid, rapid growth for probably two years and too much. We were making mistakes and we were overselling on products and letting people down. 

We actually went, okay, we need to stop and put systems and processes place before we can grow properly. We were literally working off an Excel spreadsheet in the first year or two and no wonder we were overselling. It was just a nightmare. Yeah, so then we put systems and processes in place and then we had our next kind of burst of growth. And then last year was just like a disaster and we had so many things that went wrong. We had a container arrived full of water in February. 

Rebecca: It's my worst nightmare.

Kristy: Off the coast of Newcastle in June. And then the replacement container for that container that fell overboard got stuck on a boat in Papua, New Guinea for eight weeks. So we had all this good luck in the beginning and it was all rosy and lovely. And then year eight, eight, I think it was and Holy shit, like I... It just... It nearly broke me. It nearly broke the team. It was rough going. So last year was literally surviving and this year has kind of been getting the business back on track, making, rebuilding our brand again. Because even though all of those things were outside of our control it still had an impact on the brand. We were still letting people down and that... We hated that. As a company who really prides ourselves on making people happy, that was devastating. I think that's a thing that nearly broke me the most.

And then this year has been literally just rebuilding. I’ve got this beautiful team who've all been around for quite a long time now. Tom, my brother has been here since the beginning. There are only six of us. And so yeah, I've got this beautiful little team who just had my back and we've just spent this year getting ourselves back on track and we are all excited about next year because we've got some pretty cool growth plans for next year. So that's nine years in... I don't know how long that took. 

Rebecca: No, that's really good. Tell me a bit about like... Well, one of the next question is your biggest challenges. And I guess for me a lot of people tell you those first five years are challenging [inaudible 08:05]. 

Kristy: Say that again. It just cut out. 

Rebecca: Okay. Tell me more about the challenges because I guess a lot of people said to us when we started our business that those first five years are  the hardest and you don't expect for those hard news to come after that. You kind of think, oh, I'm going to get to those five years and it's going to be things are going to run a bit more smoother. But it doesn't actually happen that way though. So I guess... 

Kristy: [Inaudible 08:34-08:35] our hardest year.

Rebecca: We've hit challenges later on past that period as well. How did you deal with that mentally and how did you conquer that year? 

Kristy: Okay. Do you know what? I think it kind of came in a few different phases, which we've talked about off this, but I... Initially, it was just... When everything was happening, I just wanted to fix it. So I just went into fix it mode and I was just trying to keep everyone happy. I was trying to keep the stock actually arriving in the country, not wet and I was just... I kind of just wanted to make it, to fix it. And so that was fine. I was actually okay for basically most of last year because I was just fixing. And then I think like when you go on a holiday, when you start to wind down, that's when things really hit. 

So I actually went away with my family over Christmas last year and honestly, I came back going, I just had such a nice time and it was the first time in basically 12 months that I had switched off even slightly. You know when you have your own business, you don't ever switch off. But I had really been on all of last year, like literally 24/7 not sleeping, thinking. It was tough. I came back and I was like, what am I doing? My body had started to break down as well. Honestly, in the last four months, I've had every health issue imaginable. I'm sitting here with a rash over me because now I'm celiac and I had some soy sauce accidentally two nights ago. And so my face is all flared up, my arms flared up. I think that what you don't anticipate is the health.

I'm a pretty strong person. I can take a lot. I pushed myself a lot and I pushed the team a lot, but your body just kind of let you know when it can't handle anymore. So I came back from a holiday and I was like, what am I doing? Do I even want to do this? What am I doing? And so I had a real... January of this year I spent the whole month kind of going... I actually had in my head, I don't think I can do this anymore. I don't think I can put my family through it and I don't think I can put myself through it. So I really... I spent kind of a week where I was the only one who knew that. And I just kind of went, okay, how do I feel? I'm waking up this morning and I don't have Incy. 

Initially, I was kind of a bit of, oh God, that would be so good. I don't want all the stress and everything that's associated with it. And then I started telling people and it started to become real. It was almost a sense of relief. And then I don't know what clicked, but one day I just woke up and I was like, what am I doing? I don't want to let go of this. I love it. This is my life. I've spent eight years working on it. It is literally my third baby. I'm tired and I'm run down. I think my mental health was suffering a bit too. I had actually had two panic attacks as well, which also didn’t help. 

I think once I accepted that maybe I'm not as strong as I think I am and started asking for help and starting to feel passionate about Incy again, it completely changed my mindset. So now I'm all gung ho and we've got our biggest plans ever next year. So I think that it's a process and I went through a whole... Like initially, I was just getting through the time. Then I think once I started to have some time to think about it and calm down, I then, my body broke down mentally and physically and it has been twelve months. And look, I'm not... I'm sitting here with my rash so I don't have the solution, but yeah, I think that's just the reality. It's all encompassing, but I do feel like we are in a really good spot right now, even with my rash. 

Rebecca: That's amazing. I guess for me, I go to a lot of conferences and that side of things isn't always presented. It’s all the gloss and the glamour. And I think for me this year I’ve hit the same pivot point at a very similar stage that you have as well. My Health has been affected as well. What do you think we can do to overcome that or better educate people and share really the importance of self-care as well?

Kristy: I just think it's about being honest. I'm actually a really honest person so I've never... I'm an extreme extrovert, so everything... My brain processes by me saying things out loud. I've always been very honest, but I think that it's that same old thing about social media and it being all your highlights. I think if we share some of the low lights as well. Funnily enough, just this morning we've been planning out the rest of the year and January and all our marketing calendar and really refining it down to what the message is we are going do this day and what's... You know, all that kind of stuff. 

Rebecca: Absolutely, yeah.

Kristy: One of the key topics we were talking about is, we had a really tough year last year and we so appreciate everyone who has had our back this year. So we really want to go back and tell people about what we've been through and tell them about how much we appreciate them seeking by us and that is what got us through these last 12 months. So yeah, I think it's about just being truthful and honest and not just glazing over all the good things. 

Rebecca: Oh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. Like, I think, yeah, to raise that awareness is so, so important, especially with business owners, because it is such a journey and knowing that other people are going through it is so important as well. 

Kristy: Oh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I think even back to our trade shows day. Rebecca and I used to do trade shows together. The thing I love the most about that was the camaraderie and the opportunity to speak to other business owners and knowing that you are not alone, that the fact that you can't pay anyone this week, you are like, “Shit, what am I going to do when…?” You know, that you’re not completely hopeless. Like when you are on your own in your own business and you are like, "God we don’t have money coming in until next week, but we've got to pay everyone today. Like what do I do?" That becomes a really normal thing that happens in businesses, but when that first happens to you, you are just like, "What! What have I done?" Like you know, am I going bankrupt? What's going on?

Rebecca: Absolutely.

Kristy: It's very nice to have other people that you can say this is what's happening and just know that you are not alone. 

Rebecca: Absolutely. I've found probably later in the journey too, because it is true about how many businesses, like back to our trade show days, there are not a lot of people still around from those first trade show days that we started out either. There are not a lot of businesses continuing on. So it is a really hard journey and I think when you get to pass that five year, six year it can be a bit more of a lonely journey because there is not as many people walking that path because it's a very different path to when you first start to a business that's a little bit more mature in that seven, eight year period as well. 

Kristy: Totally. I totally agree. Yeah. And look, the number of businesses that have come and gone in... So we started at similar times and if I think back to all those people who were with us at those trade shows, there is very few still around today. 

Rebecca: Very few. So it also brings me back to the importance of supporting small businesses as well. I think a lot, again, coming back to perception as well, that businesses, once they get to that eight, 10 years, they are large companies, but really you are still running on that very small business style. I don't know about you, but I feel like our business journey is still just beginning, even after nine years of being in business. 

Kristy: Oh, absolutely. I still think that we are... It's like with my age. I still think I'm like 25. I still think we are just starting out and that we are still so young in the whole business journey. Like you, we are a small team. Like there is only six of us. We've had big teams, but there is only six of us at the moment and we are a cracking little team now and we can get done what probably twice the amount of people can do. But I think that's the... There are obviously positives and negatives of being a small business, but that's one of the positives, is that we can pivot tomorrow. We could literally change our strategy tomorrow. All that it requires is me to go, “Okay, let's change” and then we are done. 

There is no sign offs. There is no long convoluted present... I've worked in corporate so you know, it's very different, but yeah it is... But we are still so young. There is so much we don't know. I think it's also the game changes so quickly at the moment, like literally it changes every couple of months. And so you've really got to stay on top of it, which I think is good because you don't have a chance to get complacent. [Inaudible 18:19] so exhausting. 

Rebecca: Yes. I think that's a bit of a myth as well, because I've had friends go, “When are you going to step back and let your staff run your company?” And I've worked for bigger private companies as well and the owners were very still heavily involved. I think that when it's your own business, you can never step out of it fully. I think that's a really big misconception that you can build these businesses and then step out of them as well. 

Kristy: Absolutely. I think that what I really... I was under that perception too. So the year before last, so prior to our shitty year, that's kind of what I was working towards. I had in my head, I really want to spend some more time with the kids and if I work three or four days that would be amazing, because I have literally, I've worked more than full time on Incy and have done since day one. It's not a business that I run around my family. This is a business. I run it 9 to 5 and [inaudible 19:19] and have done from the very beginning. So I thought I'm going to work up to two to three, three to four days a week. That would be amazing and I can spend more time with the kids and I can do some exercise and all of these things. 
That's what I was working towards. To be honest, I kind of dropped the ball a little bit. I think if you are not in it every day, you kind of lose your passion and lose your drive and momentum. The good thing that came out of last year was that made me passionate about Incy again, because it kind of got to a point where I was like, this is great.  I love it and whatever. But you know, I would like to take some time for myself. I think as soon as I started to step back that's when the business started to go downhill. It has taken me getting back in there more than full time again to get us back on track. So I think that, yes, Incy isn't just about me, but I'm at the core of it and I'm what's driving it and yeah, at the... I just can't step back. That's what I've learned. 

Rebecca: No we've been the same and I think we are getting into it. We all get into it. The greater flexibility and the ideal that you are going to end up working two days around your children, but it just doesn't happen either. I think... I mean, some people manage to do it, but it is very difficult. Retail at the pace that it's changing at the moment, you just can't afford to have your finger off that pulse, I don't think. 

Kristy: Absolutely. But I think that also, I absolutely chose Incy to be like this. I have aspirations and I want us to grow and I have all these goals. So I think that yes, I probably could work three or four days a week, but Incy wouldn't be what it is. So I guess that for anyone listening who is getting a bit scared that they won't be able to do a two or three day, I think it is definitely possible. I think it just depends on what your aspirations are and mine are that I want us to be the best that we can be. So that means that I do have to work on this full time. 

Rebecca: Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I guess that's my advice too, is we all have choices and you can make... I used to think having a huge company was the aspiration, but I don't know, after being in business, for me, it's a lifestyle thing too that I want to achieve as well. So I'm still striving for that. Not there yet by any means, but we can all dream. 

Kristy: Absolutely. And look, I think that that also depends on, I go from one extreme to the other. So we moved to the country kind of halfway through the Incy business journey. So we leave a much quieter, much more calm pace of life. And so that definitely helps. But I kind of go between one extreme and the other. So on one hand I'm like, “Ah, so now I said I'm out here and it's calm and I want to go do F45 and this is great. I would just like to have a small team”. And then on the other hand I go, "Oh God, well if they can turn over that amount of money, why can’t I?” And I really want to make the US work and I really want to launch into new markets and stuff. So I think if you are an entrepreneur and you have that mindset, it's real hard to balance that because...

Rebecca: I'm with you. I'm with you.

Kristy:  I want the calm life, but when I get it. I'm like, okay, I'm bored now. What else should I do? I think [inaudible 23:00] two personality, which mine is to balance that. 

Rebecca: Absolutely. You are speaking my love language. What are some of the values do you think are super important in running your own business as well for our listeners out there? 

Kristy: Stamina. I think you have to be very open-minded and be prepared to change. I think in this current environment that would pay the two... Well, I think stamina and being able to pivot are probably... and not having an ego, are probably the two that I think will make you the most successful. If you are someone who is quite set in your ways and you are not prepared to listen to feedback or advice, I think you would really struggle in this current environment. I think 10 or 15 years ago it might've been different, but you really just have to... We are not even bothering with a two or three year plan anymore. We literally do a 12 month plan and we check in on it every three months and lots of times it changes, because there are things are changing. Like the environment is changing, marketing is changing, products are changing, our competitors are changing. So you really have to be on top of everything. I think that does take stamina and you have to kind of ditch your ego at the door.

I probably had a much bigger ego coming into Incy and having worked in corporate and you know, being young and worked my way up really quickly, I thought I knew more than I probably do. But I think once you start having your own business you've got to take that feedback on board because I just don't think you would survive otherwise. So yeah, stamina and no ego I think would be the two attributes that you really need in this current environment. 

Rebecca: Totally. So self-care, bringing it back to self-care. Self-care is a bit of a buzz word at the moment and we've discussed to the effects that running and business can have on you. Have you implemented any self-care things since last year basically to survive last year?

Kristy: Yes, I have. I have and then it's like everything in my life, I'm just extreme, so I'm either a zero or 200%. About two months ago I was... I had a period of going to the... I'm obsessed with F45. I just love it. I just love how it makes me feel. I love being there. I love the camaraderie. I just love everything about it. And so I was a hardcore. I think for probably four or five months, I was going four to five times a week. And then, I don't know, I found out I was celiac and I don't know why that impacted me going to the gym, but I would also... You know, it was a busy time, so I'm literally haven't been for three or four weeks, so I'm going back this afternoon. I just think that for me, I go at 200% all the time. I have tried yoga and all of those kind of more calming types of exercise, but they just don't work for me. I just like to punch things and get my aggression out somehow. 

I really like... I'm intense. That's the reality, so my exercise is also intense, but I just love it. It really does make me calm. It makes me feel good and I do really love prioritizing that. But look, there are other things that... My husband also has his own business and so we are quite conscious of the fact that we both run very busy businesses and our children are with a nanny every afternoon. She is the one who helps them with their homework and cooks dinner and stuff like that. So we are missing out on a lot of that integral family time. So we have... Well, more so I have a policy where we go away every school holidays for at least a week, and that's where we can actually step away from our businesses. We can spend time one-on-one and it seems a bit indulgent, but we literally just work the rest of the time. So it is... The kids just love our holidays. I love them. And it really gives us all something to work towards. I don't know if it's self-care, but it's more so just, you know, [inaudible 27:26] 

Rebecca: It fills your bucket still though. It fills our bucket as well. I think it's so important. Self-care comes in so many different forms. It's not a face mask or, yeah, I just think travel does. It just fills the soul. It gives you head space as well. 

Kristy: Oh and it just makes me so inspired. I'm just... I am fully addicted to traveling. I would travel... If I had my kids and my family with me, I would travel constantly. I love it. I get so inspired and I love… You know, we do some random holidays. I just love that the kids get to experience all of that. But I didn't go overseas... We went to Fiji once when before I was an adult so I can then... Everything else has been me taking myself there. So it's so nice to show the kids and to see the world through the kids' eyes. I think that's really cool. 

Rebecca: Oh, same. I love... Yeah. And even if you've been there, seeing it through their eyes is like seeing it fresh again in a completely different perspective as well. 

Kristy: Totally. And when we are somewhere, like if I go for work, I just really want to have the kids. I'm there and I'm like, “Oh I wish Oscar could see this. Oh Polly would love this. I'm so sad that they are not here to see these”. I guess they are the two main things. My F45 and travel are the two things that kind of keep me going. 

Rebecca: I think they are great things. I think that's a really great tip, because yeah, I think there is so much stereotype around self-care and I think it does really fill the soul, that stuff. So I think for me that's what self-care is.

Kristy: Yeah.

Rebecca: We are replenishing that bucket. 

Kristy: That's exactly right. 

Rebecca: Tell us a bit about manufacturing and how you found that process of manufacturing overseas as well. 

Kristy: I think people get re... Funnily enough, that's the question I get asked the most by anyone who is thinking about starting their own business. 

Rebecca: Absolutely, us too.

Kristy: I think it's the thing that everyone gets so scared off by and absolutely, I think I just went into it naively and I just gave it a go. So I literally... So I finished up at eBay in August and I just spent months, obviously I was lucky I had been at eBay, so I knew Alibaba existed. Not many people in Australia knew that back nine years.

Rebecca: No, absolutely not. 

Kristy: Yeah, they didn't. So I guess that was one advantage I had. I actually went to a couple of conferences and I started using an agent to help me find manufacturers. It was a local Australian agent to help me find manufacturers in China. The one manufacturer she found first was terrible. We literally had to destroy a whole container worth of furniture. I think that it's something you have to be wary of, but I think at the end of the day, most of these overseas, whether they be Asian, they could be in Europe, they could be anywhere really in this current environment, they are running a business just like me and they are humans just like me. We've had the same wooden manufacturers since the very beginning. We've never had a different wooden manufacturer and we've had the same metal manufacturer aside from the one in China that we had the container. So they have being with us for about eight years now too.

I just think it's like anything, it's about developing relationships. I really think it's worthwhile going over and seeing the factory. There are lots of horror stories about people who will take you to other factories just to try and convince you. I think at the end of the day, it's like anything. If you... I literally just took a chance on our wooden manufacturer. He was just starting out. It was him and his brother. They were little. Lots of people wouldn't touch us in the beginning because we couldn't meet [inaudible 31:25] quantities. So we took a chance on him and he took a chance on us. I'm a big believer in gut feel. I'm also a big believer in being smart. We have a thing in Incy that I'm always like, let's make smart, informed decisions. So let's get as much information as we can to make sure we are making a smart decision, but also like, let's check in with our gut and see how we feel about [crosstalk 31:50] 

Rebecca: Absolutely, yeah. That is such a thing that's not talked about, but oh, as I've gone through the stages you get that feeling and gut feeling for me is such a big part of my decision making now and trusting that gut feeling. And it's nearly always right. So when I've gone against it is when I've made the mistakes. 

Kristy: I totally agree. And I know it sounds... It makes you seem [inaudible 32:14].

Rebecca: Woo woo.

Kristy: You've been... Yeah, it’s like, just follow. You know follow where your heart takes you and you know, I don't mean that. Make sure you [inaudible 32:22], but if something feels right, just give it a go. On the flip side of that, if it doesn't feel right and you are not getting a good vibe from someone... I think that's where we've made mistakes in the past where someone tries to sell you on something and you are like, you go against what you naturally feel. That's generally the times where we've made the mistakes.

Rebecca: [Inaudible 32:47] as well.

Kristy: Yeah, a lot to be said about trusting people. Most people are genuinely good. Yes, there are scammers out there, but they are few and far between. And honestly, we haven't encountered any in our manufacturing process. We've had people who let us down, but no scammers. But I do... We now have someone over there. We have someone who is based in Malaysia and he manages all of our production now. We tried to do it ourselves and it just... because we can't get there and we manufacture all year round. So we are different to lots of other businesses. Like, I'm sure you guys are. You probably do a big batch and then that's for six months whereas we are constantly in production. So every month we get a wooden container. Every month we get a metal container. Every second month we get a velvet container and every second month we get a mattress container. So we basically have QA going on constantly. At any one time we've got about 12 containers either at the start of production on the water, about to arrive at the warehouse or being dispatched out. So they are all kind of at different [inaudible 33:56]

Rebecca: That is quite hectic as well at the other end as well. The logistics of the frequency of that is quite hectic as well. 

Kristy: It is, but we've been doing this for so many years now. We've got that down pat. It's not like we are doing big... It's not like I'm doing a season. So like you, you would go and design a whole season and then you have to go and sell that season. We just have our staples that we kind of just roll out and then we do… We might do a new thing every now and again and we are going to make that more regular now. But it's just basically reproducing the same thing they've already made. Literally, our metal manufacturer is making the same rose gold bed that they have literally made hundreds of thousands of times. So whilst it's a lot because it's constant, it's also not that much because it's just the same thing. 

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well that's amazing. That's so many good tips there. We are the same. Manufacturing is the most... I get DMS so often about manufacturing and it is honestly probably our most asked question as well. My advice is to go and visit your manufacturer as well because it's a relationship that's so integral to your business and worth investing in as well. 

Kristy: Absolutely. Well, honestly, they are at least 50% of our cost. So that's 50% of that cost that I need to make sure that we are investing in properly and we are managing that relationship properly. So yeah, our manufacturing relationship is one of our strongest. 

Rebecca: Yeah, same for us as well and so, so important as well. 

Kristy: Absolutely.

Rebecca: That brings me to the end, but I want to ask what is next for Incy and also where can people find Incy? 

Kristy: Well, so they can find... The main place they can find Incy is on our website Incyinteriors.com.au. There is also a list of our stockists on there as well if you want to visit and see something in person, always best to call ahead and make sure they've still got it on the floor. That's our primary point of contact. We are now 95% retail direct to the consumer. So that has been a big change for our business because when we started out we were 10% direct to consumer and 90% [crosstalk 36:26].

Rebecca: [Crosstalk 36:25-36:27] the same changes, because it's really... Because we are in completely different product or similar industry I guess, but yeah, we've gone through very similar changes, so it's fascinating. 

Kristy: I think that's the way that the industry is kind of going. It does make me really sad though for all of those beautiful boutiques who are so passionate and… But I think they are probably the ones who can survive this. So those who have their niche market, they get that next level up where it's kind of just a... It's going to be really interesting how everything plays out or to the next few years, because I almost feel like that middle man, it will almost be direct from manufacturer. 

Rebecca: Yeah, I'm intrigued as well. I feel like it has... You are right, it changes so rapidly. And I feel like the retail industry in particular in for some big shifts within the next 12 months to two years. 

Kristy: Totally. I would love to be able to see in advance. Like look into two years and see what it looks like. 

Rebecca: [Inaudible 17:31) 

Kristy: Back to what's next for us. We've actually got an offsite next week and we are so excited. We've got Pagan here from London and so we are literally taking three days out figure out exactly which way we go, because we honestly, we have a thousand different... We are not short of ideas right now. In other years we have kind of being like, oh, what do we want to do next? You know, where you haven't been inspired. We literally... I have five pages in my notebook of just ideas. I have two pages that are product ideas. And so where we really need to spend the time and the energy is next week figuring out how we do that. So, we have so many… Do we go down the adult paths? Do we start doing adult furniture? Do we start looking into complimentary products? Do we do [inaudible 38:5] on linen or where do we go? Do we continue this?

We've spent the last couple of years expanding internationally with [inaudible 38:35] success, works better in some countries than others. So do we change our tact and not focus on that anymore and just focus on Australia? So really we've got so many... I've got my notebook here. We have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, seven different business models we have to decide between or also a version of. That's where we are going to spend majority of our time next week. We've got all the ideas now. How do we do it in a systematic smart way so that we are not just randomly doing shit and just going... 

Rebecca: It's so exciting though. It's so exciting to, yeah. Even after eight years, which were the same, we are never short of ideas. It's just working out those processes and that how to, breaking them down into small steps as well. 

Kristy: Exactly and figuring out which direction. I think we've had a very... Over the last few years we've very much, our direction has been international. So it has been take our core product range, which we know is really beautiful and works really well and just get that out everywhere. Now, that has worked and not worked. We've spent a lot of time focusing on the US with once again, limited success. So yes, some months it's great, other months it's not. So it's kind of... It's really going back to what is the core of Incy, where do we really want us to be? And I think we are... I think this whole journey we've been on and all the shit we went through last year has made us really go well, what do we want? It's not necessarily what's going to be the most profitable or what's going to be the biggest thing to be able to say we are in 50 countries. Like, what is going to make us happy and what is going to make us feel good about it? I think that's a different mindset to how we've gone into other years. Like other years have just been about, alright, where do we grow? And what's the next thing? So this is the next thing, but I think it's in a more considered way, if that makes sense. 

Rebecca: Oh, it makes perfect sense. I'm one of those people that also chase the shiny new things as well, but it doesn't always... I've got to control that as well. I get so excited about new products and so we've experimented with so many. Yeah, it is. It's taking that time back and strategizing because after eight years, I feel like, or nine years, you are coming into your groove as well and it's a pivotal point and again, in your brand as well. 

Kristy: Totally. I think that we have kind of experimented in different... We've kind of had a little bit of a go at adult beds. We've had a little bit of a go at having our own stores. We've had a go at kind of selling other people's products. And so we've had a little bit of a dip in the water at all of these and so I guess we are coming into this with… We are just armed with more information. The thing I think that probably has been to our benefit is that we are not afraid to give anything a go. So I think we've got a lot of data now. We've tested a lot of things. A lot of that was just by saying yes to an opportunity. But now I think we, I guess we've just grown up a being and now we don't have to say yes to everything and we can go, okay, well what feels right for us. 

Rebecca: Oh, it sounds amazing. I'm so excited to see what you guys are up to on your next leg of your business journey. 

Kristy: I do feel like it's a... I really do feel like this is our next phase. I don't know what phase we are up to or what [crosstalk 42:24]

Rebecca: [Crosstalk 42:24].

Kristy: I do feel like this is a whole new phase for us.

Rebecca: Yeah, totally. And we feel exactly the same way. So guys, if you are in business and you think nine years is a long time, you can still pivot and change and get really excited about it. 

Kristy: Absolutely. Yeah. And I honestly, I'm so excited for you guys too. I love all the stuff you are doing and I'm so proud of you. 

Rebecca: Oh, same. And it's so nice to have someone that has still been there from the very beginning because you speak my love language so much and it feels like we have similar pivot points at similar times as well. So it's really nice to have that person on the other end of the phone that you can call and go, “Is this what happens or...?” 

Kristy: Is this normal? 

Rebecca: Yeah.

Kristy: Totally. It's like having your own mother's group and you have your different ages and different things and hormones. So it is nice to have people at a similar stage who you can just kind of go, "Is this normal? Is this happening for you too?”

Rebecca: Absolutely. Yeah. Well, thanks so much for joining us. I so appreciate it. 

Kristy: Thank you so much for having me. 

Rebecca: Talk to you soon. 

Kristy: Okay, bye. 

Rebecca: Bye. Wow. Where do I start? What a hugely inspirational woman. It has been such a privileged to know Kristy and also have her as a voice on the other end of the phone whenever I've needed to chat or mull over some business ideas or obstacles. So I hope you got a lot out of that chat. I did. I hope it inspires you and gives a realistic point of view on running a small business. So thanks Kristy. That was amazing. And until next week, I'll see you then guys. 

Thanks to everyone for tuning into our podcast, Know Better, Be Better. If you liked our show, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. It would mean the world to us, and if you would like to find out more about our small business, join us at www.miannandcode.com.au. For now, keep learning and striving to do better and remember to enjoy the journey and not just the end results.


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