How exactly does one start a business? Meet Bree Cresp – the owner of Lulu Rocket Retro - a vintage clothing shop based in Australia. She’s also a Debitoor customer.
I’ve asked Bree to answer a few questions about her business & Debitoor and it’s fascinating to read through the answers and learn, once again, that once you find your passion, you can make a great business out of it.
From selling small collection of retro-inspired clothes on Facebook to planning her own fashion line – read the interview with Bree below and perhaps you’ll pick up a few tips about starting on your own.
Sasha: Tell us about Lulu Rocket Retro.
Bree: I run a predominantly online store called Lulu Rocket Retro. I sell all sorts of retro inspired clothes, shoes, accessories, home wares and handmade objects. I want my customers to understand the love and passion I have for all the items I sell. They are things that I, myself own, use and admire. I try really hard to keep my profit margins as low as possible so my wares are affordable for all!
S: How did you get started?
B: The idea for this business came from my own frustration with not being able to find the kind of 40′s and 50′s inspired clothes I like to wear, at prices that I could afford on a low wage.
While working full time in music retail I began spending all of my spare time searching the net for wholesalers that created or sourced great quality and affordable clothes and shoes. I found a few and ordered some things in.
I created my own Facebook page and put some of the items up for sale. Within a few weeks I had close to 1000 followers and had sold out of what I had in stock and had plenty more orders. It took off so quickly that within 6 months I had quit my other job and started concentrating solely on Lulu Rocket Retro.
S: What have you learned so far from running your own business?
B: The main lessons I have learned is that you get out of it what you put in. The more time and effort I put into finding new items and loading pictures onto social media, the more sales and fans I get.
But the biggest lesson is that when you find something you love to do and have a passion for (and can make a living out of it) the happier you will be, as for me, most days don’t feel like work. I get so much pleasure in making my customers happy, and when each new wholesale orders arrive it feels like Christmas! It doesn’t get better than that!
S: What was the biggest challenge for you starting out?
B: The biggest challenge for me was starting a business and keeping it go with no initial monetary outlay. I was living day to day and using all of my wage from my other job to buy in small amounts of clothes and shoes to re-sell. The first few months were really hard but love and the passion outweighed any worries I had and made me push through.
S: What’s the best thing about running your own business?
B: I love when a customer posts on my Facebook page with a photo of them wearing their new shoes or dress, and I know I have brought a little happiness into their lives.
I love hunting the internet and finding new wholesalers and designers that want their products sold in Australia.
S: What’s the next big step for you and your shop?
B: The next big step for my business is my own personal label. I have been working hard on creating some amazing 40′s and 50′s inspired designs and have sent off some designs to get samples made. I am very excited to see what might become of the “Lulu Rocket Retro” brand.
S: What was your first accounting experience and how has it changed?
B: When I first started my business I just keep a few different notebooks, full of incoming, outgoing, orders, expenses. It was messy and confusing! I looked into getting bookkeeper services but could simply not afford it.
I do have an accountant but the only time I use them is once a year to lodge my tax.
S: How did you come across Debitoor?
B: I did an Internet search for an invoicing software quite early on, as my business began on Facebook and I needed a way to invoice people for their orders. I came across a few different ones, that I checked out and did some sample invoices. Debitoor was one of them. I found it the most comprehensive and simple to use, so I chose it and have never looked back.
S: What is your favorite thing about Debitoor?
B: I love the “Reports” tab with Debitoor. That it just takes one click and I can see the sales and expenses for the month and know how much money I have to play with.
S: Is there anything you’d like to see added in Debitoor? Any feature suggestions?
B: Currently Debitoor, as it is, fulfills all the needs I have for invoicing and accounting software!
S: Could you tell me a little bit about your accounting routine?
B: I use Debitoor almost every day for invoicing my customers that purchase through my Facebook page, (of which there are many). For this reason I am always using the invoicing features. It is great to be able to save customers details, and save the most common items that I sell, to save me time inputting data for each invoice.