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1 May 13

How I Grew My Business Through The GFC

7 years ago I was there with my baby girl, we’re building a house and I have a business.

Being online was supposed to be easy, less stock, less overheads and less stress. You can build a website and the people just flock to it…. That wasn’t the case; we spent the same amount on our website as what some people spend on a shop fit. You have to buy the some amount of stock because customer’s expectations are still the same. The only difference is I can work the hours I want to work and do it in my jim- jams if I choose too. But we got there, growing and growing and building momentum.

Then the GFC struck and the orders stopped and the traffic ceased. Dead. Died.

I was arguing with my business partner who keep saying “People aren’t spending money, the current state of the economy is dire…we’re in a depression”

After we were cancelling orders that I knew we needed but couldn’t afford, we were scared. I KNOW the impact it had on businesses. But I am a little crazy and maybe a little stubborn because I keep saying “We can do this, we just need to think different. Be different. Women are not going to stop wearing bras!!!”

I put my head down and devoured any information I could get my hands onto about the economy, the internet and researched what businesses were doing that were still growing and making money. It paid off because I realised that now people think twice about spending their money but once they know you, like you, trust you and you give them value and back it up, they will buy. With this new economy unfolding I thought “What can I offer my customers that will eliminate their fear”

Information: if I give them honest advice, opinions and value just because I can and I care…. They will buy. Welcome to the information age and my blog was born.

The blog was my platform, my voice to educate, enlighten and entertain my customers. Honestly and unbiasedly, turns out they are two values that people want because not only did my blog become valuable to my customers but it’s a get marketing tool. Who knew! My business was flying again and we found our way. Pretty soon my path was made very clear to me, Bra Queen is where a felt alive because I can combine my new love of lingerie and business background to make a difference in these crazy times.

And I believe that we are in middle of another change… that’s why at Bra Queen we are launching The Lingerie Vault a vivacious business community. we have bringing back the F.U.N Factor….Fulfilment, Unity and it can Now.

So, when I say “You CAN make money in Retail and it is not doom and gloom, people are still spending money” I KNOW the impact it had and I see it as a time of immense growth and a wonderful chance to look at our businesses with fresh eyes. I understand the heartache, the fear and your loss but we came out the other end brighter and stronger ready for action.

In my 18 years of being in Retail and business, I realise we are all new comers and old timers because we are constantly evolving. If we’re not then that’s when the doors close.

Anyone can transform and grow their business!

I was forced to think outside the square and think creatively because we had no money to spend on marketing. It was and still is about building connection, collaborating and contributing to unite the industry and creating the best, most exciting, most entertaining, most empowering experience for our customers.

Why in the world would you be in business?

My whole life this is what I have always wanted to do, own my own business.

Why I really don’t know, it was just that was in my heart.

You do your market research, your business plans and everything else you need to do. You read all of the material and as much as they say ‘There are little to no rewards in the beginning’ you say ‘That’s Ok, I know and that’s fine because it’s what I love’

Then you open and it feels like FINALLY! We’re here.

Reality: NO YOU’RE NOT!

You haven’t even started. The fun starts here!

Now you have to make sales, marketing, networking, promotions, accounting, and orders and it goes on and on and on.

Everyone keeps saying “Wasn’t there like a global financial crisis? Are people even spending money? We’re not taking on any more labels, we have no customers coming in” It’s the rent, it’s the overheads, it’s the government it’s the ARGH!

So the excitement and adrenalin soon becomes stress, fatigue, exhaustion. The smile lines turn into frown lines because you know what ‘There are little to no rewards in the beginning’

The time, dedication, consistency, motivation and the passion it takes consumes you. It’s what you live it’s what you breathe! It’s the first thing you think about in the morning and last thing you about at night and if that’s not enough


Then something happens the “BOOM” your light bulb moment!

It’s not what is on the other side, it’s about the journey. It’s the right here, right now what’s in front of you. That’s what matters and when we change that…the now we change tomorrow.

And you STOP!

You realise that your job will never be done. There will always be something that needs improving, fixing or updating. You and your business is constantly evolving and YOU need to enjoy the process and trust the process and know that everything that has gone wrong and right. It has brought you here to this very moment. Right here, right now.

When you realise that from the bottom of your heart this is what you live and breathe for. It’s more then a job, it’s more then a business it is an extension of who you are. Your platform to make a difference, to leave a legacy and to live a life filled with love and laughter.

That is why I am in business and there is NOTHING small about small business, every element of huge and great and wonderful.





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  • What a fabulous article Renee!

    As you know FUN is where I believe all the magic is in life, love and in business and I love that you’re bringing fun back into business.

    I love, love, love your attitude and it’s so obvious that you really do care and love sharing your passion and knowledge – the world needs more people like you.

    Chizelle recently posted..Winter in the Raw and on The Earth Diet

  • Thanks so much Chizelle!

    We just don’t have enough fun! It is the essense of everything and I do love this industry SO MUCH! Together we can empower women through the self expression of lingerie, what’s not to love 🙂

    Bra Queen recently posted..Making Your Mark

  • I love your energy and verve Renee. I know exactly what you mean – the fun and excitement of thinking creatively and overcoming challenges and you’re right – it is so much fun when we approach it right!
    jo casey recently posted..21 Ways To Build Your Resilience

  • I totally agree and I do really believe it’s a GOOD thing, I know it can be tough when it feels like out of our control but the universe always has our back!

    Bra Queen recently posted..What’s Hot Coming Out Of the US In Lingerie

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