Embodycon is owned and operated by a passionate Mum of 2 located in Camden, NSW.
Dee is passionate about coffee, motherhood and the empowerment of women. Embodycon was born after much frustration around size, fit, comfort and practicality in women’s clothing. And most importantly realising how women de-valued themselves that they just gave up on their identity. She wanted to create something for all women that would provide a solution to their the wardrobes and their confidence.
Taking a break after 12 years as a freelance Event Producer to have her first child, Dee embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to find a creative outlet and freedom of working around her new family.
Here’s our chat with Dee:
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I feel that the spark has always been there. When I left my job to become a freelance Event Producer it opened my eyes to the freedom of choice and steering my own ship. Embodycon was born after a starting a business that was flailing and I needed to do something drastic to create the business I truly wanted.
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
No, it’s always been inside me as I have always had little side hustles along the way. Having my first daughter, then another made me realise how a life as a busy corporate Event Producer might get in the way of their lives so it was important for me to create something for myself – and I hope a legacy for them.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?
YES! Be prepared to learn as many skills as you can because you will have to wear all the hats at the beginning. Also, you need to be prepared to invest. Invest in time and invest in money. Spend the money on branding, building a great website, product, learning new skills. Because if you won’t invest in yourself, why would customers? Just a personal view. Particularly with an e-commerce store – you need to invest in traffic sources or you will be greatly disappointed. The time of ‘if you build it they will come’ no longer exists – or you will be grinding and grinding on social media for a lot longer.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- The ability to learn and adapt- especially in the beginning when you have to take on all the roles
- Strategic thinking and planning – looking at various strategies and putting to paper what steps you need to take to implement. Finding the best solutions, tools, strategies for your business and products
- Tenacity and resilience – because it doesn’t happen overnight! You have to be your own champion to keep moving through it
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?
- Ezra Firestone and Molly Pittman – for their ‘serving unselfishly’ values
- Shemara Wikramanayake – CEO of Macquarie Bank – enough said! Plus she is extremely humble and her team respect her greatly
- Cherie Clonan – The Digital Picnic. Authentic business owner changing the game of ‘digital agency’
- Jodie Fox – Formally of Shoes of Prey. She fearlessly paved the way with innovation and owns her failures.
What was the best advice that you have been given?
Don’t just outsource something you don’t know how to do. Learn the basics first so you can critically look at the work to ensure it’s being done efficiently (this was after an SEO agency nightmare and because I didn’t understand it enough I was taken for an expensive ride!). Also, order the dress in black – nearly didn’t do that and it’s been the best seller!
What do you think your key to success has been?
I’m still turning that key, fumbling around trying to find the lock. But I feel like I have a better grip now and the lights are turned on. I know when I look back in 5 years time I will say ‘my tenacity and desire too learn as much as I can about business is what got me here’.
How have you personally measured your success?
Not measuring yet! I’m taking smaller, calculated steps now to get to success. However, I feel that I have made amazing headway with my re-branding, product education and sales so far. The amazing feedback from customers has been a good indicator that I am on my way.
Outsource the skill or learn the skill?
As above! LEARN LEARN LEARN! Outsource when you have learned enough about the basics that you can critically look at any work being carried to measure performance and results.
How do you generate new ideas?
Hours reading business related blogs and business groups on Facebook. Researching on Instagram, Pinterest. With my background in events I take the approach of ‘what problem am I trying to solve, how can I make people feel and do something, what’s the best way for me to achieve this’.
My head races a lot of the time with ideas!
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I don’t have anyone to tell me what to do! Which can also be a struggle too. Actually it’s the constant learning. I like absorbing information and learning about new things.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Businesses that have heart and soul while being profitable and providing good products and services. I see these all day long in the groups and Instagram feeds. It’s inspiring to see more and more businesses driven from heart.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
In Bali drinking cocktails by the hotel pool? Ha! I am aiming to build a financially sustainable business that I can systemise my products and ranges so I can focus on quality, customer relationships and helping as many women as possible step forward with confidence.
I would like to build a business that empowers other mothers to work with family balance in mind. My vision is to have a team of powerful women who can all support the vision and bring it to life. To be in international markets and hopefully create a business that I can teach my own daughters how to be entrepreneurs too. It’s important for me that they have a strong role model – I just have to step up to that plate!
Who are the women around you that allow you to thrive?
I have a couple of ‘Business Wives’ that provide tremendous support. I met 2 of them while in an e-commerce mastermind and have maintained relationships with them today. Another is a local business mum I met at a market and we have been inseparable since. Finally, my best friend who boosts my confidence with compliments when she is incredible herself. As well as giving me winning advice such as ‘you’ve gotta risk it for the biscuit’! You need cheerleaders along the way.