These two incredible ladies should write a book on creating a beautiful brand! I’d sure buy it, and probably gift it to every business owner I know as well. Victoria and Emma from The Beach People are renown for seamlessly personalising a brand with character and major style, and it’s no secret that the Wholehearted team are big fans. We loved chatting with them about the day-to-day, dealing with copycats and what being wholehearted means to them.
Who are you and what do you do?
Vic – My name is Victoria and I am a wife, mother to a young lad & one half of The Beach People
Emma – My name is Emma and I am wife, mother to three girls and the other half of The Beach People
What is a typical day for you? TBP is a really big business now, how do you juggle everything?
Vic – Every day is different! Some days are more administrative, others are very physical on shoot, or in the warehouse. I am very realistic in my planning and try to leave space in my diary for the unexpected so I am never to busy for the dramas that arise with a business and young family.
Emma – Up early with my girls and it’s all about the breakfast/school juggle. Then into the office with the team. My day can be as varied as planning our product releases for 2019/2020 summer to what picture we are going to post on social media that day. It is a juggle but I just try to give my all and my best to what’s in front of me, be that a nappy or a pantone swatch book… bahahaha.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
Vic – I am very thankful that I get to do my dream job in the small coastal town where we live, while raising my family. That’s a real dream.
Emma – I love that I get to be creative every day… I am very thankful for that.
When did you start doing what you do and turn it in to a business? Tell us about that moment. Did you think it would grow as large as it has?
Vic – It was a very simple moment when Emma turned to me and said, “I think I would like to make round beach towels”. We started the business and we had no idea that it would be as large as it is. It took us by surprise!
Emma – We always intended to have a business, it’s been a huge journey. It took us just over three years before we took a single dollar out of the business, even then we’ve only been taking a salary for a couple of years now.
How did you get the courage to take the jump and make the leap? When it came to ordering stock how did you have the faith that it would work and sell?
Vic – It only took a little courage to start as no one knew a thing about The Beach People then and there was very little risk… so taking the leap wasn’t too hard. After about 18months into the business I was still working at a a cafe full time and full time on the business I took a leap and quite my job. That was hard! As we went down to one income (my husbands) in our family for a couple of years before I could afford to pay myself a wage out of the business.
Emma – My story is similar… it took a bit of courage to put my designs and my brand out there and ask the internet, “do you like it” ha! We ordered very small amounts when we started and now we are a little more confident and try where we can to pre-test the market before placing orders.
What does being wholehearted mean to you? Tell us about a time when you really had to push through and be wholehearted.
Vic – We have been designing product for almost 6 years now. Often we design something and go to release it and then someone else releases something very similar, we always pull back our release as never want to be seen as copying. We are true originators in a retail environment that is basically built on stealing other peoples designs. We have been designing an umbrella for 3 years for this very reason! Ha! I think being wholehearted means living a life of integrity and kindness both in and outside the board room!
Emma – I think being wholehearted is treating people how you want to be treated. Being kind and strong all at once.
How have you coped with seeing other round beach towels popping up all over the place?
Vic – The first one was a stab in the heart, like anything I stood back and looked at the situation and thought, how do I approach this. We decided to hire an incredible IP attorney that takes care of it all and now we don’t even notice, we don’t spend any emotional, creative energy caring about the copy cats. Although this week Kmart released an exact replica of one of our bags. That hurt a little especially as it is made out of plastic and not recycled paper. It so so sad.
Emma – I do see it more and more as a compliment, when I see someone on the beach with an imitation of something I have designed I think… wow… I’ve influenced the textile market on a global level… all from my little sleepy seaside town… that’s pretty cool.
Your imagery aesthetic is very recognisable and unique, how did you work out what you wanted it to be like? How did you lock in that art direction style that you are now known for?
Vic – That’s all Emma – it’s all in her head! Ha!
Emma – I made a brand guideline in the first few months of having the business and everyone that works for us memorised it. I now have an incredible team that have each in their own way evolved the aesthetic. We always stay true to who we are and try not to be swayed by the trends.
What has been your proudest career achievement to date?
Vic – Working with my sister.
Em – Oohhhh same… and showing my girls that if mama can do this so can you!
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