I caught up with Sydney-based fashion entrepreneur Kath Purkis, the force behind subscription-based retailing concept Her Fashion Box and clothing e-tailer, Le Black Book. If you’ve missed it on social media, HFB is an exciting concept that delivers an ever-changing box of goodies (cosmetics, jewellery and accessories) to your door every month. With an almost cult-like following on Instagram, and big plans in the pipeline, HFB and Kath are exciting “ones to watch”!
BWA: You’re the boss lady at two very exciting fashion e-businesses (Le Black Book and Her Fashion Box.) Could you give us a little more detail about what both businesses are all about?
KATH: Le Black Book was my first online fashion business which I started at 21 years old. LBB focuses on fast fashion for the time-poor girl on the go. We also stock a range of Australian Designer brands. My latest business which takes up 100% of my time is Her Fashion Box, a global fashion subscription service which ships thousands of boxes out each month. HFB is an exciting business as we put together a monthly fashion box filled with on-trend fashion accessories & beauty goodies we love. We also make a monthly HFB magazine which features in the box & do a editorial shoot with the accessories.
BWA: How did you become a fashion entrepreneur? Was it always on your to-do list?
KATH: Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to have my own business, starting my first business at 21 years old. I was working for an Australian Fashion Designer at 18 years old & always passionate about fashion. Something stronger than my passion for fashion is my love of technology particularly anything related to online retail. With HFB I do the fashion buying each month with the team & have always had my own style & an eye for what other women will love.
BWA: How do you manage your workload, running two rather large businesses in such a fast-moving industry?
KATH: I have an amazing team who I work with & they have become more like family. Being in the start-up phase of a business in the first year is really tough & it’s rewarding seeing the team grow as the business grows. Having a great team means I can focus on what I’m great at & know that they are also kicking goals at the same time.
BWA: Who constitutes your main customer across both businesses?
KATH: Our customers are young women 18-40 who LOVE fashion & beauty. We’ve found our Her Fashion Box customer loves the monthly subscription box surprise & something to look forward to each month. We take out the guesswork of accessorizing each month & become your own secret stylist.
BWA: What is your motto in life?
KATH: Be passionate about what you do & enjoy each day! I’m a strong believer that if you follow your passions, you will be incredibly successful.
BWA: Who, and or what are your major inspirations?
KATH: I take inspiration from everyone around me & I’m a sucker for a great calligraphy inspirational start-up quote. My partner also inspires me every day in more ways than I thought was possible.
BWA: What would be your perfect day?
KATH: Driving to Palm Beach for the day & having breakfast at The Boathouse overlooking the peaceful water followed by a walk to the lighthouse & paddle boarding in the afternoon. I enjoy the little things & love to unwind when I can.
BWA: What do you see as being the biggest challenge in your industry or sector?
KATH: There are always challenges in any business but I’ve found that staying ahead of the pack is really important. We love to innovate here at HFB & create something unique for our subscribers. We’ve also just expanded into a monthly fashion collection of on-trend dresses, blazers, shorts & tops fashion to complement our HFB box accessories.
BWA: Where do you see Her Fashion Box going in 2015 and beyond?
KATH: We want to scale out our monthly fashion subscription box & fashion collection globally to a larger audience. We have other box verticals in the works behind the scenes & want to grow our fashion e-tail offering to a monthly fashion collection of 400 styles.
BWA: Where do you see fashion e-tailing going in 2015 and beyond?
KATH: Subscription fashion is my bet right now combined with a strong fashion e-tail site! If you can excite, inspire & make your customers happy then you are onto a winner. That’s our ultimate goal here at HFB.
BWA: 10 things you cannot live without
KATH: My iPhone, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, the HFB team, Hom Yoga, My Macbook Air, Skinphysics Light Lamp, Instagram, Gelato Messina, The Beauty Chef Glow Powder & my HFB accessories!