How CQ woman built million dollar business from lounge room
FROM making home decor, bags and accessories on her lounge room floor, Blackwater's Angela Taylor has grown her business, Country Allure, to a million-dollar business employing 12 staff in just three years.
It was recently nominated in the National Retail Awards, under the people's choice category - a demonstration of the quality and following of the online business.
It's the second accolade Angela has been in line for since she founded the business in 2017, after taking home two gongs at the Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards last year.
The awards were for Emerging Business of the Year and Young Business of the Year.
This latest nomination in the countrywide awards has blown Angela's mind.
She was "absolutely stoked" when she was found out the news.
"It was not expected ….it is a testament we are doing something right," she said.
"It's some sort of measure of how we are going."
To be nominated for an award is extra special, as the nominations come from a customer who genuinely loves the product and the brand.
"It's keeps us going, it's like anything you are doing something, and you get positive feedback it makes you want to keep going and do better," Angela said.
Country Allure was founded in February 2017 and has grown exponentially as an online wholesale and retail outlet.
Angela had a desire to run her own business and work for herself.
Falling in love with cowhide, she started with a small range of products.
Three months in customers were loving her products, and at the six month mark she had to concede and employ someone to help with all of the orders.
Now, she employs 10 staff and is putting on two more next week.
The roles range from customer service, HR, wholesale, a creative team that crafts all the jewellery, photography and a social team.
Based in Blackwater, it's a huge boost to the rural community and they support charities and local sporting events where they can.
Reflecting on the staff numbers, Angela said she never imagined her business would grow this big - it sure is a stark difference from her lounge room floor.
And it doesn't stop there - last year the business supported a million-dollar turnover.
Not one to stop, Angela has plans to grow even further up to a multi-million business in the next couple of years.
"Once I hit the six-figure mark, I thought if I can do this in this amount of time, what can I do to make this better," she said.
Angela invested in herself and the business and booked mentorships, learning ways of entrepreneurship and what she can do to expand.
She is looking to crowdfund later this year between $50,000 to $100,000 to build an inland manufacturing site so the business can make its own decor and handbags.
Angela also has her eyes set on growing an international market, building the business' exporting and international retailers.
But all of this, she says, wouldn't be possible without her dedicated and passionate staff.
"I have to take my hat off to my team, without my team I wouldn't have gotten this far," she said.
Angela's outstanding success is instant proof that living regionally or not having a wealthy backing will not prevent business success.
"A lot of our business model is around empowering and inspiring women, you don't have to have a business degree, be in a capital city, anything is possible," she said.
"It does have it challenges with logistics and things that are unavoidable in a small town but with social media and internet, it's possible.
"It's a matter of how powerful you are at sales and how willing to do the work."
When asked about what her success came down to, Angela said it was about brand awareness.
Country Allure has a strong focus on posting constantly on all social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram and even TikTok.
"You have to be front of mind, it's not the end of the road when something like coronavirus comes up, if you spend all of the time creating brand awareness, people know and trust your brand outside of what is happening, they will still buy your product. Birthdays and occasions are still happening, people still need to buy things," she said.
"As long as you have good customer service and a good product."
Having a direction is also key, along with passion and drive, but knowing where you want to go and planning towards that - which is reflected in Angela's goal to grow internationally and build a manufacturing hub.
"There is no real point where I have thought I have made it, I am successful," she said.
"I just keep working to be better than I was yesterday."
While Angela has spent many long hours building the business, it is still surreal for her to sit down and take in how far she has come.
"I came from a mining and agriculture background, I used to fix things and drive things … I never did the retail thing," she said.
A lot of her success also comes down to her drive to execute whatever vision she imagines.
"It's something that is innately in people, it's something that is really hard to teach and learn," she said.
"They have that drive and ability to have that passion to get that done.
"You will find the tools, you will figure it out.
"If you want something as bad as you want to breathe, you will find a way to make it happen."
To vote in the National Retail Awards, click here.
Voting closes tomorrow.
Online business based in Blackwater
Quality cowhide products from fashion, jewellery, bags, accessories and decor
Nominated for People's Choice Award in the National Retail Awards