Folks We Love with Kristy Withers of Incy Interiors
Who is in your family?
How did you choose your kids names?
With Oscar I bought a baby name book and I opened the book and the first name I saw was ‘Oscar’ and basically he was Oscar from that day forward. When it came to Polly, we really tossed up between Polly and Poppy and ended up flipping a coin just before I went into have her. I am so glad that it came up ‘heads’ as Polly is the perfect name for her.
Founder of Incy Interiors
Can you walk us through going from an online retail business to an online store, a physical store and over 170 stockists nationally and internationally in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore and USA?
The various changes in our business model have all happened organically. We started out online as my previous experience was managing eBay Australia’s Marketing & Advertising Team and it was all I knew. There was a huge gap in the market and on the day we launched we were approached by 2 stores to stock our products and then 25 by the end of our first week. We ended up opening our own store in Chatswood Chase because Sydney was one of our largest markets and we couldn’t find stockists in Sydney with the floor space to represent our brand effectively. The move internationally was due to demand. We really try to listen to our customers and respond to their requests/ideas.
Where does your hustle comes from?
My mum was one of the original feminists, she was out there smoking her pipe with her afro perm whilst burning her bra so that I have the opportunities I have today. Mum always worked full time and I don’t know any different, plus my dad has always had his own business so the hustle is ingrained in my DNA.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love every component of my job.
In particular I love the design component where I source inspiration internationally as well as listen to customer feedback to help shape the new collection- it’s one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.
What is the hardest part about your job?
The hardest part of my job right now is keeping up with everything. I think I have a good understanding of things (social media, the retail environment, Google AdWords, etc) and then it all changes again!
How do you balance your work life, home life, and time for yourself?
I compartmentalize each part of the day and make it a priority to spend time with my family when I’m home, and dedicate work to work.
Now the kids are older and more self sufficient, making time for myself is much easier. My me time is generally spent with friends or exercising. I am an extreme extrovert who recharges by being around other people.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Make your numbers – make sure you understand and track regularly the key numbers for the business.
Surround yourself with intelligent and motivated people.
Understand your customer and listen to their feedback.
Know your brand and hold firm to your brand values.
Always Be Kind
What is your favorite book? Favorite music?
I read every night before I go to sleep so I average a book or two every month. I am not picky about what I read, I will read anything from chick lit to self help and everything in between. Sadly, my favourite music is country and I love nothing more than blaring the Dixie Chicks or Garth Brooks.
What was it like for you when the rose gold cot you gave Serena Williams went viral? How has that changed your business?
This was a pinch me moment for us. Serena is a woman I have always respected. She is strong, influential and a great role model for women.
Her selection helped put Incy on the global map even more.
How do stay connected with your partner?
I would love to be able to tell you that we schedule date nights and really work on our relationship but that would be a complete lie. My husband runs a large Civil Construction company and also travels regularly, so our connection comes from simply being in the same place. We are living proof that absence does make the heart grow fonder!
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
My absolute favourite thing to do with my family is spend those first 10 or 15 minutes in the morning all snuggling in bed together and talking about what the day might bring.
What does self care look like for you?
My New Year's resolution last year was to give back to myself after giving everything I had to Incy and my family over the last 7 years. The give back included taking time each day to exercise, focusing on my health and what I was putting into my body, booking time away with my family each school holiday, making time to spend with friends and taking up yoga. The Kristy at the end of 2017 is a much nicer, happier and healthier version of the Kristy at the start of 2017 and this has inspired me to take it further. Fingers crossed that the Kristy at the end of 2018 is an even better version of myself again.
What advice would you impart on a first time mom?
Be nice to yourself and just do what you need to do to get through the day!
Is there anything you wish you had known or done before having kids?
The one thing I would have loved to do was live overseas either before having kids or before the kids were at school. I would love to experience a different culture and I could easily do this with Incy but unfortunately my husband’s company is completely location based.
What is the perception of the United States presently in Australia, politically and business wise?
This is a tough one and I have just asked around the office what everyone else thinks. The general consensus is that our feeling of the US hasn’t changed, we still think of it as a political ally and one of the most powerful countries in the world but we are of course very confused by your obsession with guns and cannot understand why they haven’t been banned. Donald Trump is the elephant in the room and we debated him intensely. Business wise it feels like confidence is returning to the US market and our US business is growing more than it ever has (we have been in the US two years now), but we are all extremely unnerved by Donald Trump’s Twitter obsession and what that could mean for our country's security.
contributed by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama