This week we talk to Tegan and Grant Kirkby, who for years have been living a boardroom life but a boardshorts dream. The entrepreneurial couple from Sydney’s northern beaches determined to make their dream of offering eco-conscious swimwear and surfwear a reality despite the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and an energetic toddler keeping them on their toes – the result is their eCommerce platform the Someday Co.
ISB: What inspired you to focus on swimwear for your eCommerce venture?
TK: Going into this we really wanted to focus on something that felt natural to us and that met a need we were familiar with. Being beachside residents and ocean lovers, the natural alignment was in surf and swim. We wanted to know what we were building really resonated with our personalities so we would have a really authentic and genuine connection to the brand.
ISB: What was the biggest challenge you faced in the early stages of launching/running the business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
GK: We found that starting a business was 99 per cent about over-coming daily challenges and roadblocks – it was a constant factor in the first six-to-nine months. Actually, it still is today! Our knowledge of eCommerce was very limited to begin with, so to stay motivated we had to embrace each challenge, maintain an undying believe that everything will work out, and use every resource available to figure things out. Also, we found it was crucial for our positive mindset to celebrate every little victory in your own little way – no matter how small they may seem!
ISB: And how did you go about marketing your products to carve a niche for yourselves in what is a very competitive market?
TK: We knew early on that we had a special USP, but it wasn’t based on product per se, it was based on function and ease – being able to find all of these products in one place. We consider ourselves an aggregator, our brand is a springboard for other brands – so we do a lot to make sure we hero our brand partners and place them as the heroes. In doing so, we appeal to a wide net of consumers who are attracted to the like-minded brands that we bring together.
ISB: I understand sustainability is important to you – how does that manifest itself in the way you run the business?
TK: In every single way – from the beginning we thrived on authenticity and refused to cut corners when it came to our standpoint on this, even if it meant higher cost. From our packaging and shipping we use; right through to how we assess our brands and charity partners – everything we do is anchored in being better for the planet. Not in an extreme or guilt-driving way, but in a gentle and achievable way, and encouraging consumers that all the little steps in the right direction really do add up.
ISB: What is your vision for the development of the business in the next couple of years?
GK: Our mission is to be the inherent go-to for anyone looking to buy eco-friendly gear that they’d use for all outdoor activities or sports. We currently focus on surf, swim and yoga – but we’ll eventually expand our range down to line to include snow, hiking etc. Australia is our market right now, but we’d also like to explore expanding into other markets like the US down the track too. The beauty in our expectations is that we don’t expect this to pay our bills in the short term; ultimately, we just want to keep growing.
ISB: And, finally, what is the number one lesson you’ve learnt on your journey to date you’d share with others looking to start their own business?
GK: Most importantly that you can’t be everything to everyone. So, our strategy was always to have our business be adored by 1000 people, rather than be kind of liked by 100,000 people. Once you get that mentality in your head you really zero in on quality, retention, appreciation – and foster a healthy sense of pride in everything you do for your brand.