This week we talk to Natalia Thliveris, founder of online destination for luxury children’s wear, LM Bambini. The business was born out of a desire to provide Australian parents with access to high-quality, designer clothing for their children, something Natalia found difficult following the birth of her two boys, Lucas and Markos. Whilst her tenure hasn’t always been smooth, Natalia has manoeuvred her career to a profitable path in the face of adversity – one of the first brands to commit to LM Bambini was Dolce and Gabanna, which then caused a domino effect for other luxury brands to follow.
ISB: What was the inspiration behind you founding LM Bambini?
NT: LM Bambini came to fruition after the birth of my second son Markos, I was frustrated by the lack of quality and variety of clothing that was accessible to us here in Australia and from this I was inspired to bring the best of European Kids fashion to our doorstep. I wanted be able to bring the same offerings from some of the best fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Stella McCartney and more direct to our door.
ISB: What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting the enterprise off the ground?
NT: I think the biggest challenge we faced was knowing what brands would work best here in the Australian Market, then being able to engage with the brands and add them to our brand mix. Once we were able to establish this then being able to target the right client base and build a good relationship with these clients.
ISB: What impact has your partnership with luxury fashion retail platform Farfetch had on the development of the business?
NT: Our partnership with Farfetch has been our biggest blessing. We were fortunate enough to start a partnership with them at a very early stage when we first launched the business, this in turn gave us another revenue channel. We have been able to grow at a much faster pace and double our stock form the revenue we have made from Farfetch.
ISB: I understand environmental sustainability is important to you – how does this manifest itself in your day-to-day operations?
NT: When we first started the business my main goal was to bring quality luxury clothing to Australia but as we progressed and grew sustainability became a big focus for us not only with the clothing we buy but in our day to day operations as well. We have this year installed solar panels at our office and warehouse which has already reduced our dependency on non renewable energies and are looking at other way that we can further become more sustainable from the packaging we use to the brands we represent.
ISB: What is your vision for the development of the business in the next couple of years?
NT: I would love to be able to expand more on our brand mix and include more mid tier brands to this mix which include more brands that have sustainability front of mind. I would also love to expand the business more into the international market in areas such as South East Asia, USA and potentially UAE.
ISB: And, finally, what is the number one lesson you’ve learnt on your entrepreneurial journey you’d share with others looking to start their own business?
NT: Make sure you do the ground work and go into it with a positive mind set, because there will be many challenges along the way and the world is constantly changing and evolving so you have to be ready for anything. Owing a business needs constant nurturing just like a baby and the more you put in the more you will get out. If you can keep this in minds and are willing to put in the hard yards then you can reap the rewards.