Welcome to Born To Be Chic, hello!
My name's Hayley (@Hayley.BornToBeChic) and chances are if you email or DM us on Instagram, I'm the girl you're chatting to all hours of the night. I love online shopping, but I love my job more... Running this website and offering ladies all around the world the most gorgeous clothes. 🛍🛒
I started BTBC when I had freshly turned 21 and had come back from a working holiday in Canada. I had no experience with running a business nor had I ever worked a day in retail but I do have an university degree in journalism I've never used! But hey, maybe when I write my memoir one day that'll come in handy, haha! 😂
Three years ago, I resented myself so much for even starting my business. What idiot would take a financial risk of starting something they knew nothing about. Me. But somehow after years of trial and error, it just worked out. I always put it down to luck but looking back on it all, (and I don’t mean to toot my own horn), but I just worked really hard. There’s no secret. I taught myself everything I know now and still do everything myself. The hustling never stops.
Most people always want to know, “how did you start an online store?” and so here’s my answer… I caught the train one day to Central (in Sydney), walked to Surry Hills with my ABN on a piece of paper and started introducing myself to designers. Very few wanted to sell their styles to me and scoffed as I browsed their showrooms. I get it. I was a naive 21 year old and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even have a website yet. Most actually refused to sell their styles to me for that reason alone. I didn’t even know what a “pack” was. (A pack is basically what size ratio breakdown you get in a style that you want to stock. Typically it’s 2 x XS, 2 x S, 2 x M & 1 x L. There, you instantly know more than me on my first day.)
While starting my store, I also worked at my Dad’s mechanical workshop on the reception desk and running errands for him. Every $$ I earned, I put towards buying more stock. Every Wednesday I would be back on that train on my way to the city to buy new styles. I used to carry garbage bags full of clothes around the city. People must have thought I looked crazy.
This road hasn't always been easy but something inside me has always told me to stick it out, keep working hard and good things will come. I sit here now, writing this blurb almost 6 years later and I'm so glad I did. Days are still tough, but in the sense of I'm time poor. My alarm is waking me up everyday at 5am, my lunch break is eating my sandwich while driving to the post office and my days ending at 7pm. There's always something to do.
BTBC is still only a two-woman show behind-the-scenes. I know shock, we aren't a huge army. We're like Batman and Robin. #NameAMoreIconicDuo. We do everything. We pack your orders, we process your returns, answer your emails, IG DM's & FB messages, we create advertisements, organise photoshoots, post on social media, upload new products online and flick through countless lookbooks every week deciding what to sell next.
We also work with the most amazing designers. Quality is our #1 priority and our mentality is, if wouldn't wear it, we won't sell it. Simple. It's not worth our reputation to make a quick buck 🙅🏼♀️
I'm not sure what our future goals are but all I know is, I just want to keep working hard, keep customers happy and build an empire. My biggest fear is growing too big and personal touches are lost as I genuinely love getting to know my customers.
We do our best and we thank you for supporting us! Watch this space, we're still just getting started 😎