Make Your House A Home
Start Up Rank: 35
Founder(s): Lisa Smith, Norm Smith
Industry: Retail trade
Head Office: Victoria
Husband and wife team, Lisa and Norm Smith, started the Make Your House A Home interior design business after seeing a need for quality, affordable designer furniture, interiors and gardens, especially in Central Victoria.
"There was nothing in the market at the time that catered for people wanting affordable advice to update or furnish their home on a holistic level," says Lisa.
"Colour consultants just did colours, interior decorators mainly did window furnishings and interior architects are out of reach cost wise for the average person. Our business started so we could fill this void in the market place, particularly in our local area (country Victoria)."
The Smiths took their business one step further by starting to recommend entire packages, not just individual pieces of furniture for their growing clientele.
"As the business evolved, it became apparent that clients didn't just want us to tell them what they should buy, they wanted to buy whatever we suggested they buy from us."
"Our in-home consultations product is a mix of retail and service and that is why it works. With our busy lives people are not just looking for a Band-Aid solution anymore, they are time poor and want the best outcome for minimal fuss and that is what we give them."
While this growth was welcomed, it did present some problems.
"Finding the ‘right' staff to manage the shop front became our biggest challenge. It took us two years to find the 'perfect team' which we now have. We are extending their skill level through the Skills for Growth initiative so we can generate more in-home consultation work, which is still our biggest source of revenue."
BEST PART OF STARTING YOUR BUSINESS:
"I love the energy that I have as a result of constantly working on ways to improve the business and take it to the next level. It is a passion that I have been waiting my whole life to bring to life and it is very exciting, at times stressful and challenging but overall it makes me feel alive!"