We were invited the Bibi Rouge store launch in March and we got to cathch up with owner Sabrina Kennedy to chat about the business and more! Here’s the full interview.
About BiBi Rouge
- When was Bibi Rouge officially opened? I officially opened BiBi Rouge in August 2011, in my last few months of university.
- Describe the kind of clothing do you sell at Bibi Rouge? We sell fashionable, affordably, ethically made, locally manufactured clothing. That consists of casual everyday wear, cocktail wear, party wear and some formal wear.
- What’s unique about the clothing that you provide at Bibi Rouge? Our clothing is unique because its super high quality, but still locally manufactured and sold at an affordable price. We also have edgy styles that are trend driven and you won’t find anywhere else.
- What are the three important features or elements of your store (Bibi Rouge) and how you get the customer can enjoy these? The most important elements to me are our high quality, which the customer can enjoy by seeing, feeling and trying on our clothing in store, Our personalisation, which a customer can enjoy from our service online and in store as well as the fact that we are a small business, so they get to interact directly with me, the owner and Fae the store manager. And lastly, the third most important element is our ethical brand and sustainable mindset which customers can see throughout our brand in our locally made clothing, locally sourced accessories, and the community outreaches we try and support with our store and brands we stock.
- What’s the most important business or personal discovery you’ve made since opening? That business will always succeed when you put your whole heart in them, so the owner needs to always pay a large role in a business to really be successful.
About owner, Sabrina Kennedy
- How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way? I believe I got where I am by always working hard and persevering, even when times were tough. My degree in marketing and psychology helped me a lot, as well as my willingness to learn about the fashion industry the hard way, by immersing myself in it and learning everything through experience. My family helped me along the way by always being supportive and helping me with anything I needed, and my friends have helped me along the way by always supporting my store and buying from BiBi Rouge.
- What’s a typical day like for you? A typical day for me is wake up, make tea and head to my desk where I check all my emails for urgent ones and sales. Once that is done, I contact Fae, the store manager to run through a few of the topics in email, like if there are online orders that need to be packed or people who need to be invoiced. I then go through the less urgent emails and respond to all of them. I normally pop into the store around 11, where I make sure everything is running smoothly and Fae and I catch up on things. After that, unless I go fabric shopping, which is once a week, I head back to my office to finish the admin, make payslips, track our finances, stock, place orders with the manufacturer, and basically do all the boring stuff that people forget business owners do 😉
- How do you achieve work-life balance? This was something I really struggled with when I first started my company. I used to work until crazy hours and never stopped. Now I work in an office where I make myself leave by 6pm so that i have family and home time. If I have a lot of work, sometimes I’ll do an extra few hours after dinner and quality time, but I try not to if I don’t have to. Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur though, you never completely stop working, but it’s part of it.
- If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I don’t think I would do anything differently. I think everything works out how it’s supposed to. All the mistakes I made taught me something, so I wouldn’t change a thing. We are so happy at our new Benmore store and I am so happy with the company I have worked hard to create, so I wouldn’t change a thing 🙂
- What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? To take our store from online only to opening a physical retail store. It was a very big financial risk and could have gone very wrong, but it worked out well so far. Although it is still sometimes quite difficult, because it’s a different market and very expensive for a business, it is the only way to grow, so I’m happy with the risk I took.