CEO of popular online store Billy J Boutique Leanne Henricks knows “busy”, growing exponentially over the past 12 months, with the next milestone of 2019 in sight. Billy J Boutique will show its online collections at the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival Catwalk Showcase on Saturday 19 October.
Between running an international fashion haven, Leanne also cares for her young family, who were the reason behind the entrepreneur first building her own business. “I fell pregnant with my first child and was terrified of leaving the workforce,” said Leanne. “My job was always a big part of my identity. I decided to start an Ebay Store, selling the clothes I had to pay off some credit card debt. I then quickly realised how it was such a great way to make extra money. This then turned into a full-blown business, stocking thousands of products. When my son was four months old I decided to … build a proper online store, stocking only from Australian suppliers.”
Six months later, and Leanne dropped the Ebay store to focus solely on her new online business, Billy J, named after her son William Jack.
Confessing she has been “obsessed with fashion” since a teenager, becoming a fashion entrepreneur was a perfect fit for Leanne, despite studying teaching at university and graduating with the highest marks in her field. Realising her heart was longing for something different, she ventured into retail, where managing Queensland’s Windsorsmith stores turned out to be great groundwork for her current business. “The psychology of selling and sales became a passion – and my own addiction to buying also helped set me up for the path I was about to follow.”
Billy J Boutique offers customers a wide variety of fashion unrivaled by competing brands, from swimwear to cocktail, age 16 to 45, Billy J finds an outfit for every occasion. But as Leanne explains, the brand is about more than just clothing. “As a company, I believe strongly in empowering and educating women to be their best selves. We spend most of our lives at work so we try to foster a fun and uplifting workplace, often with amazing perks throughout the year. We also believe in giving back, and we are soon going to be giving away proceeds from every sale to a charity of choice.”
If there is one thing Leanne wishes more women knew about online shopping, it would be that the activity is not as scary as it looks. “A lot of people are worried about the quality of an item they see online and are worried that an item will not fit, but they don’t need to be. Most online retailers are happy to measure items for you and most also supply an online size guide to assist you as well.”
Thriving in a saturated market after a mere five years, Billy J Boutique is redefining the limits of online fashion boutique.
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