There’s nothing more satisfying than clicking 'add to cart' and buying a brand new outfit – with matching heels and accessories. Thessy and Yiota Kouzoukas, who are friends and sisters-in-law, took their passion for shopping to the next level in 2010, when they started a fashion blog.
Little did they know that same blog would turn into one of Australia’s most successful online stores…
After receiving an overwhelming amount of traffic and followers on their blog, the friends decided to start their own online store, selling the clothes they were wearing. After planning and saving up for a year, Sabo Skirt launched in 2011.
“The early days were exciting, scary and very long,” says Thessy. “We were working off a kitchen table and turned our spare room into a studio for photo shoots.”
By 2012, the pair had moved from the kitchen table and into an actual office, where they launched their own exclusive label, Sabo Skirt. “It was both exciting and nerve wracking to grow so quickly. Trying to manage the logistics, processes and systems was chaotic,” says Yiota.
And to do it required all of their time and energy. “Being in our very early 20s, it was difficult to sacrifice our social lives completely,” says Thessy, who also mentions how hard it was for them to pour their savings into the business instead of spending their dollars shopping.
Looking back now, they both agree the sacrifices were worth it. Today, Sabo Skirt has a following of over two million on social media, is stocked in David Jones and has a staff of 14.
The pair made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list last year, Yiota is currently shooting their new campaign in Greece and they’re both preparing to show at New York Fashion Week next month – for the third time.
As if that wasn’t enough… Emily Ratajkowski, Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande and the Hadid sisters are all fans of Sabo Skirt. “I definitely pinch myself every time I see a photo of a celebrity wearing one of our pieces,” says Yiota.
The friends credit their success to being early in the game, garnering a massive Instagram following and having unique content with personality. Their advice for other shopping-loving businesswomen? “Be passionate from the beginning, stay focused on your goals and remember that everything big starts from something small.” Here’s some more sage advice....
Secret to success: Love what you do. I know this sounds cliché but truly, if you love what you do you'll never have to "work" a day in your life!
Breakfast of champions: Rolled oats with frozen raspberries. And a green tea, of course.
Best advice: Don't sweat the small stuff! I can often find myself stressing over small issues. I tell myself "will this matter in 5 years?" If the answer is no, I don't bother stressing about it.
Hardest lesson: You can never please everyone. I have learnt this over time, from juggling friends and business, to trying to keep customers and followers happy.
Best job interview tip: Be yourself. Try to inject your personality into the interview as much as possible. You and the employer will get a good idea if your personality is a fit for the environment.
Coffee order: I'm more of a tea girl! Coffee isn't good for my disease, endometriosis.
Wind down: I escape to the Gold Coast most weekends and take long walks on the beach. I love to fall asleep listening to the ocean.
Secret to success: Passion and hard work. The more you put in, the more you'll get out, always.
Breakfast of champions: Avo on toast.
Best advice: Stay humble and be appreciative of every achievement, big or small. Focus on the good and treat others how you would like to be treated.
Hardest lesson: To focus on your own goals and success instead of other people’s.
Best job interview tip: Be prepared! Anticipate about 10 questions that you might be asked and rehearse your responses before you get there. Confident responses are always impressive in an interview.
Coffee order: A banana, milk and honey smoothie.
Wind down: Brunch with my friends and family on the weekend.