Business: Lazy Sunday Lifestyle, Dubbo
With an aim that reflects the name, Lazy Sunday Lifestyle owner Kate Griffiths hopes her customers can leave her store feeling happy and fulfilled.
“Lazy Sunday is a lifestyle boutique stocking homewares, giftware and fashion, baby clothes and gifts. I want to offer that homely feeling of sitting down with a coffee, feeling comfortable, with nice surroundings.
“My brand DNA is a rustic, modern, country look. I love textures, raw and authentic and beautiful things.”
A country girl at heart, Miss Griffiths grew up in Narromine and attended St John’s College, Dubbo, before moving to Sydney to study fashion and interior design at the Whitehouse School. She also studied business and economic studies at school.
Miss Griffiths then worked for APG and Co which includes the Jag and Sportscraft labels. She also worked for Esprit and MJ Bale and was a visual merchandising specialist for a Perth wallpaper company in Surry Hills.
The idea for Lazy Sunday Lifestyle grew from a student project. The store itself opened in March 2017.
“I feel like the concept was always there,” she said. “I designed my own logo; my major work at the Whitehouse School was a Lazy Sunday Lifestyle Magazine based in the Central West.”
“I’d always worked in retail but in sections, I had never looked at the overall business before.”
As a young retailer who started the brand at the age of 23, her next challenge was being taken seriously as a business owner, particularly realtors.
“I wanted to come home and this was a way of creating a job for myself.
“It wasn’t easy in the beginning. There were lots of people who wouldn’t take me seriously being a young female on my own. I’m proud to be able to do this on my own – it was worth persevering.”
“My friends call me Mum because when I opened the business, none of my friends had businesses.”
When she moved in, the shop was dirty and run down. It has now been transformed into a haven of beautiful things. Miss Griffiths’ secret to success is listening to customer needs and being adaptable.
“I’m glad I started with a small base and listened to customers and learned what they want. I’ve been able to grow and grow the stock.
Recently, the shop has gone online to branch into new avenues.
“With the drought, I’ve changed a lot; mainly my buying,” Miss Griffiths explained. “My focus is building the online shop and putting more products in it.”
“I am making things more affordable while retaining beautiful quality. I still have a few luxury items available. People are also more fibre conscious these days.”
Miss Griffiths enjoys a good relationship with suppliers, to ensure that quality continues.
“Nearly every company I have met, I know the supplier. All my labels are Australian designs.”
Lazy Sunday Lifestyle has a warm and spacious atmosphere and Miss Griffiths enjoys being in Wingewarra St in the heart of Dubbo.
“I like the feeling that it’s not in a mall but it’s important for small business to be seen in the CBD. We have the freedom and the ability to adapt and change.”
“That’s what I like about small business. It’s always changing. You can always grow, you are always working.”
“And more people are realising that if you don’t support small business they will fold. I have seen a few shut down.”
Last year, Miss Griffiths was a finalist in the 2018 Rhino Awards as a Young Entrepreneur start-up business. She also attended a Netstripe’s digital bootcamp which helped her see the business in a different light and increase sales.
That in turn led to her telling the Lazy Sunday Lifestyle story at the Bizruption event.
“My focus was to have target markets based on avatars. We have a target market that’s quite wide – it is females aged between 20 and 55.”
Miss Griffiths created two avatars based on herself (26) and her mum (51).
“It’s good to have the different age groups and I use mum to bounce ideas off, particularly in fashion.
She has now hired a part-time staff member who also knows and loves the store.
“The first 18 months was so hectic but now, I am learning to step back a little. ”
“Amelia is very creative and really loves the products. I make time to address ordering and I really want to be invested in the financial side. My business plan has evolved.”
Miss Griffiths loves having a great relationship with customers and serving western NSW and beyond. She recently collaborated with others to do a photo shoot featuring clothing and accessories from her boutique. This was also coupled with a fashion parade at the Nyngan Show.
“I like to be on the ground having a relationship with the customers. And being in the region – I have family in Nyngan and Narromine.
She is looking forward to continuing to be part of the local business network, collaborating and contributing to the community.
“I was always very driven – once I set my mind to something, it’s a sure thing.”