Hello to whoever happens to be reading this blog post,
It's official, Winki Suits is two-years old! Can you believe it? Time really does fly when you're having fun and yes, we're still considered a small scale business by most people but we've grown a heck of a lot in the last two years; business-wise and personally (just ask our husbands).
What started as a dream on the ferry almost three years ago when Kip & I were in our very early twenties has now become a fully-fledged e-commerce business and recognised brand. No, we're not living on a yacht in the Bahamas from our thousands of Winki orders, but neither would we want to be. We've both learnt a really significant life lesson in the past two+ years and that is this;
Go slow to go far.
Often, our society is so quick to start and finish things; we want the next best thing and if something we're working on doesn't give us the results we're looking for in a timely manner, we'll quickly give up on it and move onto the next shiny object (be it project, business or object). This mentality has spilled over into our social lives (thanks social media), purchasing habits (cheap, fast fashion) and even to how we eat - we no longer prepare and take joy and time with our cooking - we eat for convenience. We're creatures of consumerism, who run at a very fast pace.
We've definitely had times these past few years where we've been tempted to give up. Being sisters and running a business together is no small feat. It can take a toll on relationships, work-life balance and definitely has put a small-dent in our savings. We've had our fair few trials... (think; manufacturing gone-wrong, finding new manufacturers here in Sydney from scratch, dud suppliers, language barriers, financial and government issues), oh and throw COVID on top of all that and what do you get? A cocktail of unwanted surprises!
But we've learnt and are still learning. Winki was never created to be a fast-paced fashion business. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We focus on quality over quantity and are committed to improving our products so we can bring our community high-quality surf-suits that don't fall off or give you wedgies in the ocean.
We were given this opportunity to create a business when God placed the same lady in our lives (in very different ways) that opened the door to working with women who come out of human-trafficking and are rehabilitated and taught to sew in the Philippines. Our team of manufacturers, suppliers and professionals (us included), take a lot of patience. We're all learning and we're all from very different backgrounds; including China, the Philippines and of course, Australia.
We've learnt that; things can take a considerably longer time to design & produce than first thought and small steps are usually big steps by the time we're finished. But these lessons have made us appreciate life's simple pleasures a whole lot more. Kip's sister, Lucy, raised a good point when she was packing Winki orders one afternoon; saying "I never thought to think that there's an actual person who is behind hand-packing every single e-commerce order globally". It's normally Kip and I who hand-wrap every order in tissue and manually write on a card, add the swing tag, write the address on the bag and seal the package ourselves. So know your orders are delivered to your doorstep with a whole lot of love!
Yes, there's ways we can be doing this process more quickly and we're looking into those options. But it's these parts of our business that have made us realise, you have to go slow to go far. All of our hard work, time and energy that we've put into the business over the last two years or so is finally paying off. Not in huge ways, but small ways. We love hearing the sound of an order notification coming through, we love meeting you guys or seeing Winkis out in the surf. It's the little rewards that help us realise, we are growing and if not at a rapid pace, at a steady pace. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
We've almost doubled in growth and size each year, since we launched in April 2019. We're so proud of the things this little business has achieved. This year we've been able to continue to support The Blessed Project in the Philippines (even with COVID setting in for the long haul), we've set up additional manufacturing here in Sydney, we've introduced new products, grown our community, done pop-up events and had meet-ups for local women.
We have a list of goals for 2021 and we will slowly work our way through these together, as life throws us different curve-balls. But we're so excited and optimistic. We're so thankful for all the support of our local Manly community, friends and family.
So, what's next for Winki Suits?
Well, we're growing in the US (slowly) which is exciting. We're also developing some new products in the coming months and collaborating with some local artists. We are excited to launch some new styles, prints, accessories, apparel and even some kids-wear!
We're also working on implementing some processes and building blocks in the business which we know will help it scale and grow in the future. We started this business with a purpose in mind, we want to transform the lives of the women who made these suits and we wanted to deliver functional, fun and timeless surf-suits for women across the globe! We'll continue to work slowly but steadily on Winki in the months and years to come and we're very excited for our baby to grow.
So, thank you for following us on our journey, from the bottom of our hearts we are very very grateful to do what we do and we know it is a gift from God and is made possible by the people around us.
Here are a few snaps from some of our favourite moments these last two years.
Love, Becky and Kip x