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Finding your business niche
10 January 2017
Kristy Chong (above) is the founder of Modibodi. Developed out of personal need - and her desire to improve underwear and protective options for women - Modibodi underwear fabric and technology works by reducing sweat, odour, discharge, light bladder spots/leaks, menstrual onset/spotting, menstrual flow, or breast milk leaks.
“I spent the first 18 months developing the fibre technology behind Modibodi. This involved consulting over 100 people about how to start a business, consulting textile engineers and conducting more than 1000 scientific experiments to create the technology. Once we had the technology developed we created the designs and sourced the fabrics. The next step was to register the business, apply for a patent, set up a website and Facebook page and start promoting the brand by targeting media and bloggers,” explains Kristy.
Kristy began her career in PR and firmly believes in utilizing those skills: “We use both Facebook and Instagram to engage with our current customers and to find new ones. Your content has to be engaging and related to your brand. Product posts and advertisements are also part of our strategy. A blog is also essential to educate, entertain and engage with our audience.
“My top tip, invest money in marketing. We have run out of stock three or four times… some might say that’s bad planning, but now as we are growing we can better manage our stock projections. My belief is in the early days, it is better to invest in driving demand, than in dead stock.”
With three young boys under eight years and a busy husband, Kristy says there isn’t a lot of balance in her life but she does take time to run two to three times a week.
In 2012 she completed the Seattle marathon and played netball and softball at a representative level when she was at school.
Apart from the physical benefits, she says “sport builds confidence and teaches you what it’s like to win and to lose, as well as vital life skills like cooperating with others, resilience, passion, listening, strategy, commitment, and how to bounce back when you make a mistake.”
This year, Kristy is looking to scale the business internationally. She admires both Catriona Wallace of Flamingo and Sara Blakely of Spanx.
“Catriona is a mother and successful entrepreneur, and the second woman to list a company on the ASX,” says Kristy.
“Sara built a sustainable international business from Spanx’s flagship product. I also admire her focus on philanthropy and helping women,” Kristy continues.
Modibodi works with the charity Share the Dignity, allowing customers to purchase vouchers for women who may be in need.
“For many homeless women and women of domestic violence living in shelters, the cost and accessibility to feminine hygiene can be prohibitive and so they are forced to use newspaper and dirty rags to protect themselves. Our partnership with Share the Dignity Australia helps prevent this. For every purchase, we donate a percentage of the profits to directly deliver our Modibodi underpants into the hands of women in need,” finishes Kristy.